The Australian Open finals will see Novak Djokovic clash with Dominic Thiem. While Djokovic’s appearance here was expected, Thiem’s advance to the finals is a bit of a surprise. Yet, the Austrian did show exquisite tennis, which is why he earned his third chance to reach one Grand Slam trophy.
Dominic Thiem (+300) had to work hard to reach this stage. The Austrian fella defeated Mannarino, Fritz, Nadal, and Zverev. In the last two events, he was facing a lot of problems, and it is pretty safe to say that both were more than exhausting. During them, the world No.5 had to play five tiebreaks and to make it even more fascinating, Thiem won each one. It seems that his mental strength and the physical condition reached the peak right now, and the Austrian is playing the tennis of his career. Against Zverev, Thiem’s return worked quite well, and he stopped the German’s service, although Alexander had 81% of the first serve successful.
Novak Djokovic (-400) is the record seven-time champion of the Aussie Open, and the undisputed ruler here. He didn’t lose a single final and is widely considered as probably the best ever player who walked the courts of this Grand Slam tournament. So far, in this edition, his only negative moment was in the first round, once Jan-Lennard Struff took one set. After that, Djokovic was relentless and ruthless against all of his rivals. Though, it is honest to say he did have a much easier path to the finals than Dominic. Apart from Raonic and Federer, there weren’t some particular opponents who could present some challenges in this turf. And when mentioning Federer, the Swiss was falling apart from the previous matches, shredded with injuries and fatigue. So, that win isn’t reliable for some further assessments.
Head to Head
Thiem won the last meeting at the Nitto ATP Finals in London, even though Novak won the opening set. That was his fourth victory over Djokovic in the previous five contests and the first one on the hard surface. All past were on clay. He overturned the trend, which saw the Serb taking the first five head-to-head matches against the Austrian colleague.
Novak is the favorite here, and there is no debating about that. All his recent losses against Dominic are neglected in this particular situation, because Joker has a totally different approach in the Melbourne finals than at any other tournament. Plus, he will have massive support from the crowd, which might create some problems for Thiem. We saw that when he faced Nadal in the quarterfinals. If it weren’t for the net and the luck that followed him throughout those crucial moments, we are free to say that the result would have been much different. The pressure from the stands was affecting the 26-year old who still lacks the experience to overcome those sorts of situations. So we are going with Djokovic to win the contest with a -1.5 handicap. The odds are sitting at -138. For you who are more courageous, try with the correct result 3-1 for Novak, with the moneyline at +260.
Pick: Novak -1.5 -138
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.