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Rejuvenated Rog Takes on Kei Nishikori in 4th Round of Aussie Open

Although he hasn’t fallen off the map entirely, Roger Federer is very obviously on a rapid decline. He hasn’t won a Grand Slam since 2012 and hasn’t made an appearance in a slam final since 2015. He’ll have his work cut out for him to make it out of a stacked quarter bracket at the Aussie Open and will have to be excellent in his next match against the fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori.

  • Federer owns a career 4-2 record against Nishikori.
  • Nishikori has beaten his last 2 opponents in straight sets.
  • Federer has made it to at least the semifinal of the Australian Open in 12 of the last 13 years.

World No. 2-ranked Novak Djokovic being bounced from the tournament is massive for everyone still competing but what it’s really done is amplify the intensity for the entire left side of the bracket. The semifinal will most likely include two of Andy Murray, Milos Raonic, Rafael Nadal, Federer or Nishikori – making it a de facto final.

Getting this matchup between Kei and Rog in the fourth round is an absolute treat. Federer has slipped in the world rankings due to age and injury but is back playing some excellent tennis of late. He’s won his last two matches in straight sets and showed 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych the door in the third round in a 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 beatdown.

Online shop Bovada has Federer as the -165 favorite and if he’s back in top form, that’s really good value. The problem for Rog is that he doesn’t move around with quite the same agility he used to and that plays right into Nishikori’s game. Kei is excellent in the service game and likes to trade shots on the baseline. If he can get the four-time Aussie Open champ moving laterally – like Raonic did at Wimbledon – he’ll likely have success.

There’s plenty of betting lines for this match at Bovada but one of my favorites is for Kei to win the match in five sets, as it's paying +500. These men have never played a five-setter against each other and I think it takes them awhile to figure each other out.

Federer-1.5 (+1.5)-1653.5 (-230) OVER
Nishikori+1.5 (-150)+1353.5 (+175) UNDER
Predict the Exact Set Outcome

Odds as of January 20 at Bovada

  • 3-0 R. Federer +265
  • 3-1 R. Federer +325
  • 3-2 R. Federer +425
  • 3-0 K. Nishikori +575
  • 3-1 K. Nishikori +525
  • 3-2 K. Nishikori +500