Australian Open predictions: Djokovic vs Pouille betting tips
Lucas Pouille has shown plenty of spirit in Melbourne and we’re backing him to give Novak Djokovic a decent work-out in our Australian Open predictions.
The 24-year-old Frenchman is unlikely to make it through to the final of a grand slam for the first time, but 8/5 for him to take at least one set off the top seed is tempting.
Djokovic beat Denis Shapovalov 3-1 in the third round and it was the same scoreline next time out against Daniil Medvedev, so the Serbian superstar hasn’t been at his clinical best so far.
In the quarter-finals, six-time champion Djokovic benefited from the retirement of Kei Nishikori, with the eighth seed trailing 6-1 4-1.
“This is exactly what the doctor ordered,” he said. “Not to spend too much time on the court. I’m in another semi-final and I’ll do everything to get ready for that one.”
However, that early finish could also work against Djokovic if Pouille can catch him a little cold in what will be their first meeting, so 4/1 for the underdog to claim the opening set catches the eye from the Australian Open odds.
Pouille, the 28th seed, had lost in the first round on his five previous visits to Melbourne and began this season with four defeats.
But the 24-year-old has praised the impact of coach Amelie Mauresmo for helping recapture the form which saw him reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2016.
Pouille back on upward curve
Rafael Nadal was one of his victims at Flushing Meadows that year, with Pouille prevailing in a fifth-set tie-break.
The Frenchman can also boast a win over Andy Murray in Cincinnati last year, so he is not afraid of taking on big names.
Pouille admitted he was not enjoying tennis last season, but has now won as many matches here as he managed at the four slams combined in 2018.
He said: “I guess maybe it happens during a career. It was the first time that it happens to me, that I lost that joy being on the court, going to practise hard.
“Then you lose one match, two matches, three matches, then you lose confidence. It’s tough to come back.
“I took some time to think about myself, about my career. I said, ‘OK, you have maybe 10 more years on tour. Do you want to spend them like this?’
“I said, ‘OK, now you have to move your ass a little bit and go back to it. If you don’t want to practise one day, don’t do it’. That’s how it came back.”
Despite having been far from convincing early on in Melbourne, he certainly impressed when beating 11th seed Borna Coric and a red-hot Milos Raonic, both in four sets.
Each of his last four victories have included a couple of tie-breaks, so Evens for there to be at least one in this clash with Djokovic completes our Australian Open betting tips.Article written by Tony Kelshaw