With defending champion Novak Djokovic slipping out at the quarter-final stage, Rafael Nadal has a fantastic opportunity to claim his first Australian Open title since 2009 as we head into the semi-finals.
The women’s tournament also heads into the semi-final stages today and the top three seeds have all fallen by the wayside, giving Li Na an excellent chance of winning her first Australian title.
Djokovic’s hopes of a fourth straight Australian Open title were crushed on Tuesday when he lost in a final set tie-break against Stanislas Wawrinka who takes on Tomas Berdych in the first of the semi-finals on Thursday.
The Swiss won the dramatic match 9-7 in the tie break to make it through to the semi-finals in Melbourne for the first time in his career.
He’ll be expecting a tough match against Czech Berdych who saw off third seed David Ferrer three sets to one in the first of the quarter-finals, to secure his debut in the last four of the Australian Open.
Following the excellent victory over Djokovic, Wawrinka is favourite to win this match with Paddy Power offering the best price of 8/11. The best value on a Berdych victory comes from Bet Victor at 6/5.
Watch the match live on British Eurosport from 8:30am this morning.
Attention tomorrow turns to the second semi-final where Nadal takes on four-times Australian Open champion Roger Federer who secured an 11th consecutive appearance in the Melbourne semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Andy Murray yesterday.
Top seed Nadal dropped his first set of the tournament during Wednesday’s quarter-final with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov but has a very impressive record against Federer, winning 24 of their 34 meetings.
The Spaniard has won all four of their last meetings and you have to go back as far as October 2012 the last time Federer got one over Nadal at the Indian Wells Masters.
Following Djokovic’s departure, the onus has fallen upon Nadal in the outright betting odds, with Bwin currently offering the best odds at Evens.
Both women’s semi-finals take place later this morning, with the final to be played on Saturday.
New tournament favourite Li Na plays Canadian Eugenie Bouchard who impressed on Tuesday with a two sets to one win over 14th seed Ana Ivanovic.
That is followed by the second semi-final between Slovakian Dominika Cibulková and Agnieszka Radwańska, who defeated defending champion Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals.
The Na-Bouchard is live on British Eurosport from 2:30am, with the second semi following immediately after on the same channel.
In terms of the tournament outright odds in the women’s draw, Na is priced at Evens by a number of bookies including Betfred, Radwańska is available at 9/4 with Boylesports and the other two players are both best-priced at 9/1.
Keep up to date with the best odds from the Australian Open with BritBets by clicking HERE.
You can also claim free bets with Bwin by clicking HERE.