Australian Open 2019 Men’s Final Betting Tips: Serbian Slam

Australian Open 2019 Men’s Final Betting Tips: Serbian Slam

It will be legend vs legend in the Australian Open men’s final. #1 Novak Djokovic and #2 Rafael Nadal both rolled into the final without any fuss whatsoever, proving to some of the younger players that these guys still have some gas left in the tank.

Tennis betting will likely show little to no separation between the two. The historic rivalry between the two should continue to put on a show in the final. But if you are betting on the Australian Open, who should you go with?

Djokovic vs Nadal Rivalry

Believe it or not, but Djokovic and Nadal have played each other more than Nadal and Federer. 52 matches to be exact, with Djokovic leading the series 27-25. They’ve met 15 times in major opens, 7 times in the final.

Predictably, Nadal has the edge on clay courts, but the results have been dead even on hard court in major opens at 2 each. The last time the two met on hard court in the final was the 2013 US Open, which Nadal took in 4 sets. Their most recent hard court meeting was Indian Wells 2016, which Djokovic took in two sets (non major tournaments are best 2 of 3).

Stunningly, they’ve only ever met once at the Australian Open, the final of the 2012 tournament that saw Djokovic win in 5 sets. The Australian Open has traditionally been Djokovic’s best tournament, winning the title 6 times – more than any of the other three major opens. Additionally, across all competitions, Djokovic holds the edge on hard court at 18-7.

Djokovic’s Path to the Final

The world’s #1 hasn’t run into a whole lot of trouble on his way to the final. A pair of straight sets victories in the first two rounds came and went for the Serbian, before needing an extra set to defeat the tournament’s #25 seed Denis Shapovalov.

His first tiebreaker came in his round of 16 match against #15 seed Daniil Medvedev, but Djokovic won in 4 sets there too. The quarterfinal match was a disappointing non-contest as #8 Kei Nishikori had to retire in the second set due to injury.

A well rested Djokovic then steamrolled tournament surprise Lucas Pouille, surrendering four games in three sets on his way to the final. Following his most dominant performance of the tournament, Djokovic is being offered as an 8/11 favorite at Unibet.

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Nadal’s Path to the Final

It’s a bit surprising that Nadal is as heavy of an underdog as he is. Admittedly, the world #2 is only a 57/50 underdog on Unibet, but someone following Nadal’s 2019 Australian Open run might think that Nadal and Djokovic would be offered at 10/11 each and be done with it.

The Spaniard has yet to drop a set the entire tournament. He had one tiebreak against Tomas Berdych in the round of 16, which he won 7-4. Other than that, this has been one of Nadal’s most dominant runs to date, which makes the pre-tournament doubt about him rather funny in hindsight.

Nadal has been overcoming everything this tournament, and ruining every (1) suggestion (2) I’ve made about his side of the bracket. Both Francis Tiafoe and Stefanos Tsitsipas were looking strong entering the quarter and semifinals, but Nadal quickly and efficiently brought an end to both runs.

Who to Back

The bet really comes down to the surface that the tournament is being played on. At the risk of discounting Nadal again, the bet is Djokovic at 8/11 on Unibet. You can even make a case to bet Djokovic to cover -1.5 games for 10/11, but it’s a better bet to simply back a Djokovic win.

The fact is that Djokovic is simply the better all-around player while Nadal is the god of clay courts. Had this match been at Rolland Garros, then it would be foolish to bet against Nadal regardless of the odds. Nadal has been playing the better tennis up to this point, but Djokovic has always been the better hard court player and the Serbian is significantly closer to Nadal's skill level than anyone else in the tournament. Additionally, Djokovic has had Nadal's number recently, winning all but 2 meetings since 2015 including three clay court encounters.

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