Novak Djokovic vs. Tommy Paul Australian Open Odds, Pick | Grand Slam Match Prediction

Novak Djokovic vs. Tommy Paul Australian Open Odds, Pick | Grand Slam Match Prediction article feature image

Daniel Pockett, Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Novak Djokovic and Tommy Paul.

Djokovic vs. Paul Odds

Djokovic Odds-2100
 Paul Odds+1000
Over/Under30.5 (-105 / -120)
Time | How to WatchFriday. 3:30 a.m. ET | ESPN
Odds via DraftKings. For tips on how to watch the Australian Open, click here.

21-time Grand Slam champion and nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic takes on the first-time semifinalist and unseeded American Tommy Paul in the second men's semifinal match.

Paul has reached the semis with a fairly favorable draw as he avoided having to play Casper Ruud, Matteo Berrettini and Taylor Fritz, but he has consistently outclassed opponents from the baseline in an impressive manner, showcasing world-class athleticism.

After being held out of this tournament last year due to Covid vaccine issues and facing slander accusing him of faking an injury this year, Djokovic appears to have extra motivation every time he steps on the court in Melbourne.

All in all, this projects to be a fascinating match, despite the lopsided odds.

The American has nothing to lose, the Serbian has motivation and records on the line and their first matchup is on the horizon.

With eye-popping rallies to be plentiful and cat and mouse points on deck, this match will be one to get the fans on their feet. Let's dive into the late night semifinal on Rod Laver Arena.

Djokovic Firing on All Cylinders

After a mildly worrisome start, Djokovic has caught his stride. Entering the tournament with severe hamstring concerns, there were questions about whether his body could hold up, but those questions now seem silly.

Fast forward to today and Djokovic arrives in the semifinals with only one dropped set and just 12 games lost over his past two matches. Diving in further, he did not drop serve in either of those matches, facing just five break points.

The severity of his hamstring injury may seem light now, but it is still there. With an injury of this type, he is risking a flare up on any given point, but as of right now he seems safe.

Djokovic has covered his game spread in all but one match so far. The one outlier was his match against Grigor Dimitrov in which the line was 6.5 and he won by six games. If he had not failed to serve out the opening set against the Bulgarian, he could easily be 5-of-5 against the spread.

So, not only is he sending highly-ranked opponents packing, but he is doing it in more dominant fashion than even the sportsbooks have predicted.

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Paul Showcasing New American Potential

Paul is playing some of his best tennis right now, and it fits in with the trend of American tennis finding its stride.

He is in the live top 20 of the ATP rankings for the first time, and Paul fully deserves the achievement. He brings a game full of variety and shotmaking to the court. Paul can play any shot from anywhere and will always keep his opponent on their toes.

Paul also has an underrated serve, a lethal backhand and tremendous speed around the court, persistently causing problems for everyone.

Although he does not seem frightened by a big stage, Paul enters uncharted territory with this match. Playing Djokovic at the legend's best Slam in the semifinals is a daunting task. His ability to deal with the occasion will be in question, but as he arrives with zero expectation, that may alleviate some pressure.

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Djokovic vs. Paul Pick

Djokovic played two vastly different styles of player in his previous two rounds.

There was de Minaur, who has incredible defensive skill but no massive offensive weapon. Then, there was Andrey Rublev, who plays with pure fire, but is typically one-dimensional without a second plan. Neither of these players were able to push Djokovic or his hamstring to the limits.

Now Djokovic gets Paul, who adds in the variety factor but falls somewhere in between de Minaur and Rublev on the offense versus defense spectrum.

It may be an unpopular play, but I believe he will make Djokovic answer questions that he has not yet been asked in this tournament. Unless we see a Djokovic hamstring issue arise, it's hard to see any way Paul ends victorious, but this won't be as straightforward as Djokovic's prior two rounds.

Expect energy, variety and fearlessness to exude from the American's game, pushing this match over the total.

Pick: Over 29.5 games (-130 via DraftKings)

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