With the 2021 Australian Open approaching it’s first weekend and the field of legitimate title contenders narrowing, it’s time to make some fun-filled ATP tennis betting predictions. Let’s jump right into action so you can keep making your bets against their Australian Open odds.
Australian Open ATP: Updates, Upsets, Surprises, Dark Horses…
Will the prohibitive favorite, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, destined to complete a three-peat? Could one of the other top odds-on-favorites hoist this year’s championship hardware. Hell, is it possible we could see a dark horse winner that upsets the entire apple cart? With the fourth round set to get underway in just over 24 hours, let’s get started.
- Mikael Ymer
The 22-year-old world No. 95 upset 26th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz in four sets the opening round before dispatching qualifier Carlos Alcaraz in four sets in the second round. Next up is sixth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas who narrowly got past Thanasi Kokkinakis in a five-set thriller in the second round. Could the talented Ymer pull off the upset over a likely weary Tsitsipas? Their third round matchup bears watching.
- Novak Djokovic
- Rafael Nadal
- Dominic Thiem
- Daniil Medvedev
The top-seeded Djokovic had a tough time on his hands in the second round before getting past American Frances Tiafoe in a four-set thriller that featured a pair of tie-break sets the pair split. The second-seeded Nadal has won his first two matches in an identical three sets, but had battled a mild back issue that I think could be a problem moving forward.
No. 3 seed, Thiem needed an opening set tie break to get past Mikhail Kukushkin, but has looked phenomenal in five sets since. Thiem however, will have his hands completely full in the next round and I’ll get to why in just a bit. Fourth-seeded Daniil Medvedev, my pick to win this year’s Australian Open, has looked fantastic in winning both of his first two matches in straight sets. As it stands right now, I’m unperturbed in my belief that Medvedev can and will claim his first grand slam trophy in this event.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a surprise since seventh-seeded Andrey Rublev was one of my top under the radar contenders, but the blossoming 23-year-old Russian has looked great in winning his first two matches in straight sets.
14th-seeded Milos Raonic looks dangerous. After cruising in his opener, the big-serving Canadian dropped the first set of his second round matchup against Frenchman Corentin Moutet before regrouping to steamroll his opponent the next three sets. I like Raonic to get past Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the third round even though the world No. 55 stunned Stan Wawrinka in a five-set thriller in the second round.
World No. 27 and 23rd-seeded Dusan Lajovic needed five sets to win his opener against veteran Sergiy Stakhovsky and four sets to dispatch Alexander Bublik in the second round. However, Lajovic looks like he could easily reach the fourth round by getting past Spaniard Pedro Martinez in the third round.
My dark horse category is loaded with contenders, though four of these players will square off in the next round.
Unranked Australian Nick Kyrgios takes on Thiem in the third round. The fiery 25-year-old won his opener in three identical 6-4 sets but needed to go the distance in order to get past No. 29 seed Ugo Humbert in a five-set thriller in the second round.
While Kyrgios possesses the skills to beat any player on the planet, the volatile star isn’t the most mature player on tour. Still, Kyrgios serves bombs like they’re going out of style and could very well pull off the upset over Thiem if he can ‘keep it together’.
No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime and No. 11 Denis Shapovalov also look like threats, although one is going home after they meet in the third round. The 20-year-old Aliassime has looked flawless in winning his first two matches in straight sets. The 21-year-old Shapovalov needed five sets to get past the talented Jannik Sinner in the opening round before dispatching ‘quitter extraordinaire’ Bernard Tomic in the second round. The aptly named FA2 was my under the radar pick to make a deep, title-challenging run and I’m sticking to that as it stands right now.
No. 18 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 15 Pablo Carreno Busta have both looked like legitimate challengers through two matches. The 29-year-old Dimitrov has won both of his first two matches in straight sets while dispatching 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic in the first round. Carreno Busta took out Kei Nishikori in a three-set thriller before getting past Jan Vessely in four sets in the second round. The winner of their third round match could surprise moving forward.
Last, but certainly not least is ‘my guy’ eighth-seeded Diego Schwartzman. The diminutive world No. 9 might not have the raw power of many of his bigger contemporaries, but no one on tour has the competitive will of the speedy Argentinian. Following a career year in 2020 that saw him break into the world’s top 10, I’ve got Schwartzman challenging after winning his opener over Elias Ymer in four sets and getting past lucky loser Alexandre Muller in an easy three-set win in the second round. Schwartzman looks like a lock to win his third round matchup against qualifier Aslan Karatsev. After that, anything’s possible for the tireless wonder.
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