Grigor Dimitrov overcame Novak Djokovic’s conqueror Denis Istomin to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and should now be able to get past David Goffin in the last eight.
Belgium’s Goffin is a technically superb player but he lacks the power and strength to really challenge the top order.
Goffin, the world number 11, is contesting only his second Grand Slam quarter-final and could be set for his biggest season to date although Dimitrov is in incredible form.
The Bulgarian registered victories over Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori in Brisbane prior to the Australian Open and seems to be recapturing the kind of form that saw him rise to eighth in the ATP rankings back in 2014, when he reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
Dimitrov is 10/19 to claim the win and that is my top bet for this encounter, but it may not be a straightforward affair.
The 25-year-old can be a slow starter and he lost the first sets in both of his 3-1 wins over Istomin and world number 105 Hyeon Chung on his march to the last eight.
In the women’s tournament, British hopeful Johanna Konta is preparing for her first meeting with Serena Williams. Neither Konta nor Williams has dropped a set in Melbourne as yet and this match looks incredibly hard to call.
Konta goes into the clash seeking a tenth straight win and during that time she hasn’t lost a single set, despite coming up against the likes of Agnieszka Radwanska (Sydney International final) and Caroline Wozniacki (Australian Open).
Meanwhile, Williams has had a less challenging route to the last eight so arguably Konta is in the better form, and the value is with the Briton at 31/20 so I’m going to be brave and side with the world number nine.
Konta will need to maintain her consistency to progress and backing a 2-0 win at 3/1 rather than a straightforward Konta victory could be the way forward in this intriguing first meeting between the two players.
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