With the 2021 Australian Open heading into its second week of action, you’re in for a real treat when top-seeded Novak Djokovic takes on No. 6 seed Alex Zverev in the quarterfinal round.
Djokovic, the sportsbook betting favorite, is looking to take another step toward an Australian Open three-peat. Zverev is the underdog to win, but also, one of the game’s most elite young players. Could the two-time defending champ and world No. 1 fall victim to the hungry young German? Will the sweet-swinging Serbian take care of business to cash in against his online betting tennis odds?
Let’s find out what the likely scenario is for this highly-anticipated clash of heavyweights.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs No. 6 Alexander Zverev
When: Tuesday, 4:15 a.m. ET
TV: USA – ESPN, Tennis Channel, India – Sony Six
Quarterfinal Round ATP Odds
Novak Djokovic -3½
Alexander Zverev +3½
Djoker Is Battling
Novak Djkovic hasn’t “cruised” into the quarterfinals. The 33-year-old Serbian has had to battle. The two-time reigning Aussie Open champ blitzed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in his opener, 6-3, 6-1, 6-2 but had a tougher time dispatching American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 6-3. Djokovic managed to get past 27th seeded American Taylor Fritz in a five-set thriller after suffering what appeared to be an abdominal injury in the third set.
Following the match, Djokovic would not elaborate on the injury, although he claimed if he were competing in any event that wasn’t a major, he would have pulled out. Djokovic got past 14th-seeded Milos Raonic 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday while showing no effects from the injury. Now, some in the tennis community are calling Djokovic’s injury ‘”fake.”
“Looking at his performance so far vs Raonic, it is difficult to believe that Novak has an abdominal muscle tear…” Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mourtagolou posted on Twitter. “Sometimes, Novak (Djokovic) plays a bit with the mind of the opponent when he’s in trouble, pretending he’s giving up. And then, boom, he plays again. He’s done that a lot of time in the past, OK, but he never fakes an injury.”
“I understand that you want to know, but I really don’t want to get into it what it is,” Djokovic said when asked about the mysterious injury. “I know what it is, but I don’t want to talk about it now. I’m still in the tournament.”
It Could Happen For Sasha
Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev needed four sets to get past Marcos Giron in his opener before dispatching Maxime Cressy and No. 32 seed Adrian Mannarino in straight sets in the next two rounds. Zverev got past No. 23 seed Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Sunday. Zverev has been serving phenomenally through four matches and ranks fourth in serves heading into the quarterfinals (65).
Novak Djokovic owns a 5-2 career edge against Alexander Zverev. More importantly, the world No. 1 has dominated this series recently. After dropping two of the first three matchups, Djokovic has won four straight meetings including a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 7-5 win at the ATP Cup Australia last month.
I predicted that Novak Djokovic would not win this year’s Aussie Open and I genuinely believe this is where his 2021 tournament comes to a crashing end. Alexander Zverev is the younger and bigger player and has had an easier path to the quarterfinals. Zverev also has solid and consistent groundstrokes off of both wings.
More importantly, I like what I’ve been hearing from Zverev in recent interviews and I believe he’s grown immensely as a player since suffering a heartbreaking five-set loss to Dominic Thiem in last year’s US Open finals.
I’m feeling like a huge upset is brewing, although it’s not much of an upset in my mind because of his talent level. Sascha Zverev is right in the mix of top-tier players just behind Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer and I believe he’s due to get his first major this year. I like Zverev as the underdog pick at +165 while the final tally tops the 40-game Over/Under total.
Pick: Alexander Zverev in Five Sets
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