US Open Men's Singles Final Tips: Djokovic favourite for yet another Slam title

Serbian Tennis Player Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic is favourite to celebrate another Grand Slam trophy...

Following Daniil Medvedev's shock win over Carlos Alcaraz in the men's singles semi-final, the third seed now faces the ultimate test in the final - Novak Djokovic. Dan Weston discusses the potential for an upset...

  • Medvedev ruins chances of Alcaraz/Djokovic final

  • Djokovic serve likely to be the key factor on Sunday

  • Medvedev has challenged Djokovic of late

  • Alcaraz shocked by Medvedev as Djokovic eases through

    In Friday's semi-finals, Novak Djokovic easily disposed of Ben Shelton in straight sets, adding another win to his now total of five straight-set wins in the tournament so far, but his main outright market rival Carlos Alcaraz was dumped out by Daniil Medvedev in four sets to ruin the chances of the two market leaders fighting for a repeat of the Wimbledon and Cincinnati finals recently.

    Medvedev competitive in recent head-to-head matches

    From the start of the French Open, Djokovic is 24-1, with the five-set loss to Alcaraz at Wimbledon the only defeat he has suffered - but he has beaten the Spaniard twice in that run of wins as well, so he's currently got the edge over Alcaraz. He's also had the better of Medvedev in their recent clashes, winning four of the last five, but Medvedev did inflict defeat on Djokovic last time out in the semi-finals of Dubai six months ago.

    In those recent five matches between the two players, there's not actually been much between the duo in terms of points won percentages. Medvedev is at 48%, with Djokovic at 52%, which isn't reflective of the dominance Djokovic has had with the results.

    The main issue is significant underperformance from Medvedev on break points on serve, or you could frame it as significant overperformance from Djokovic on break points on return. Either way, though, it's pretty unsustainable and the data from their recent head-to-head clashes suggests this could be closer than the market suggests.

    Djokovic's serve advantage makes him a justified favourite

    This leads us nicely onto market pricing. Djokovic is 1.444/9 to get the win, a little shorter-priced than he was in Dubai, where he was 1.51/2, and in Adelaide in January, when he was around the 1.654/6 mark.

    There's probably enough in their form since then to suggest Djokovic should be backed in from those prices though, given the previously mentioned strong run of recent form and the relatively inconsistent level shown by Medvedev this year.

    Certainly on hard court this year, Djokovic has won 5% more points on serve than Medvedev, with similar return data, so that sort of advantage does tally with the current market pricing, and there's a pretty much identical dynamic in the data from their six matches in the tournament so far too - Djokovic with much better serve numbers than his rival.

    That edge for Djokovic makes him a worthy favourite here, although Medvedev has shown - both on Friday in the semi-final, and in previous events and head-to-head matches - that he is capable of giving Djokovic a real challenge, making for a fascinating final on Sunday evening.

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