ATP Astana and Tokyo Odds, Picks, Analysis: How to Bet Novak Djokovic’s Match on Sunday
Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Novak Djokovic.
What a set of ATP 500 finals we have on our hands this week. First up, an all-American tilt in Tokyo, Japan, as Taylor Fritz takes on Frances Tiafoe for the title. Then in Astana, Kazakhstan, it'll be two of the biggest names in the sport in Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas sqauring off for the crown.
Let's take a look at each final and see if we can find some value on each match!
Taylor Fritz (-140) vs. Frances Tiafoe (+115)
3:30 a.m. ET, Tokyo
What a match between Fritz and Tiafoe to kick things off overnight for those on the East Coast.
Now 9-1 in his last 10 matches (not including the exhibition Laver Cup — though he did pick up the Cup-clinching win there as well), Tiafoe is on an absolute tear and taking complete advantage of the relatively quick courts he's been playing on late in the season.
With a well-rounded game that plays up in a big way on quicker courts, one can see why the 24-year-old enjoys the courts found in Flushing Meadows and Tokyo. His game that doesn't possess as much power as many is able to close that gap, and his athletic ability gives him an edge on return.
As for Fritz, the California native has looked quite strong this week, despite needing three sets in each of his wins to this point (his fourth match was a walkover in what was supposed to be a heavyweight tilt against Nick Kyrgios).
Against both Denis Shapovalov and James Duckworth, Fritz may have needed three sets, but won each of those matches by at least five games. The other? He won by a four-game spread against Hiroki Moriya.
Equipped with a booming serve, strong forehand, and above average movement for someone of his stature, Fritz has had a breakout campaign in 2022. His backhand is much sturdier as well, and the jump he's made on return has been noticeable, winning a high percentage of return points this year than we've seen in years past.
With Fritz matching up well with the less powerful Tiafoe in this one, I'm inclined to back him at the relatively cheap price of around -140.
Pick: Fritz ML (-140 via DraftKings)
Novak Djokovic (-375) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (+270)
6:30 a.m. ET, Astana
The second final of the day in the Kazakh capital is certainly the marquee matchup of the two (with all due respect to Fritz and Tiafoe).
Djokovic looks to continue his scintillating form and win his 90th career title (and second in as many weeks), while Tsitsipas is having his best week since Cincinnati, and vying for his first title since June.
It's a matchup that has favored the Serbian over the years, but these two haven't played off of clay in some time, so it will be interesting to see how Tsitsipas fares come Sunday morning.
Luckily for him, the courts in Astana have played slow just about every time they've held a tournament there, and this year is no different.
On a quicker court, that one-handed backhand becomes more of a liability and Djokovic's comfort on faster courts would be a lot for the Greek to overcome. In slower conditions, Tsitsipas' serve and forehand can still hit through the surface, his backhand becomes far more effective and he'll have more time to set up his shots.
That said, though, with Djokovic being the greatest returner the game has seen, he possesses all the necessary skills to match Tsitsipas' strengths.
Further, despite dropping his first set on tour since the first set of the Wimbledon final to Medvedev, his play in that semifinal was exemplary. He was so good and maintained an aggressive mindset to the point he ran Medvedev ragged and forced him to retire after the second-set tiebreak.
Tsitsipas doesn't move nearly as well or have the ability to play a wall-like game from the baseline and extend points like Medvedev can.
If Djokovic can replicate his level from the semifinal and use his impeccable returning abilities on Sunday, he should be able to find enough chances to take this one down in straight sets.
Pick: Djokovic -1.5 Sets (-125 via PointsBet)