Best tennis prop bets for Day 9 at the Australian Open

Grigor Dimitrov
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis· 1 year ago

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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.

The Australian Open has forged ahead to week two, albeit no longer with fans—at least for two more days—because of coronavirus concerns in Melbourne. With or without fans, the show goes on and we can now look ahead to the beginning of quarterfinal action on Tuesday.

Let’s take a look at the four best prop bets for the men’s and women’s quarterfinals.

Grigor Dimitrov vs. Aslan Karatsev: Both players to win at least one set (-205)

Who is Aslan Karatsev?!?! Even relatively hardcore tennis aficionados may have been asking that question throughout this tournament. The 27-year-old had never even played in the main draw of any Grand Slam prior to this one, and now he finds himself in the quarterfinals of his debut appearance. Karatsev is simply on fire right now. He erased Egor Gerasimov 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 in the second round, upset No. 8 seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in the third round, and then came back from two sets down to beat No. 20 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in five. The Russian has a bigger game than Dimitrov, so he will actually dictate the outcome of this contest. Dimitrov, though, is an incredible athlete who can play great defense against Karatsev’s power. Moreover, the Bulgarian is now a six-time slam quarterfinalist—four of which have come Down Under. This should be an entertaining and competitive contest.

Novak Djokovic vs. Alexander Zverev: Zverev to win the match and both players to win at least one set (+260)

While the Dimitrov-Karatsev pick is the safe play in this group, this Djokovic-Zverev pick is the relative longshot. That being said, it is well within reason. Zverev is more than capable of upsetting Djokovic, but it’s hard to see the German doing so in easy straight sets. After all, Djokovic is the world No. 1 and an eight-time champion of this tournament. Zverev has won two of their seven previous head-to-head meetings, which compared to most others is a pretty decent record against the Serb. They just squared off at the ATP Cup team competition a little more than a week ago and Djokovic survived a competitive three-setter. Although the top seed looked decent on Sunday, some concern remains in regard to his possible abdominal injury. Zverev can win fair and square, but he his chances obviously improve even more if Djokovic is less than 100 percent.

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

Naomi Osaka vs. Hsieh Su-wei: Set one to have more games than set two (+100)

Hsieh is a big underdog in this one and in all likelihood Osaka will roll in straight sets. However, I can definitely see the 35-year-old from Chinese Taipei putting up a fight early before wearing down. In five previous head-to-head meetings (four won by Osaka), every first set has been either 6-4, 7-5, or 7-6. A tiebreaker was required to decide the opener of their most recent encounter (Cincinnati 2019). It should also be noted that Osaka has been somewhat of a slow starter of late. She dropped the first set to Garbine Muguruza on Sunday and she also came back from a set down in one of her matches at a smaller tournament in Melbourne earlier this month. In the 2020 U.S. Open final against Victoria Azarenka, Osaka dropped the opening set before triumphing in three.

Simona Halep vs. Serena Williams: Under 22.5 games (-145)

The actual spread is 21.5, but let’s tease it up to 22.5 at the expense of a slightly smaller payout. At 22.5, the under would cash on either a 7-6, 6-3 scoreline or a 7-5, 6-4 result. I know Serena is coming off a tight three-setter against Aryna Sabalenka, but that was hardly surprising in a matchup between two of the biggest servers and biggest hitters in the game. When Serena plays against Halep, however, the contrast in styles is immense. It’s power vs. defense and counter-punching. That can often lead to lopsided results. When Serena is hot, she can blow Halep off the court. When the American is even a little bit off her game, Halep can take advantage simply by getting ball after ball in play. I would give an edge to Serena on a fast hard court, but if Halep steals the first set I can see the Romanian running away with it.

Pickswise is the home of free tennis predictions. Make sure to check out our daily previews and picks throughout the 2021 Australian Open—and during all of the Grand Slams.

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