Australian Open

Australian Open Men's Final Tips: Outright pick Sinner favoured to win

Sinner final
Closing time: Sinner to win as the sun sets on the Australian Open

Tennis tipster Gavin Mair looks at Sunday's men's final, where Jannik Sinner is strongly favoured to win a first Grand Slam...

  • 13/27.50 pick Sinner is one match away

  • Italian turned Medvedev match-up on its head

  • "He doesn't give you anything."


There will be a new winner of the men's Australian Open. Twenty years ago Roger Federer became champion in Melbourne for the first time. The next two decades were dominated by the Swiss maestro, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic with all but two editions won by the sport's greatest big three. (For pub quiz enthusiasts the missing names are Stan Wawrinka and Marat Safin.)

It was Djokovic who was the odds-on favourite heading into this event but he experienced a new reality, thrashed in the semi-final by Jannik Sinner, who alongside Carlos Alcaraz represents a generation that is finally capable of changing the guard.

'I was shocked with my level'

Ten time champ Djokovic had a rare off day in the semi-final, experiencing what it feels like to be helpless on court against a special opponent.

It was a worrying display for his long term future at the top of the game, as for whatever reason he couldn't switch on the usual gears that have allowed him to race away from each and every opponent at any time.

Against Sinner it just didn't click. The Serbian summarised, "I was shocked with my level. But credit to him, he did everything better than me."

The Italian was on it from the start, and was in full command throughout. He didn't face even one break point.

That is the form Sinner is in. The set he dropped to Djokovic was the only one he has conceded in this tournament, and oddsmakers have installed him as a short - but possibly justified - 4/111.36 favourite to bet Daniil Medvedev and win the tournament.

Readers of this column are holding a value ticket at 13/27.50. Should we be confident?

Sinner won last three

Until October last year Sinner had lost all six of his matches against Medvedev. The Russian clearly had his number, but the match-up has changed.

Medvedev sits ultra deep in the court and makes it a huge challenge to hit through him. Time after time Sinner would try to knock down the Medvedev wall with his groundstrokes but time after time the ball would keep coming back and the Italian would eventually physically wilt.

Sinner had to improve, and he has. It is why he is the clear favourite to win this match, and why has become a serious Grand Slam contender this year rather than a theoretical and potential winner last year.

The key to this has been adding variety to his game. When he beat Medvedev for the first time in Beijing his tactics were noticeably different. He made a notable effort to attack the net, doing so 33 times and winning 23 points. Against an opponent that sits as deep in the court as Medvedev this is absolutely a tactic that works.

It was also proving effective for Alexander Zverev who led the semi-final against Medvedev by two sets to love, doing so by taking the game to the Russian. However, Zverev tired and complained that his energy levels disappeared after set two.

The German spoke of his frustration in this loss as he felt he was the better tennis player, he just couldn't hold up physically. The good news for Sinner is that not only is his arsenal stronger than Zverev's but he should be less prone to a physical fade registering substantially less miles on the clock at this tournament than either Medvedev or Zverev.

The Russian has played 20 hours and 33 minutes compared to Sinner's 14 hours 44 minutes. That is the equivalent of two less matches!

It won't be easy

This is the first Grand Slam final of Sinner's career. Medvedev has six under his belt, winning only one of them. The very important asterisk next to that seemingly poor record is that all of these finals have been against either Djokovic or Nadal.

Medvedev has spoken in his interviews that he would much rather play somebody other than Djokovic in the final and he has his wish. Sinner is unproven in this situation. It is unclear, although unlikely, that he will be fazed by the scenario of a major final.

Although Sinner has found a way to beat Medvedev in all three of their most recent meetings, it has not been at all easy. They split sets in two of the three, and the other was won in two tiebreak sets. As Zverev said in his recent defeat, "Daniil doesn't give you anything."

Sinner does have the tools to beat Medvedev and I view him as the probable winner but with so much on the line and at a clear disadvantage in terms of experience, he will likely have to work for this. Sinner is instinctively short at his 4/111.36 match odds.

A bet that therefore appeals to me is for Sinner to win and for both players to win at least a set available at a much more backable 5/42.25.

Back Sinner to win and both players to win a set @5/42.25

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