2023 Australian Open Day 1 Top Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas Has a Tough Match in Round 1

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Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece returns the ball to Holger Rune of Denmark (not pictured) during the final man singles match of the ATP Stockholm Open tennis tournament. Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

ATP Pick: Over 38.5 Games (-108) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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The Australian Open puts the first ball in play today as the 2023 tennis season is here. The top players in the world will take the court with the quest of starting their season right and lifting the trophy at the end of the fortnight.

Let’s take a look at tonight’s featured match to find a winning ATP pick.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Quentin Halys

Monday, January 15, 2023 – 03:00 AM EST at Margaret Court Arena

Player Profile

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas hopes to get off to a good start this year after a disappointing 2022 season. The Greek player suffered an elbow injury in the middle of the season last year, and rushed back to play as quickly as possible. The lack of proper rehabilitation time caused his play to suffer. He still had a successful season by most player's standards, but as an up-and-coming star, Tsitsipas expects more from himself.

Now fully healthy, Stefanos Tsitsipas hopes to make a mark this year. His play is much sharper and he looks to be in form, having won seven matches to start the season. He went 4-0 in the United Cup against top players such as Andrey Rublev, Grigor Dimitrov, Casper Ruud, and Matteo Berrettini.

He has had success at the Australian Open before: he has reached the semifinals of this tournament in three of his last four appearances here. His powerful serve plays well on the quick surface and allows his forehand to dominate.

If Stefanos Tsitsipas has a weakness, it is still on the backhand side. When his backhand is on, it is one of the most aesthetically pleasing shots in tennis. He hits a heavy topspin off of his one-handed backhand.

Unfortunately for Tsitsipas, his backhand is inconsistent, and opponents have found that they can pick on his weaker wing. However, only the very best players in the world are able to do this. Against most players, the backhand is a weapon.

Quentin Halys

Quentin Halys is a hard-serving French player who was off to a strong start this season. He is a 26-year-old that is ranked number 64 in the world, who can blast this serve, and will play well on the quick courts here in Australia. Halys comes into the match off the back of two strong performances at the warm-up tournaments in Adelaide and Auckland.

Quentin Halys took the best player in the world, Novak Djokovic, to the limit in his loss in Adelaide. Halys eventually lost 7-6, but the fact that the great returner Djokovic could not break his serve shows that he is coming into this match in impressive form.

Quentin Halys followed that up with a strong showing in Auckland before he lost to Jenson Brooksby. Once again, it took two tiebreaks to defeat the Frenchman with the big serve.

How Do the Players Match Up?

Stefanos Tsitsipas will have the advantage in extended rallies; but if Quentin Halys is serving as well as he has been as of late, it might not matter. Halys rarely gives his opponent a chance on return of serve, and even a second serve puts him in a commanding position to win a point.

Because of Quentin Halys' serve, this will be a tough matchup for Stefanos Tsitsipas, as he will need to be near perfect on his own serve in order to keep pace.

Quentin Halys and Stefanos Tsitsipas have played two times, and Halys won both matches. However, these were in lower-level tournaments and took place in 2014 and 2018.

The 2018 meeting was an indoor Challenger event in France where Halys had a strong home-court advantage. In that match, it took a third-set tiebreaker for Halys to prevail.

What to Expect From This Game

While Stefanos Tsitsipas has the much stronger groundstrokes, this match will be close because the quick playing surface will make the serving that much more important.

Halys' ability to hold serve almost guarantees that this will be a long, drawn-out affair. This is a tricky test for the Greek star in his opening match. Tsitsipas knows he will have to be on his game because breaks will be at a premium and he will not get multiple opportunities at breakpoints.

We will see a close match here. This is a good match for Stefanos Tsitsipas to start his tournament. If Tsitsipas wins, he will be moving to the next round in excellent form.

The Betting Pick

Quentin Halys will be able to hold serve, acquit himself well, and take advantage if Tsitsipas does not bring his A-game.

Our best bet to start the Australian Open in winning fashion is Stefanos Tsitsipas/Quentin Halys Over 38.5 games at -108 betting odds.

ATP Pick: Stefanos Tsitsipas/Quentin Halys Over 38.5 Games (-108) at Bookmaker

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