Grigor Dimitrov smashed Dominic Thiem in the fourth-round as predicted by The Wolf, and Day 8 could see another upset when Fabio Fognini faces Rafael Nadal.
Here are The Wolf’s Australian Open tips for Day 8.
This is the match of the day, with both players inside the top ten and capable of playing some big-hitting tennis.
Tsitsipas is the short-priced favourite at $1.22 which is far too short for mine against the quality of Matteo Berrettini, but he does hold a 2-0 career record and has won two of three exhibition matches on top of this.
It’s $1.53 for this match to go over 3.5 sets, but you may as well take the over 39.5 games as both players play in plenty of sets that go to 7.
Over the last 52 weeks, 21.2% of the sets Berrettini has played in have been tie-breakers – unfortunately for the Italian his win record in these are below 50%. So far this Australian Open, the Italian has played in four tie-breakers from his ten sets, plus another set that went 7-5.
Only two of Tsitsipas’ 11 sets this tournament have resulted in tie-breakers, but prior to the Australian Open nine of his last ten matches included a set going to 7.
The Wolf expects this to be a lot closer than the head to head odds suggest, with a four or five set match on the cards which should easily clear the 40.5 game line.
Jennifer Brady keeps getting the job done for The Wolf, and although he’s expecting a much tighter contest against Croatian Donna Vekic, the American should prove too strong in this.
Brady has played Vekic on the clay back in 2018, with the Croatian winning in three sets. This being said, at the time Vekic was ranked 34 spots higher than the American, and the clay courts certainly don’t suit Brady’s game.
The Wolf is quite surprised Donna Vekic has reached the Round of 16. Although she’s yet to face a seed both Nadia Podoroska and Kaia Kanepi are both quality opponents, and leading into the Australian Open the Croatian had lost her last six matches.
Vekic may have overcome Kanepi, but Brady is much better and in very good form dropping just 11 games this tournament. The American should win in straight sets once again.
The Russian had his scare in the third-round against Filip Krajinovic who is more than capable of doing that against quality opponents but expect Daniil Medvedev to bounce back.
The Wolf picked Medvedev to win the Australian Open pre-tournament at $5, and the Russian is now outright favourite at $3.30 ahead of his fourth-round clash against the 192nd ranked Mackenzine McDonald.
McDonald has done a fantastic job to reach the fourth round with his big scalp in the second round against Borna Coric, but the task of Daniil Medvedev is going to be too much.
The two have played three times across their career with Medvedev winning all three matches without dropping a set, their most recent encounter in April 2019 on clay with the Russian winning 6-3 6-2 – an impressive scoreline by Medvedev considering he’s shocking on the red-dirt and has never won a match at Roland Garros across his entire career.
He’ll be determined to spend as little time on court as possible with the prospect of facing fellow Russian Andrey Rublev in the quarter final, so expect Medvedev to pull no punches in a quick win.
Exciting to see Nadal and Fognini meet for the 17th time across their career, but only the third time at Grand Slam level.
The Wolf said the $5.50 on offer for Fognini against Alex De Minaur seemed incredibly long, but still expected the Australian to be too good. But the Italian was clinical in a straight sets win, making De Minaur look second-rate.
Nadal leads the head-to-head battle 12-4 across their career, but Fognini did chalk up a win the last time they met in a major, with a third round five-set victory at the 2015 US Open. In their last three contests, Nadal leads 2-1 but the Italian has taken a set off the Spaniard in both of those losses.
Although Nadal has won with ease in all three matches this Australian Open, the quality of opposition hasn’t been there – Laslo Djere is a pure clay-courter with zero hard-court game, Michael Mmoh would struggle in a Tuesday Night rec-league played out of Kooyong, and Cam Norrie really challenged Nadal despite having limited weapons.
Although The Wolf still expects Nadal to be too good, the $1.70 for Fognini to win a set looks a great play along with the value bet of Nadal to win in four or five sets.
Fognini to win a set (M)