2020 Tokyo Olympics tennis Day 9 best bets: Zverev vs. Khachanov in gold medal match

Alexander Zverev reacts to a point at the 2019 U.S. Open.
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Surprisingly, there is no Novak Djokovic in the gold-medal match at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Instead, the top spot on the podium all comes down to Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov. Djokovic was relegated to the bronze-medal showdown after losing to Zverev in the semis (and then the world No. 1 lost again to Pablo Carreno Busta). Will Zverev keep the momentum going and claim gold, or can Khachanov pull off the upset? Let’s take a look at our best bets on Day 9 in Tokyo.

Alexander Zverev -1.5 sets (-110)

The head-to-head series is all tied up at 2-2, with Zverev taking the first two matches before Khachanov reeled off two wins of his own at Masters 1000 tourmaments in 2018 (Paris) and 2019 (Montreal).

That’s not a bad record for Khachanov, but consider that they have not faced each other in two years. Since 2019, these two competitors have gone in very different directions. Zverev has established himself as a staple of the top five, whereas Khachanov just barely peaked inside the top 10 at one point and now finds himself at 25th in the rankings. In fact, going into Wimbledon the Russian’s 2021 match record stood at a disappointing 16-15. A quarterfinal performance at the All-England Club seems to have turned things around, however. So far in Tokyo he has defeated Yoshihito Nishioka, James Duckworth, Diego Schwartzman, Ugo Humbert, and eventual bronze medalist Pablo Carreno Busta.

Zverev booked his spot in the gold-medal match by beating Yen-Hsun Lu, Daniel Elahi Galan, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Jeremy Chardy, and Novak Djokovic. That may be an unspectacular assembly of opponents prior to the semis, but an upset of Djokovic is all you need to know about the German’s level. The way Zverev did it was especially impressive: coming back from a set and a break down to take 10 of the last 11 games.

Perhaps even more encouraging for Zverev’s prospects in the final is that he is serving incredibly well. The No. 4 seed has double-faulted only twice in the entire tournament. That is nothing short of a mind-boggling statistic given that doubles are normally the weakness of Zverev’s game.

It should also be noted that this is just the fifth final of Khachanov’s career and only his second big one (he won the 2018 Paris Masters). Zverev, on the hand, is no stranger to playing on the biggest stages in the world. With the way he is serving, the world No. 5 has the edge.

Make sure you check the rest of our picks for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics



Pickswise is the home of expert ATP Tennis and WTA Tennis Predictions. Our tennis handicappers provide expert insight along with the best tennis bets throughout the big tournaments on the tour, including the Grand Slam events and the Olympics.

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