Tennis Betting Advice - February 2021
Australian Open: Men’s Final Preview – Djokovic v Medvedev…
Saturday 20th February 2021
In your Ones to Watch email today:
Welcome to Day 14 of your Ones to Watch Australian Open daily service…
Men’s Final Preview – Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev
We’ve got a massive, mouth-watering match to look forward to on Sunday morning. I shall be tuning in at 8.30am, coffee in hand, in expectation of a classic men’s final. I’ve even got some hot cross buns in, for a treat…
On one side of the net, the World No.1 and reigning multiple Australian Open champion… on the other, a ‘Next Gen’ star looking to wrestle the trophy from the household name, and land a first Grand Slam title.
Going to town…
The bookies know Djokovic v Medvedev is a big one, too. They’ve gone to town, with a huge variety of specials and ‘request-a-bet’ markets on offer…
For example, Skybet’s list of betting options is huge. Including plenty of large prices to tempt you in, for some far-fetched although not outrageously unlikely outcomes.
‘The first four games of the match to all go to deuce’ is 150/1, for instance.
In Medvedev’s one previous Grand Slam final appearance, he came back from two sets down to take Rafael Nadal to a final set, only for the Spaniard to ultimately come out on top in the fifth…
A repeat of that pattern of sets is 33/1 in Skybet’s ‘Set Exacta’ market – which is spelled out as Djokovic WWLLW. Medvedev to go one better this time, and come from 0-2 down to win 3-2, is 35/1 (eg. Medvedev LLWWW).
If serve is king and someone edges the match in three of the closest sets possible, Skybet’s ‘Tiebreak Triumph’ market has Djokovic and Medvedev at 200/1 each ‘to win every set 7-6.’ Eg. a 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 win.
Specials and streakers…
It’s not just Skybet that are getting involved. Betway have waded in, too. With a series of bets focusing on extracurricular activity…
I’m not making these up. These are the names of some of the options being offered at Betway:
AMBULANCE – Both Players To Have A Medical Time-Out In The Match (4/1)
TEMPER, TEMPER – Djokovic To Break His Racket In Anger (7/2)
TEMPER, TEMPER – Medvedev To Break His Racket In Anger (4/1)
STREAKER ALERT – Fan To Run On Court Naked Or Semi-Naked (100/1)
Or how about:
HUNGRY TENNIS BAGEL – Any Set To Finish 6-0 (10/1)
At Bet365, the match is 12/1 to ‘Go The Distance’ and be settled in a fifth-set championship tiebreaker. That was the case in last year’s US Open final, where Dominic Thiem came from two sets down to beat Alexander Zverev 3-2, winning the fifth set on the tiebreak (7-6).
A few bookies have got options based around saving a match point. For example, at Boylesports, ‘Either Player to Save a Match Point and Win the Match’ is 12/1. That happened in the Wimbledon 2019 final, with Djokovic saving match points and going on to beat Roger Federer.
If spread betting is your thing, then a long, closely-contested match could produce a high result in a spread market such as ‘X-Courts.’ This is settled by multiplying the player games in each set, and adding the sets together.
For example, a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 score-line would be calculated as: 18 (6x3) + 24 (4x6) + 24 (6x4) + 42 (6x7) + 12 (6x2) = 120.
SpreadEx have their X-Courts ‘Buy’ line (eg. to bet high) at 110. SpreadEx are a little higher, at 116.
As my example suggests, you’d probably need the match to turn into a full-scale epic to make it worth the risk. And risk is the word with spread betting. A 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 score-line, for example, would settle at just 66. Meaning a big loss on a Buy of the X-Courts at those 110 and 116 quotes.
What else can I tell you about this match? The career head-to-head is 4-3 to Djokovic. The Match Winner odds reflect that, with 5/6 (1.83) Djokovic a marginal favourite to beat Medvedev, who is priced at Evens (2.0).
There’s something of a pattern in the first set scores when these guys play each other:
In anticipation of a five-set classic, we can point to recent Grand Slams where the young guns have challenged the big boys, Djokovic and Nadal…
Earlier this week, Stefanos Tsitsipas came from 0-2 down to beat Nadal, 3-2.
In his debut Grand Slam final, as noted above, Medvedev came from 0-2 down to push Nadal to a decider (lost 3-2).
And last year’s breakthrough first-time men’s Major winner, Dominic Thiem, took Djokovic to the full five sets here in the Australian Open final (lost 3-2). Before finally getting the big Grand Slam win, with Thiem coming from 0-2 down to win 3-2 v Zverev at the US Open.
My feeling here, with all that five-set evidence to back it up, too – is that this could well go the full five sets. In the Total Sets market, that option is 2/1 (3.0).
I can see Medvedev pushing through to claim his big moment, and a first Grand Slam title. Beating Novak in a final is very, very tough. Rather than taking Evens for Medvedev to win the match, I’m very much drawn to the bigger prices and the 3-2 Set Betting route, at 13/2 (7.5) or 11/2 (6.5).
Medvedev has served the Most Aces in four of their last six meetings.
But here at the Australian Open 2021, Djokovic’s serving has been a revelation. He’s No.1 on the tournament Most Aces chart, with a cool 100 rained down across his six matches (average of 16.7 per match). Medvedev has hit 74 (average of 12.3 per match).
Novak has been on court for a total of 23 sets. Making his Aces per set average 4.35.
Daniil has played 20 sets, with his Aces per set average at 3.7.
In the Most Aces market, Medvedev is a short odds-on favourite, around 1/3 (1.33). With Djokovic the 11/4 (3.75) outsider with Bet365, Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook.
It could be that the fast courts at this year’s event are helping ramp up Djokovic’s ace count. It could also be down to the background injury problems that the World No.1 has been battling – going for his serve more, with the risk-reward balance aiming for more ‘free points’ and less gruelling rallies.
Although, if we’re talking gruelling rallies, this match really is likely to produce a whole lot of them…
In the 4th round of the Australian Open 2019, these two met for the first and – until now – only time at a Grand Slam. I was on Medvedev at 6/1 to produce the match upset that day. Djokovic beat him, three sets to one. But it was a hell of a match…
And if I remember correctly, it was John McEnroe in the commentary booth who stated surprise – and admiration – at the way the Russian came out to take on Novak at his own game. That being, to drag him into long rallies, and see who gets worn down first. It’s a brave tactic against the Serbian. But Medvedev is a brave player…
Among the plethora of specials on offer with bookmakers, I can’t see one for ‘Longest Rally.’ That’s a shame. We might see a 30 or 40-shotter here.
Pick what you will from my match preview. There’s certainly no shortage of markets…
I’m going for the 3-2 Medvedev win at 13/2. And the First Set Score of 6-3 Medvedev at a standout 12/1 – which has been the outcome in the opening set in three of their seven previous meetings. If he’s going to beat the World No.1, then a fast start will be vital.
Ones to Watch:
Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev
I’ll be back on Sunday, with a first look at the draws and Outright Winner prices for next week’s four ATP & WTA tournaments.
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Enjoy the tennis…