Tennis tips: Paddy trader backing huge upset in Friday’s Australian Open best bets

We're down to the final four of the men's tournament in Melbourne and Paddy Power trader Paul Connolly is predicting a BIG surprise result.

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Matteo Berrettini v Rafael Nadal

BET: Berrettini to win
BET: Over 39.5 Total Match Games

  • Estimated start time: 3.30am 
  • TV: Amazon Prime Video/ Eurosport

It’s men’s semi-final day in Melbourne and we kick off with what could be a classic. Rafael Nadal made it through his quarter-final after a grueling five-setter against Denis Shapovalov which included a lengthy medical examination at the end of the fourth set. Matteo Berrettini also dispatched his quarter-final opponent Gael Monfils in five sets.

Given both players’ injury records this will be a battle of perseverance more than anything else. Nadal is the clear favourite given his abundance of Grand Slam experience, and he’s won nine out of his last 10 hard court semi final appearances. With 20 slam wins to his name and Novak Djokovic infamously not in Melbourne, Rafa knows this is his best opportunity to win his 21st slam and become the first player to achieve such a feat.

Yet, Berrettini has proved to be a willing challenger in recent times, making the Wimbledon final and US Open quarter-finals in 2020, on both occasions losing to Djokovic. On an impressive 21-game winning streak in slams outside of his matches against Djok, Berrettini will also view this tournament as his best chance yet at winning his maiden slam.

This is the first matchup against a top 10 opponent for both players during this tournament. The pair have only met once before in 2019 when Nadal cruised past the Italian in straight sets. Given the age profile of both players and Rafa’s issues in the quarters I am giving the edge in this one to the Italian Stallion, but I am expecting this to be a hard-fought affair going the distance.

Stefanos Tsitsipas v Daniil Medvedev

BET: Medvedev wins the match and both players to win a set

  • Estimated start time: 8.30am 
  • TV: Amazon Prime Video/ Eurosport

A meeting of biblical proportions is promised here in the second semi-final of the Australian Open between World No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and the No.2 ranked Daniil Medvedev. Both players met at this same stage of the tournament last year with Medvedev easing past his Greek rival in straight sets. The most recent meeting of the pair saw Tsitsipas take the win at the French Open in a similar fashion.

A bitter rivalry has developed between the two players over the past few years after a heated exchange at the end of a Masters match in Miami in 2018. In the quarter-finals here in Australia, Tsitsipas made light work of 20-year-old Jannik Sinner, one of the most promising talents in the world. Similarly, Medvedev conquered another rising talent in Felix Auger Aliassime, battling back from two sets down to reach the semi-finals.

The current US Open champion has proved to be one of the most prolific performers on the hard court over the past few years losing only four out of his last 23 games against top 10 competition. This will be a fascinating matchup given the history between the two players but given the Russian’s dominance on the hard court I am expecting Tsitsipas to be on the next plane home to Greece – but not before he makes life difficult for the favourite.

Australian Open tips

3.30am: Matteo Berrettini v Rafael Nadal

BET: Berrettini to win
BET: Over 39.5 Total Match Games

8.30am: Stefanos Tsitsipas v Daniil Medvedev

BET: Medvedev wins the match and both players to win a set

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