The Australian Open action over the weekend has both reduced the field in the Men’s Singles event and improved the chances of anyone backing the top three as Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal all made stride towards the business end of the year’s first Grand Slam.
Others fell by the wayside, however, including both men who were involved in the game of the Australian Open so far.
Kyrgios Leads by Two Sets, Loses in Five
The roar of approval for Nick Kyrgios in taking on Dominic Thiem could have been heard from the moon as the bad boy of men’s tennis clashed with a player he had previously described as exciting as “watching paint dry”.
It was Kyrgios who started best, up to all his old tricks to gain every advantage he could against a tough opponent. From under-arm serving to vicious forehands let loose with an almost personal level of anger against the ball for daring to cross the net, Kyrgios raced into a two-set before his opponent had a chance to set himself.
Thereafter, however, Thiem’s immense experience counted. Grinding himself back into the contest, the Austrian frustrated his opponent before drawing level. In the fifth and final set, Kyrgios had chances to put pressure on his opponent but too often they quickly slid away to leave his own serve to be tested. In the end, Thiem did enough to force the break and get over the line.
The Field Narrows
Despite that victory, the quick turnaround time determined Thiem’s Round of 16 match against Grigor Dimtrov would go against him, with a simple straight sets win for the Bulgarian meaning he progressed. With Novak Djokovic making it past Milos Raonic despite a troubling abdominal injury, the Serb’s 7-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory would be bettered by German Alexander Zverev, who won 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 against Djokovic’s fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic.
Elsewhere, Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev continues to fulfill his dreams and although he’s a 66/1 outsider, is a dangerous opponent for anyone left in the draw. He will play Dimitrov hoping the big Bulgarian slips up.
With Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev possibly on a collision course to renew their 2019 U.S. Open rivalry, each man will be trying to catch the other on a bad day.
Here are the latest Men’s Singles odds to win the Australian Open title:
Australian Open Men’s Singles Latest Odds(via Oddschecker):
Novak Djokovic – 7/4
Daniil Medvedev – 3/1
Rafael Nadal – 5/1
Alexander Zverev – 7/1
Stefanos Tsitsipas – 12/1
Andrey Rublev – 12/1
Grigor Dimitrov – 12/1