Novak Djokovic vs. Matteo Berrettini US Open Quarterfinal Odds, Pick, Preview: How Much Can World No. 1 Be Pushed? (Sept. 7)
Credit: Al Bello, Getty. Matteo Berrettini celebrates after a point at the 2021 US Open.
- The US Open rolls on into the quarterfinals with the No. 1 and No. 8 men in the world going head to head.
- Novak Djokovic is a massive favorite to Matteo Berrettini in Wednesday evening's match, but the Italian is among the players best suited to cause Djokovic problems.
- Avery Zimmerman and Kenny Ducey break down how to bet the matchup.
Novak Djokovic vs. Matteo Berrettini Odds
|Time||Wednesday, 7:15 p.m. ET (subject to change)|
|Odds via of FanDuel.|
Another Novak Djokovic grand slam match, another massive betting line attached to him as the favorite.
The Serbian has been a -500 favorite or greater in his last 11 slam matches, ranging all the way from the US Open back until his French Open final with Stefanos Tsitsipas, where he was only a -300 favorite.
Matteo Berrettini certainly doesn’t have those type of odds when he faces other players, but he does have the second-most slam wins on tour this year, behind Djokovic of course. In both the French Open and Wimbledon, Berrettini fell to Djokovic, with both matches going four sets.
The pair have played on one other occasion at the ATP finals, with Djokovic thoroughly outclassing Berrettini in that affair, winning 6-2, 6-1 at the end of 2019.
Let’s take a look at how the pair matchup on Wednesday.
Djokovic Showing Signs of Being Human But Still Can’t Lose
It’s true, Novak isn’t playing at a level close to what he is capable of when fully energized and firing. But that hasn’t stopped him from winning his last 25 slam matches, and frankly that’s just a ridiculous stat. What Djokovic is currently achieving — without playing his best — may one day be looked at as the most impressive achievement the sport has seen.
That’s why Djokovic is consistently a monster favorite in every single slam match he plays, despite looking human in matches against Jenson Brooksby, Holger Rune and Kei Nishikori.
In all three matches he dropped one of the first two sets, but it barely felt like a result was ever in jeopardy. He wore out each player and displayed his remarkable fitness and intensity to put the result out of question far before it was officially over.
Some of the patented Djokovic features that make him so unplayable have been on display in this tournament. Perhaps the most impressive is his ability to seize on important moments. The world No. 1 has won a greater percentage of break points in comparison to general return points in each of his first four matches, almost to a ridiculous level.
Against Rune, he won 57% of his BPs compared to 43% of his return points, against Tallon Griekspoor he won 60% compared to 50%, against Nishikori 44% to 43% and against Brooksby 50% to 44%.
No matter how well Djokovic is playing, his ability to be a mental fortress carries him to confidence and comfortable results in the end.
Berrettini Has the Weapons to Trouble Djokovic
The fact remains, the world No. 8 is still among the players best suited to cause Djokovic problems. With a massive serve and a big forehand to back it up, Berrettini is extremely difficult to break when serving well.
But Djokovic has the ability to break the Italian down when he can’t find his first serve. In their Wimbledon final, Berrettini faced 15 break points, while he had 27 to face in total of his first six matches. At the French Open it was a similar story, with Djokovic manufacturing nine break points against Berrettini, who faced four in his first three matches.
A key to Berrettini’s success in this match will be limiting those opportunities, as it’s impossible to hold off Djokovic when they come. It is quite literally an unachievable task to save all of your break points against Djokovic, so Berrettini must avoid them.
Easier said than done, but necessary.
Against Ilya Ivashka in the third round, the Belarusian only converted 2-of-12 break points against Berrettini. That won’t happen against Djokovic.
To his credit, Berrettini has also managed to manufacture break point opportunities when returning in their last two matches (three at the French Open and seven at Wimbledon).
He simply must outplay Djokovic in those moments — high-leverage moments — and that is why he’s a +570 dog, despite having all the tools one would think could damage Djokovic.
Avery Zimmerman: One thing that Djokovic has struggled with this tournament is underestimating his opponent. There is no question that he looked stunned against Brooksby and similarly didn’t expect Rune to come out firing. That will not happen against Berrettini, so the slow starts that have been plaguing Djokovic may be appeased in this match.
Nevertheless, Berrettini has shown that he’s capable of pushing Djokovic, and a key to success will be dominating on his first serve, which he’s improved as the tournament has gone on. From his second to fourth round, the percentage of first serve points has gone 77-83-89, partly reflective of opponent, but also an encouraging sign for Berrettini supporters (or Fedal fans).
I don’t think Berrettini is playing well enough to push Novak into a position where it really feels like Djokovic could lose, but I do think he’ll be able to hold serve enough to get into positions where he can steal a key break and extend the match.
If he can take a set, even better, but you’ll get far more value with a total.
Pick: Over 33.5 -125 (Caesars)
Kenny Ducey: Djokovic looks as vulnerable as he’s been in some time, which is an unbelievable sentiment when you consider he’s currently aiming for a calendar Grand Slam. It’s hard to argue that he’s at the height of his powers, though, failing to medal in Tokyo and dropping three sets in four matches at the US Open.
While he’s always found a way to persevere like the champion he is, Djokovic has started very slow in a lot of these matches and, at times, has looked unprepared for his opposition. His service has also been broken quite a bit, even donating a break back to Tallon Griekspoor in the one match he didn’t drop a set.
Against a big server like Berrettini, a break could cost Djokovic a set. The Italian hasn’t quite been in dominant form over the last week and a half, either, but even on a bad day his forehand is still probably the best in the game.
Berrettini’s power has posed problems for Djokovic in their previous two meetings, which came in the last two Grand Slams, and in those matches Berrettini was able to take a set. This encounter should be no different.
Even for the best player in the world, going from the slow-serving Jenson Brooksby, who plays a Djokovic-like game of chess on the court to a big-serving ball-basher is quite the adjustment. Djokovic should be put on his heels early, struggling to get going here before eventually settling in and solving the Berrettini serve.
I do think he’ll have at least one sloppy service game to start, judging by his previous matches, allowing the Italian the opportunity to break and take the lead. While I like the set spread the most, I’d also suggest dabbling in the Berrettini first set moneyline for a small stake. His best chance at a set should come in the opener.
Pick: Berrettini +2.5 Sets -140 | Berrettini First Set ML +280 .35u (DraftKings)