Sunday Australian Open Picks | Hurkacz vs Cazaux, Alcaraz vs Kecmanovic (Sunday, Jan. 21)

Sunday Australian Open Picks | Hurkacz vs Cazaux, Alcaraz vs Kecmanovic (Sunday, Jan. 21) article feature image

NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Carlos Alcaraz.

Looking for Monday Australian Open picks? Check here for our quarterfinal match previews.

Here are my Sunday Australian Open picks, including Hurkacz vs. Cazaux and Alcaraz vs. Kecmanovic

The fourth round of the Australian Open continues on Sunday night here in the States, and with that I'm looking at two under-appreciated underdogs to keep things close against some of the top players in the world.

Let's get into how to bet these matches.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Australian Open matches.

Sunday Australian Open Picks

Arthur Cazaux (+210) vs Hubert Hurkacz (-275)

 11 p.m. ET

Like the very best players in the world can do, Hubert Hurkacz rebounded after two flat performances here in Melbourne to raise his level up as high as we've seen it in months which led him past a very talented Ugo Humbert. With that, I do not have too many doubts about Hurkacz bringing his best level to this one, but even in such an affair this one shouldn't be all that straightforward.

The biggest weakness of Hurkacz's game has long been his ability to return serve, and that should prove to be a storyline worth watching on Sunday night when he takes on young Arthur Cazaux. The Frenchman has been exceptional on serve through three rounds here at the Australian Open, refusing to give one of the game's best returners in Holger Rune as much as a look as he closed out one of the biggest upsets we've seen this week.

With his ability to hold serve, and Hurkacz's inability to break at a high rate, I think this match should be an incredibly tight affair. I'll pass on the total games and opt for Cazaux to cover the spread here, protecting against one of Hurkacz's notorious disappearing acts. This is the first time he's made it to the second week of a hard court slam, which is quite stunning for a player that's long resided inside the world's top 15, so I do think the chances of him losing this match outright are certainly pretty fair.

Pick: Cazaux +4.5 games (-120)

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Carlos Alcaraz (-3000) vs Miomir Kecmanovic (+1200)

3 a.m. ET

All good things come to an end, and for us that's going to be the incredible ride with Miomir Kecmanovic at this Australian Open. He's been good to his backers this week, and I think to close out his stay in Melbourne in what is all but certainly going to be a loss to World No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, he'll provide us with one more way to make some money with him.

I've spoken at great lengths about how Kecmanovic's form this January closely resembles that of his 2022 trip to Australia, and it was just a couple months after his fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open that he would continue his great play with two impressive runs at Indian Wells and in Miami.

In the second half of the sunshine double, he'd meet Alcaraz — the eventual champion — in the quarterfinals. While no one gave him any sort of chance in that contest, it was Kecmanovic who stole the first set away from Alcaraz in a tight first-set tiebreak and pushed the match to a deciding third-set breaker. He was able to go toe-to-toe with Alcaraz when it came to generating pace from the back of the court, and the Spaniard was unable to really take control of many rallies and dominate the affair.

Sure, Alcaraz is better a year and a half later. He's won some of the top prizes on tour including two Grand Slams. I still don't think this matchup is a tremendous one for him, and it's fair to question where his mind will be at to start this one as he goes from playing three relatively unassuming opponents to someone who's looked mighty impressive down in Melbourne Park, elevating his game to a top 30 level.

Kecmanovic has dealt with pace brilliantly this season, particularly through the first two rounds when he faced Yosuke Watanuki and Jan-Lennard Struff, so I don't think he'll be too unsettled here in this affair.

Will he win a set? Will he win the match? I don't think the answer to those questions is a resounding yes, but this number is somewhat of a joke. Kecmanovic is more than capable of keeping a couple of these sets close before riding off into the sunset.

Pick: Kecmanovic +8.5 games (-120)

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