Start time: 0845, 21/02/2021
Stadium: Rod Laver Arena
It is a sign of how well Daniil Medvedev is playing that he is available at similar odds to win the Australian Open men’s singles final despite Novak Djokovic’s record at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic is one win away from a ninth Australian Open title but he faces a tough test against an opponent who has won his last 20 matches.
Opposing the Serbian at this venue is a brave move but we think the value is with the underdog to triumph at 19/20 as our first Djokovic vs Medvedev prediction.
A Look At Novak Djokovic’s Betting Odds
Apart from Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, beating Djokovic on Rod Laver Arena is the toughest challenge in men’s tennis.
On the eight occasions the world number one has reached the last four in Melbourne, he has won the title and he has also had an extra day of rest after beating Aslan Karatsev in straight sets on Thursday.
Medvedev looks one of the biggest threats to the ‘big three’ in men’s tennis but Djokovic does not seem concerned.
He told Eurosport: “There has been a lot of talk about the new generations coming and taking over from the three of us but realistically that isn’t happening still.
“With my respect to all the other guys, they still have a lot of work to do. I’m not going to stand here and hand it over to them. I am going to make them work their arse off for it.”
They are getting closer, though. Dominic Thiem won his first grand slam title at the US Open but without having to beat Djokovic, Nadal or Roger Federer.
Medvedev pushed Nadal to five sets in his first slam final at the US Open in 2019 while Djokovic was in real trouble at two sets to one down against Thiem in Melbourne last year before coming back to win.
Djokovic leads the head to head 4-3 but on current form there looks to be little to choose between them and the match to go to a fifth set appeals at 12/5 in the Djokovic vs Medvedev odds.
A Look At Daniil Medvedev’s Betting Odds
Medvedev is certainly preparing himself for a long slog in the final and will be helped by the fact he has won four of his five matches in straight sets and has not been taken to a tie-break either.
“I know that to beat him you need to show your best tennis, be at your best physically maybe four or five hours, and be at your best mentally maybe for five hours,” he said when asked about Djokovic’s comments.
“I would say to win a slam, especially against somebody as Novak, is already a big motivation and I don’t think there is anything that can make it bigger. I don’t take these words for sure as something negative.”
Medvedev has won three of their last four matches, including at the ATP Finals in November, and was keen to pile the pressure on Djokovic as the Serbian bids to win an 18th slam title to cut the gap to two to Nadal and Federer.
“I like that I don’t have a lot of pressure because he never lost in eight times that he was here in the final,” he added. “It’s him that has all the pressure, getting to Roger, Rafa in the grand slams.
“I just hope I’m going to get out there, show my best tennis. He has for sure more experience but more things to lose I think.”
Since his last defeat, Medvedev has won the Paris Masters, ATP Finals and ATP Cup so looks ready to now land his first grand slam.
If he can take the match the distance, his superior fitness should give him the edge, with Djokovic having been hampered by injury earlier in the tournament.
For our last Djokovic vs Medvedev prediction, we’re backing the Russian to win a thrilling final in the fifth set at 11/2.
DJOKOVIC beat Karatsev 6-3 6-4 6-2
MEDVEDEV beat Tsitsipas 6-4 6-2 7-5
Head to head: Djokovic 4-3 Medvedev
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