Australian Open Men's Semi-Finals Tips: Back Nadal to be too strong for Berrettini

It's men's singles semi-final day at the Australian Open on Friday so Dan Weston previews two cracking matches and recommends his best bet...

Joining Matteo Berrettini and Rafa Nadal - who won their quarter-finals on Tuesday - from Wednesday's quarters is Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvevev.

If you were told in advance that one would win in straight sets and one in five sets, you'd be forgiven for predicting that it would be Medvedev who got it done with minimal fuss. In fact, it was Tstisipas, who eased past Jannik Sinner 3-0.

As for pre-tournament favourite Medvedev, the Russian needed five sets to battle past Felix Auger-Aliassime, and to recover from two sets down. The third set tiebreak, won 7-2 by Medvedev, was pivotal to that turnaround, although Auger-Aliassime also had a match point towards the end of set four.

As I've said numerous times, the outcome of top level tennis matches (and tournaments) are often dictated by high variance moments, and fine margins, and this match illustrated my point.

Nadal will be a test too far for battling Berrettini

The first match on the schedule for Friday features Tuesday winners Berrettini and Nadal, and it's Nadal who is the favourite at the 1.55 on the Exchange. This shows how mispriced Berrettini was against Carlos Alcaraz earlier in the tournament - he wasn't far from the same underdog price for that match - and I'm not convinced about this line either.

On hard court in the last 12 months, Nadal has an edge on serve and in particular, return, from their numbers, and has a similar advantage based on 2022 data in isolation as well.

Throw into the mix that Berrettini has played two five-setters in the previous three rounds, and dropped sets as a heavy favourite in the opening two rounds as well, and it's logical to think there is some value here on Nadal.

Two five-setters in a few days before facing Nadal - one of the biggest physical tests in tennis - is far from ideal. Nadal is today's recommendation.

Medvedev to see off Tsitsipas again

In the second semi-final, Medvedev is the solid [1.44 ] favourite against Tsitsipas 3.2, and despite the contrasting nature of their quarter-final victories, I can't dispute that the Russian should be this price to progress to Sunday's final.

Despite some recent victories for Tsitsipas, Medvedev has generally seen him off in their previous meetings, winning six of their eight matches on tour, and all four on outdoor hard courts.

In those, Tsitsipas failed to put pressure on the Medvedev serve, winning just 28% of return points and breaking just over 13% of the time. Even on other surfaces, Tsitsipas has really struggled on return against the Russian.

This gives a clear area for Tsitsipas to address if he is to win on Friday, but also illustrates why Medvedev is favourite to keep his run going in Melbourne.

0 nhận xét Blogger 0 Facebook

Post a Comment