Alexander Zverev vs. Denis Shapovalov Australian Open Odds, Picks: Statement to Come From Number Three (Jan. 22)
Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Alexander Zverev hits a backhand in a third round Australian Open match against Radu Albot.
Alexander Zverev vs. Denis Shapovalov
|Time | TV||11 p.m. ET | ESPN+|
|Odds via Caesars. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
In one of the matches of the evening, two of the brightest young stars of the sport will battle for a spot in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
The two have taken different routes to get to this point, but Alexander Zverev and Denis Shapovalov are in the fourth round and looking to go beyond.
How will this blockbuster affair play out?
Good and Bad for Zverev
Zverev comes into the match without a real test thus far in the tournament. The German has faced his fellow countryman Daniel Altmaier, Aussie John Millman and Radu Albot to get to this point. While he’s gotten the job done and converted in all of those matches, he really should be doing that against players ranked outside the top 80.
There are both good and bad signs that have come from those matches. On the worrying side, the double fault issues that have plagued Zverev throughout his whole career have been present. He has averaged 4.4 double faults per match over the past 52 weeks, the eighth-worst number on tour, and that average has been worse this week.
Twenty double faults haven’t been made irrelevant by aces, as he’s only hit 44. I say only because he hit 61 aces in just 11 sets back at the ATP Finals, where he came through as the champion.
On the positive side, he’s still dominating while that’s going on. Zverev has been so consistent on the ground that it hasn’t really bothered him at all. He has had a plus-one winners to unforced errors ratio in each match, and against Albot it was nearly a two-to-one ratio.
Shapovalov Pushed but Persistent
While his most difficult opponent came in the last round in the form of Reilly Opelka, Shapovalov faced some really solid hitters in the first two rounds.
Laslo Djere and Soon-Woo Kwon aren’t the most challenging players to hit through, but they’re incredibly consistent and have the capability of being dangerous. They showed that against Shapovalov, taking a combined three sets off of him and putting the young Canadian in some tough positions.
Shapovalov has fought through them, though, and his best performance came against Opelka, where he found an answer for one of the biggest servers in the game. He limited the American to a 70 percent first serve win rate, far less than what he’s used to.
And speaking of double fault issues? Those are just as persistent for Shapovalov, who has averaged 5.5 per match over the past 52 weeks. He’s hit 15 through three matches, but if he can bomb 15-30 aces as he’s done this week, he’ll be okay with that.
While the head-to-head between these two doesn’t indicate a one-sided history, I’m confident that the value is with the world number three.
Shapovalov has had serious dips throughout the tournament, and when that almost inevitably comes, Zverev is one of the most ruthless players in making sure you aren’t comfortable from the baseline. He’s one of the best defenders in the game, and that doesn’t bode well for any form of Shapovalov that isn’t firing.
That isn’t to say that the Canadian doesn’t have the tools to make Zverev work, but with the way that these two are playing, there are going to be chances for him to take advantage of drops in level.
Back Zverev to take a hold of this match and thrive from there.
Pick: Zverev -5.5 Games (-115)
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