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Sunday Australian Open Odds & Picks: Djokovic vs de Minaur, Wolf vs Shelton

Sunday Australian Open Odds & Picks: Djokovic vs de Minaur, Wolf vs Shelton article feature image
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Anadolu Agency/Getty. Pictured: Alex de Minaur.

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Four men have already booked their spots in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and four more spots remain. The pressure is growing as the second week of the Slam arrives.

Novak Djokovic battles the home favorite Alex De Minaur on Sunday while two young Americans, J.J. Wolf and Ben Shelton, look to expand on their best Slam result.

Read on for my Sunday Australian Open picks.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Australian Open matches.

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Novak Djokovic (-525) vs. Alex de Minaur (+380)

3 a.m. ET

The nine-time Australian Open champion has a cloud of ambiguity surrounding him. From considering pulling out of the tournament to dropping just one set en route to his fourth round appearance, Djokovic has found ways to win.

At times he has switched his tactics to a much more aggressive first-strike style, and his ball-striking level has not dipped, allowing him to work around his injuries.

Alex de Minaur did well to send off Benjamin Bonzi in straight sets. Even though he won the match handily, it could have been more of a merciless scoreline. Converting just 2-of-14 break point opportunities in the first set, he eventually had to come through in a tiebreaker.

If Djokovic was fully healthy, his defensive style would spell ultimate troubles for de Minaur. He would simply be able to outclass him from the baseline and return his serve with interest consistently.

But, Djokovic’s injury may shift the balance in the match.

De Minaur’s defense is world class and his speed is quite possibly the best on Tour. With the Australian’s play leveled up by the crowd, his shot tolerance and endurance could push Djokovic’s hamstring to the limits.

In a match where de Minaur’s chances would usually be slim to none, there is a glimmer of hope for him. I will be riding de Minaur’s magic in front of the crowd while believing that Djokovic’s injury is as bad as it seems.

Pick: de Minaur +6.5 games (-125 via DraftKings)

J.J. Wolf (-130) vs. Ben Shelton (+110)

10 p.m. ET

This fourth round matchup is one that few could have predicted, but one that American tennis fans should love. The future of American tennis is here and sadly only one man can move on.

Ben Shelton has wasted no time moving up from college to the Challenger Tour and now Grand Slam tennis. His ranking has skyrocketed and is showing no sign of slowing down. At 65 in the live rankings and with no points to defend until the summer, the sky is the limit for the youngster.

J.J. Wolf, another American who came through college, is making his way up the rankings, although not at the pace that Shelton has. When Wolf plays, it always seems as though the ball is on his racket. Although his patience has increased by way of picking when to be aggressive more appropriately, he still consistently fires on all cylinders.

Both of the Americans bring the maximum amount of energy to their matches. Winners are sure to be plenty and there will be no shortage of celebrations.

It is hard to predict exactly how this match will look as nerves and the likes of being compatriots come into effect, but both players should show up with high energy.

I will be watching this match by not rooting for a side, but rather eyeing the prop market.

Pick: Score after 6 Games – 1st Set – 3:3 (-115 via DraftKings)

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