Last time out we talked about the controversy affecting Novak Djokovic and the now-infamous vaccine saga that resulted in him not being able to defend his title here in Melbourne. And that was followed by the accusations of gamesmanship towards Rafael Nadal after he was accused of delaying serves and changing kit too often during his quarter-final win.
Not to be outdone, Daniil Medvedev was involved in some controversy of his own.
During his semi-final over Stefanos Tsitsipas, he complained to the Umpire that his opponent was receiving on-court coaching from his father, who is also his coach. Whether he was or wasn’t, we’ll maybe never know. But the truth is the 23-year-old didn’t win another game after he was issued with a warning over the incident.
By the way, we go into this final with our pockets full of profit. We didn’t win on the Nadal match, who got the better of Marco Berrettini over four sets. But we did have Medvedev to win 3-1 in sets, which of course he did. That was tipped up at 7.37 here on 10 CRIC.
Medvedev was our pre-tournament tip to win at 2.4.
Rafael Nadal v Daniil Medvedev
Nadal goes into the final as the 2.58 outsider. To many that may seem a little disrespectful given this is one of the Top 3 or 4 payers of all time we’re talking about… Then again, time waits for no-one, and Nadal is now 35 years old.
And this is admittedly the least successful Slam for him, having won it just once – way back in 2009!
- To put that into perspective, it was five years before Medvedev made his debut as a tennis pro.
However, Nadal is ahead on the head-to-head. In the four matches they’ve played against each other, it’s 3-1 to Nadal. Interestingly, that includes a 3-2 win in the 2019 US Open, so some may feel that if it goes the distance, it’s Nadal with all his experience and superhuman stamina who may hold the trump cards.
Having said all that, you could easily argue that the Russian is a completely different player to the one from when they were playing three years ago and that perhaps Djokovic aside, Medvedev is the dominant player in men’s tennis right now.
The way we see the match going is that it will be incredibly tight. We think the neutral would love to see a five-setter going into the early hours and you can get odds of 3.29 that either player wins the match over the maximum number of sets.
But the key difference to me here is serve. Nadal may be one of the best returners of serve the game has seen, rivalled only by the likes of the great Andre Agassi and more recently, Andy Murray.
But there’s not much he, or anyone else for that matter, can do if Medvedev is serving bombs that are hitting the lines. The US Open champion is ranked third for most aces this tournament with 94.
- To put that into perspective, having played the same number of matches (obviously), Nadal has just 48.
And that just might be where the game is won… Nadal – having to fight hard to hold serve and being under immense pressure, Medvedev – holding serve without having to break sweat. Or on occasion, getting his way out of trouble with aces and even a few unreturnable second serves.
TIP The best way to take this all into account and cover all bases – including Medvedev to win over five sets-is to go with the favourite to win with over 39.5 games in the match. That’s available at 2.91. You can find that bet under ‘Specials’ and that looks the way to go.
The other bet that looks interesting is for Nadal to take the first set.
TIP The Spanish left-hander has been in tones of Grand Slam finals and may just settle a little quicker than his far more inexperienced opponent. The Russian may take a little more time to find his range and his groove.
It’s 2.14 that Nadal draws first blood and takes the first set and that completes our tips for what should be a tempting affair.
RECOMMENDED BET 1: Back Medvedev to win + over 39.5 games at 2.91!
RECOMMENDED BET 2: Back Rafael Nadal to win the first set at 2.14!