As said, Novak Djokovic is a man on a mission in Melbourne, and his next obstacle on the road toward the title is Tommy Paul. The Serbian showed his power against Andrey Rublev, blasting the Russian all over the court of Rod Laver Arena. Novak was near perfection, and more importantly, he looked healthy enough, with all the problems from the opening rounds with his hamstring disappearing. Tommy Paul did a wonderful job, and the American has become a notable figure in the tennis world. He has been pretty good in the recent year and more, and the future looks bright for this guy.
Novak Djokovic (-900) came here with one set dropped in five matches. Djokovic has only two losses since October, counting in “exhibition” tournaments, and currently rides on an 11-match winning streak. The performance against De Minaur was considered to be absolutely fantastic, yet the one against Rublev was even better.
Novak won in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, not allowing Rublev to breathe by the amount of pressure put on the Russian and his game. Novak won 80% of points on his first serve, and converted five of 14 break points. Meanwhile, he saved all five Rublev had. Novak’s domination can be described by the fact that Rublev’s longest winning streak in this event was three points.
Djokovic beat Carballes Baena in the first round, then Couacaud, against whom he lost the only set in Australia (when he had trouble with a hamstring). Grigor Dimitrov was the victim in the third round before De Minaur.
Tommy Paul (+1100) reached new heights during the last year, once he went from a relatively unknown player to the status of a participant at the majority of big tournaments. Paul isn’t a media favorite, so his achievement looks even more impressive.
Paul’s path in Melbourne needs to be respected, even though his part of the draw wasn’t filled with big names. The most recent win came against Ben Shelton in the quarterfinals, beating the compatriot 3-1, 7-6, 6-3, 5-7, and 6-4. He had more focus and experience in the crucial moments, gaining the edge following a won tiebreak in the first set.
Paul was better than Struff in the opening round, 3-0, Davidovich Fokina in the second, 3-2, then Brooksby, 3-0; Bautista-Agut, 3-1 and Shelton in the most recent event.
Head to Head Games
Novak and Paul didn’t meet up until this point. The difference between them is 10 years, and Paul only recently entered the elite of the tennis world, so there weren’t too many chances for them to face one another.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to predict the outcome of this event. Novak is in better shape and is at least two levels above any player in the world right now, let alone Paul, whom we respect. This will probably be an easy task for Djokovic, who should win this event in straight sets. The odds are currently set at -195, and we will take this as the top pick for Friday’s event. Other than that, the offers are not satisfying at all.
Pick: Novak Djokovic 3-0 -195
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.