Day 13 Australian Open Tips: Odds-against selection on 10-time champ Djokovic

Djokovic defiant
Defiant champion: Djokovic faces his biggest test in AO2024 semi

Tennis tipster Gavin Mair gives his insight into the men's semi-final matches at the Australian Open. Is Novak Djokovic on course to win an 11th Melbourne title?

  • Has Sinner given us a golden ticket?

  • Strong position allows us a value pick on Novak

  • Medvedev knows how to handle Zverev

  • The four remaining competitors in the men's draw are far from surprising. Most would expect Djokovic, the upstart Jannik Sinner and hard court specialist Daniil Medvedev to be there or thereabout at this stage of the tournament.

    The one exception is possibly Alexander Zverev, who produced an incredible and dominant performance to down Carlos Alcaraz in their quarter-final. The German served exceptionally well and had the Spanish wonderkid well scouted.

    The question remains - who will be heading into Sunday's final?

    Acid test

    Pre-tournament we listed Jannik Sinner as the man most likely to end Novak Djokovic's Australian Open reign. It is time for the acid test. Does the Italian have the minerals to dissolve the ultimate champion's chances?

    I believe Sinner has every chance of doing that. He is living up to his billing, coasting through to the semi-final without dropping a set. There was an injury concern in his match against Andrey Rublev, but he later revealed that it was trapped wind. He is human after all.

    I outlined my reasons why I thought Sinner could be the man to topple Djokovic in the pre-tournament preview.

    The Italian has the game to better the Serbian, but he will need a good day to do so. Even in his recent victories in this match-up Sinner has had to overcome serious pressure from Djokovic and he will likely have to do that again here.

    Sinner will likewise have his chances to damage Djokovic and that is where I am heading with my suggested pick. Djokovic is a reasonable favourite - he is after all unbeaten in Australian Open semi-finals.

    There is little chance in my opinion that Sinner falls away tamely here. If he does taste defeat he will have thrown everything at Djokovic and is more than capable of landing at least one set.

    It also covers our bases. We are sitting pretty if Sinner makes the final, and we've covered our stake if Djokovic should win this one.

    5/42.25" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Backing Djokovic to win and both players to win at least a set is an appealing 5/42.25

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

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    Medvedev a justifiable favourite

    Both Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev have been through the ringer this tournament. Across their five matches they've spent a combined 32 hours on court already. Both have played at least 16 hours, seven hours more than Sinner and three more than Djokovic.

    They both know how to recover from this intensity of effort, and I feel we shouldn't worry about their fitness levels nor do I think it favours one player over the other.

    What I am concerned about is who this match-up favours, and since the start of 2022 that has undeniably been Medvedev. Not only does the Russian lead their overall career head to head by 12 wins to seven, he has won all but one of their seven meetings since the start of the 2022 season.

    It would be a surprise if this is straightforward. Zverev served impeccably to down Alcaraz and said post-match that he feels his form makes him a Grand Slam contender - something he didn't contemplate at all last season.

    Zverev in his current mood will be dangerous for Medvedev. As in the other semi-final I expect the defeated player to have his moments. That is why I am siding with 7/52.40" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Medvedev to win and both players to win a set at 7/52.40

    Medvedev to win and both players to win a set @ 7/52.40

    Bet now

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