Following straightforward wins in their semi-finals, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev take to the courts at Melbourne Park on Sunday for the Australian Open final. Dan Weston discusses the match...
"I think the market is pretty accurate here. In the last 18 months on hard court, the duo have very similar numbers. Djokovic has won around 2% more service points, with similar return points won figures. However, on the surface since the tour resumed, it's Medvedev with slightly better numbers."
Djokovic and Medvedev meet in Sunday's final
While Novak Djokovic's straight-set win over tournament sensation Aslan Karatsev was rather anticipated by the market, Daniil Medvedev's 3-0 win over fellow top 10 player Stefanos Tsitsipas was a little more unexpected, and this extends the Russian's unbeaten run against top 10 opposition to 12 matches, going back to November last year at the Paris Masters.
Medvedev on a superb run against top 10 opposition
This really is a highly impressive level of consistency against the best players on tour - and both Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal were defeated among these 12 wins - and as I said in advance of this tournament, I think there is a real chance that Medvedev joins the elite duo, or splits them, at the top of the rankings this year.
Medvedev still has something to prove though - he is yet to win a Grand Slam title. He came close in September, losing the US Open final in five sets to Nadal as a heavy underdog, but I think the current version of Medvedev is a much better player than even six months ago.
Duo priced around even money in accurate market
The Exchange market agrees, pricing Medvedev at 2.0421/20 to win the match, and ultimately the title. Djokovic is the very marginal favourite at 1.9520/21 to win his 18th Grand Slam title. This would be the world number one's ninth Australian Open win, and would also be his third on the bounce after lifting the trophy in 2019 and 2020. It's not quite Rafa Nadal at the French Open dominance of a single Grand Slam tournament, but it's pretty close.
I think the market is pretty accurate here. In the last 18 months on hard court, the duo have very similar numbers. Djokovic has won around 2% more service points, with similar return points won figures. However, on the surface since the tour resumed, it's Medvedev with slightly better numbers - evidencing his upturn in level being on that continued upward ability curve.
Fitness doubts for Djokovic still a consideration
We also have to consider that Djokovic may not be fully fit for this. While he's got through the tournament after picking up what seemed like a pretty major injury in his win over Taylor Fritz, it's pretty fair to say that Medvedev would be his biggest test so far and it would have been interesting to see how he fared against Alexander Zverev in the quarter-final if the German had won the fourth set tiebreak to push him to five sets.
Overall though, no recommendation here. However, it wouldn't surprise me if Medvedev was celebrating his first Grand Slam title in a little over 24 hours time with a statement victory over the world number one.
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