Matteo Berrettini vs. Gael Monfils Australian Open Odds, Pick & Prediction
Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Gael Monfils hits a backhand in his fourth round Australian Open match with Miomir Kecmanovic.
- Matteo Berrettini faces Gael Monfils in the Australian Open Quarterfinals Tuesday morning.
- Berrettini is a short favorite, but is there value in backing Monfils at plus money?
- Avery Zimmerman breaks down his best bet in this matchup below.
Looking for our analysis of Berrettini’s semifinal? Click here.
Matteo Berrettini vs. Gael Monfils
|Time | TV||4:15 a.m. ET | ESPN|
|Odds via FanDuel. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
While it wouldn’t be the biggest upset in terms of betting odds, a Gael Monfils win over Matteo Berrettini to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open would be a big-time story in the sport.
The charismatic Frenchman, who hasn’t reached a Slam semifinal since 2016, has been through a lot in the latter stages of his career. Just about a year ago, Monfils was in tears after falling to Emil Ruusuvuori at the Australian Open. Now, he has a clear path to make the final.
It certainly won’t be easy, however, as his opponent Matteo Berrettini is one of the best major performers of the past few years. Monfils got a taste of that in 2019, when Berrettini first broke out and reached the semifinals of the US Open after beating Monfils.
Both players have been impressive in different ways throughout the tournament. Monfils hasn’t dropped a set in four rounds — impressive against any foursome of players on the ATP Tour — but he hasn’t yet come up against top-flight competition. The 16th-ranked Cristian Garin is just 7-16 over the last two years on hard courts, but Miomir Kecmanovic was certainly playing well when the two faced off last round.
Berrettini had to get by some much bigger names, beating the likes of young star Carlos Alcaraz and Pablo Carreno Busta en route to the quarterfinals. His victory over Alcaraz was in doubt when he dropped a two-set lead to end it in a fifth-set super-tiebreaker, but he ultimately got the job done.
The second match was much more clear-cut for the Italian, who got by the inconsistent Carreno Busta in straight sets.
Monfils and Berrettini have met twice before, with Berrettini notching a win at the aforementioned 2019 US Open and repeating the feat at the 2021 ATP Cup.
Is the trend going to continue on early Tuesday morning?
Berrettini comes into this match having gotten by some possible physical ailments in matches against Brandon Nakashima, Stefan Kozlov and Alcaraz, but he looks fit and firing ahead of this match, and it looks like he’s bringing his massive serve with him.
Over his last two matches against some of the best returners in the game, Berrettini posted 38 aces and just three double faults. He won over 78 percent of his first serve points in each match and has kept his first serve percentage above 70 percent.
It’s incredibly hard to beat the world number seven when he’s serving like that, and in fact, Berrettini has only lost one match in the last year while serving over 70 percent behind his first serve: his defeat to Daniil Medvedev that came in three sets at this year’s ATP Cup.
Monfils is certainly playing at a high level, but there are some worrying signs for him in this match. He’s only served above 59 percent first serve rate in one of his matches thus far, relying on a high second serve win rate to carry him through service games.
A player like Berrettini will punish second serves if given them over and over, as he’s a bit of an underrated returner. It’s rare that someone that dominates on serve is that good on return, but Berrettini won 44 percent of his second serve return points in 2021 on hard courts. That number has dipped at the start of 2022, but he’ll have a great chance to correct that.
I’m not going to back Monfils when he’s going to have to absolutely dominate from the ground, something that isn’t easy to do against a player with the forehand of Berrettini’s caliber.
While I feel like Berrettini is being slightly undervalued with this price, it’s hard to back him at -164. That doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to back him straight up, however.
A stat that could be really useful in establishing value on Berrettini is who has served first in each player’s matches. For Berrettini, he’s been on return to start off each match, indicating he’s fine deferring to his opponent to start out the match.
Monfils, on the other hand, has started on serve in three of his matches. This doesn’t guarantee that’ll happen after the coin toss in this match, but it does provide hope that a better number can quickly be had on Berrettini.
If Monfils starts on serve, a simple hold would put Berrettini right in the ideal value range of -125 to -140. Wait ’til that is possible, and take the chance if it is presented. If Berrettini gets a quick break or starts on serve, I’d still be comfortable backing him at -2.5 games. If you can, however, look for the chance to strike just a game into the match.
Pick: Look to live bet Berrettini at reduced price if Monfils holds game one | Take spread if Berrettini starts on serve or breaks game one