Novak Djokovic is one match away from achieving the first calendar Grand Slam since Rod Laver in 1969. He faces his toughest test however in number two seed Daniil Medvedev. Which bets should you make in order to make a winning ATP pick?
Daniil Medvedev vs. Novak Djokovic
Sunday, September 12, 2021 – 04:00 PM EDT at Arthur Ashe Stadium
Novak Djokovic is on the verge of history and his performances in Majors this year have been downright dominant. Novak has developed a bit of a habit of dropping the first-set lately so it'll be interesting to see if that comes in a play against his most dangerous opponent yet, Daniil Medvedev. Novak's ability to perform under pressure is unparalleled, however, as shown in his dominant fifth set against Alexander Zverev where he won 6-2. Novak has the best return in the game and in the ATP where breaks of serve are premium, he is dangerous in his ability to break even the best of servers.
Daniil Medvedev is playing some of the best tennis of his life and has never been more poised to take on the challenge of Novak Djokovic. The players met in the final in Melbourne, Australia in the first grand slam of 2021, but Medvedev was not able to keep pace with the all-time great. Djokovic won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. In that match, Medvedev only forced 4 break points total, while facing 11. Medvedev acknowledged the loss and talked about the many ways in which he can improve upon his performance. Medvedev has taken advantage of the conditions here to play some of the best tennis of his career. The crowd will be looking for an upset, it should be a perfect time for Medvedev to take advantage.
Novak has started an interesting trend of losing the first set before going on to dominate matches. He lost the first set to Holger Rune, Kei Nishikori, Jenson Brooksby, Matteo Berrettini, and Alexander Zverev. In the first four matches, he won the next three sets and against Zverev, he dropped the fourth set but dominated the fifth.
Zverev was the first to push Novak to 5 in this tournament, but Novak gave Zverev no hope by starting the 5th set with two breaks en route to a 4-0 lead. When Novak is on a roll, not only does he defeat opponents physically, he defeats them mentally and takes their fighting spirit. That happened to Zverev in the fifth set.
If anyone has the self-confidence and fortitude to not be discouraged by Novak's brilliance, it is Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev famously had the US Open crowd turn against him two years ago, but he played up to the boos and embraced the role of the villain. Eventually, he won the crowd over and is now a fan favorite in New York. His fighting style and aggressive play have won over the New York crowd and tennis fans worldwide alike. Medvedev has only lost 1 set this tournament, dropping the third set 6--4 in his win over Botic Van De Zandschulp. Medvedev recorded straight-set wins over Richard Gasquet, Dominic Koepfer, Pedro Alba Andujar, Dan Evans, and an in-form Felix Auger-Aliassime. Medvedev has looked to be in the best shape of his career and is winning routinely.
The number on the money line, Djokovic (-257) Medvedev (+204), seems to be the correct price. I do like Medvedev plus the games(+4.5), but as shown against Zverev, 1 dominant set could push it out of contention even after being in a great position to cover for the whole match. Because of Djokovic's supreme return game, I do not feel comfortable taking the games either.
The best tennis bet here is Over 38.5 games played. Even if Novak reverses his trend and wins the first set, he is definitely in danger of dropping a set at any point in the match against the aggressive Medvedev. Medvedev has been in fantastic form this fortnight and should provide a stern test to Djokovic. Djokovic did show a bit of nerves in his match against Zverev, with 2 of Zverev’s breaks coming on Djokovic double faults.
Medvedev has a stronger mental game than Zverev and that should come into play. Medvedev's serve is one of the best in the game and his return game has been better than ever this fortnight. Unfortunately, betting against Novak to complete what seems like his inevitable march to the calendar Grand Slam is out of the picture. The over is the best play to make at the best online sportsbooks.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.