Australian Open Day 6 Picks: Is Novak Djokovic Limited By Injury Or Will He Thrive Against Grigor Dimitrov?
Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Novak Djokovic.
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Important questions will be answered tonight at the Australian open. As Novak faces his biggest test yet in Grigor Dimitrov, how will his hamstring hold up?
Alex de Minaur often thrives in the Australian environment, but can Benjamin Bonzi drown out the noise and keep up his great form?
Let’s dive in to my picks and predictions as these players look to book the final spots in round four.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Australian Open matches.
Novak Djokovic (-600) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (+450)
3 a.m. ET
All eyes will be on Djokovic in this match. His description of his hamstring injury has gone from “not ideal” to “not good at all”. Having to take a lengthy medical timeout in his previous match, Djokovic returned to dominate the final two sets of the match. His hamstring injury is clearly an issue, but a bagel in each of his first two matches says something about the level he is still playing at.
Dimitrov has done well in his opening two rounds. He dropped zero sets overall and lost just five games in his previous round, and Dimitrov is showing no signs of rust despite his infrequent tournament play.
As one of the most athletic players on Tour, Dimitrov moves fluidly around the court and when his game is clicking, there are few more satisfying to watch. Dimitrov has the game to test Djokovic, especially if his hamstring issue continues to linger today. With great point construction and shot patience, Djokovic will be put to the test.
Yes, Djokovic is 9-1 against Dimitrov, but Dimitrov has managed to push him many times. With his recent level of play and a style that could put an injured hamstring under immense pressure, I will ride with the Bulgarian to make life difficult for Djokovic.
Pick: Dimitrov +7.5 games (-135 via DraftKings)
Alex de Minaur (-380) vs. Benjamin Bonzi (+290)
10:30 p.m. ET
Not many people can get the crowd going like de Minaur. His play is electric, his speed in unfathomable and his energy is unmatched. While playing in Australia, each of these traits are enhanced. Playing the Demon in his house will make anyone feel like the whole world is against them.
Bonzi is a calm, cool and collected player. He rarely seems phased by any occurrences throughout a match. The Frenchman plays extremely solid tennis and boasts quite the underrated serve. But this atmosphere against a player who will ask all the questions in pressure moments is the greatest test of mental fortitude.
After playing twice on the indoor hard courts late last year, it is clear that de Minaur’s style of play can be quite troublesome for Bonzi. Add a great style matchup to the perks de Minaur will receive in Rod Laver Arena, and a dominant showing may be on the horizon.
It sounds simple, but de Minaur will outshine Bonzi in the spotlight. Bonzi has weapons, but implementing those successfully with the whole crowd against you is no easy feat. Trust de Minaur to match his fourth round appearance from last year with a quick win over Bonzi.
Pick: De Minaur -5.5 games (-115 via DraftKings)