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Australian Open Finals Betting Preview

This is a final everyone expected to see in the beginning. When the draw first came out, people were expecting either a Rafael Nadal versus Novak Djokovic final or a Novak Djokovic versus Roger Federer final and the former came out victorious.

With Roger Federer getting upset by Greek talent, Stefanos Tsitsipas, the stage was set for the Spaniard to come out swinging in the semifinal. Despite Stefanos Tsitsipas making it so far, his level of talent wasn’t able to match the experience and rigor that Rafael Nadal brought to the table.

Rafael Nadal dominated on all aspects, destroying Tsitsipas 6-2, 6-4, 6-0. He beat Tsitsipas when it came to the baseline. He beat Tsitsipas when it came to serves. And he beat Tsitsipas when it came to returns. Overall, Rafael Nadal didn’t give Stefanos any breathing room to play his game and this helped the Spaniard continue his undefeated set streak.

He’ll be facing six-time Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic, and this match is sure to be a thriller, one that every tennis fan will watch. The question is, who will win?

After all, the Serbian’s favorite slam can be considered Australian Open. It’s here that he manages to dominate the competition nine times out of ten and only thanks to an elbow injury and changes in playstyle did he have shaky runs in 2017 and 2018.

This is a matchup that we’ve seen before and one that’s not exactly going to favor one side. After all, the two were part of the big four era and they both could beat each other head to head.

Furthermore, both players are playing at extremely high calibers right now, meaning that the two will be able to duel it out for a possibility of a five set thriller
Odds From Bovada: Nadal vs. Djokovic

Rafael Nadal versus Novak Djokovic brings betting communities together in a way never seen before because essentially, it’s the two best baseliners facing off against each other.

Plus, it’s a match that seems to go either way but when you look for the details, you can see which player has a higher chance of winning.

Road to the Final

Rafael Nadal has gone through a relatively strong draw but he’s played just as strong, if not stronger. In his first three rounds, Nadal took down three top Australian players, the best of them being Alex de Minaur who had won the Sydney Invitational before going into the AO.

He massacred the competition with the closest set being 7-5 in favor of Nadal against James Duckworth. From here, he faced an old opponent, Tomas Berdych, who had beaten Nadal before but it was a one-sided show with Nadal beating him 6-0, 6-1, 7-6 (4). That tiebreak would be the closest anyone would ever get to winning a set on him on his way to the finals.

In the quarterfinals, Nadal faced off against Francis Tiafoe who has had the run of his life but Rafa quickly shut him down with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 win to face off against Stefanos Tsitsipas who took down Roger Federer and Roberto Bautista Agut in two of the best matches of his life.

Yet again, Rafael Nadal shut down the Greek talent with a dismissive 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 victory to secure himself a spot in his fourth ever Australian Open final. The only question is, if he can finally convert yet another final into a title or come up short like he did in 2017 versus Federer.

On Djokovic’s hand, the Serbian has had quite a tough time. Despite only dropping two sets total throughout his entire run, he’s faced notably tougher competition than Rafael Nadal has. His second round saw him facing 2008 Australian Open finalist, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, but quickly dismissed him in three.

His third set saw him facing Denis Shapovalov, a Canadian talent who, when at his best, can take down top ten players thanks to huge forehands and backhands. And Denis Sphovalov gave it his best but ultimately fell in four sets to the Serb.

Djokovic then faced Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round and yet again, the match went close. The Russian took a set off of Djokovic but in the end, fell to Novak 4-6, 7-5 (5), 2-6, 3-6. Afterwards, Novak faced Kei Nishikori but the Japanese superstar ultimately retired due to injuries regarding his right quad and hip.

For the semifinals, he faced Frenchmen Lucas Pouille but it was a one-sided victory for the Serbian. He won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2. There was no contention as Novak Djokovic played some of the best tennis we’ve seen him play all week, securing himself a spot in the final versus Rafael Nadal.

Previous Matchups

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have both played each other a few times throughout their career and right now, Novak Djokovic holds a 27-25 record over Rafael Nadal. That means that, currently, Novak Djokovic has a 52% win rate over Nadal compared to the Spaniard’s 48%.

These matches transcend through different levels of play. For example, right now, in these head-to-head matches, Novak Djokovic has barely beaten Rafael on clay, taking him down only at Madrid and Rome in 2011, Monte Carlo in 2013, Rome in 2014, Monte Carlo in 2015, Roland Garros in 2015, and Rome once again in 2016.

However, prior to 2017’s Madrid matchup in which Rafael Nadal won in straight sets, Djokovic was on a seven match winning streak when it came to head-to-head matches, winning every single matchup for about a whole year.

It’s also worth noting that the two have met in the finals of an Australian Open beforehand. In 2012, the AO finals saw Rafael Nadal facing off against Novak Djokovic. The match went five sets with Djokovic ultimately winning 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5.

That being said, if you look at any Grand Slam matchup past 2010, you’ll see that the two have very rarely gone only three sets. The only time this happened was versus Novak Djokovic in 2015 at Roland Garros which Novak won 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 to beat Nadal for the first time since they played at Roland Garros.

Since then, they’ve always gone at least four sets at Grand Slams starting from 2010. Even then, the fact that these two are tied at 5-5 in wins against ach other at these major events should go to show how small of a margin the two are between.

It’s worth noting, though, that since 2010, Rafael Nadal is up 2-1 when it comes to hard court wins for the Grand Slams, meaning that according to the statistics, Rafael Nadal will have the upper edge over the Serb.

Current Performance and Injuries

Right now, both players have been having extremely strong performances. They haven’t had any close calls to being upset and for the most part, their form is extremely consistent and solid. They’ve both been hitting really well from the baseline and their defense has been extremely high for the most part.

Currently, Nadal edges out on performance since he hasn’t dropped a set yet and he’s been destroying the competition every chance he gets.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic has shown slight signs of wavering especially against newer talents like Denis Shapovalov and Daniil Medvedev.

Other than that, though, Novak Djokovic has been playing on par to Rafael Nadal.

When it comes to injuries, that’s something that is also uncertain for both of the players. Rafael Nadal was forced to retire from the US Open last year due to his knee while Novak Djokovic is using the original serve that resulted in his elbow injury.

That being said, there’s a good chance at least one of them is feeling some tension in their body. Considering the fact that Djokovic has played some decently close sets and Rafael Nadal has been pushing his body to the limit, I wouldn’t be surprised if both of them were feeling a little bit of strain.

However, the serve is the bread and butter of Novak Djokovic’s game. In order to be able to play back, he needs to start off fast with a good serve that gets his opponent off. If Djokovic’s injury comes back, then Rafael Nadal will be able to put him in a corner and that’s something Djokovic cannot afford, especially with something so critical such as this Australian Open final.

Analyzing Their Game

Now that we’ve taken a look at their stats and the current status of both of the players, it’s worth analyzing each player’s game and seeing which player has the better shots in some cases. By understanding where each player has their strengths and weaknesses located, you as a bettor will be able to understand the odds of winning for each player at a higher scale.

Forehands—Rafael Nadal

When it comes to forehands, Rafael Nadal dominates on virtually every plain. Novak Djokovic can cut off the angle really well, especially when on the run and this gives for an especially strong shot but, at the same time, Rafael Nadal has a topspin forehand that has been one of the deadliest pieces of his game since the start of his career.

In a rally between the two forehand-wise, Rafael Nadal is sure to win it. With heavy topspin and penetration that can hold off anyone’s offensive attacks, Novak Djokovic won’t be able to do anything with his own forehand.

Backhands—Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic is the clear winner for backhands. Since the beginning, his backhand has been the main shot that he relies on, using it to carve angles and hit winners both on the run and on the offense, making the Serb someone a bit more unorthodox considering that most players consider their forehands to be their main weapon.

On a good day, Novak Djokovic’s backhand alone keep his opponent from doing virtually anything. It’s such a powerful shot that right now, Novak Djokovic is considered to have one of the best backhands in the history of tennis.

Baseline: Tied

Both of these players are equally strong when it comes to playing from the baseline. In fact, they win a majority of their points from the baseline.

Novak Djokovic does so mainly by carving out opportunities with his backhand while Rafael Nadal uses his spin-heavy forehand to keep his opponents at bay while running them around with huge shots.

Serves: Novak Djokovic

When it comes to being on-serve, Novak Djokovic’s main style focuses down on using his serve to drill out a weak return which he can then capitalize off of. Either that or he slowly wears down the opponent’s defense till he can get a ball to attack.

While Rafael Nadal’s serve may certainly be a threatening piece of his game, it’s Novak Djokovic he utilizes it to its fullest potential, serving with a level of intensity that can make any great returner nervous.

Returns: Novak Djokovic

There’s no competition when it comes to this. Novak Djokovic has one of the best returns in the history of tennis and probably the best return right now on the tour. That being said, whenever the two play, Novak Djokovic’s returns will play a huge factor into taking down the Spaniard.

Offense: Rafael Nadal

Despite Rafael Nadal being known for his defense, the Spaniard surprisingly has an amazing offensive game. This is thanks to the fact that he can consistently push the opponent back with his forehands and then end it at the net.

Novak Djokovic’s game is extremely good as well and can even be considered as offensive but he usually likes to attack from the baseline compared to the fact that Rafael Nadal can attack mostly on all fronts. Still, the two would normally be tied.

However, at this year’s Australian Open, it seems as if Novak Djokovic’s offensive game has been off. Rather, he’s been using a more unconventional means of winning which focuses in on luring his opponents into long rallies which Djokovic is sure he can outlast.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has been playing almost pure offense, moving his opponents around left and right till they fall. This is one of the main reasons he didn’t lose a set on his way to the final, thus making him a better offensive power in this case.

Defense: Tied

Even though, Novak Djokovic’s offense game may be off, his defense is still just as good. He can easily chase down approach shots and send just as good of a ball back, no matter where he is on the court. His court overage is simply insane.

Likewise, Nadal’s speed is just as fast. Nadal can cover just as much, if not more, of the court as Djokovic can and the spin he can put on the ball allows for him to hit a passing shot almost whenever he needs one.

Mindset: Rafael Nadal

At times, the game is more mental than it is physical and this comes down to whenever the big points are at play. The question comes down to who can play better under pressure and keep their emotions intact and for this subset, Nadal wins completely.

There has never been a player humbler and calmer than Nadal. He rarely shows frustration and has come back with so many clutch moments no matter what the score was.

Meanwhile, Novak has been a player who has shown his frustrations on the court. He’s slammed his racquet countless times and whenever he loses a critical point, you can see the frustration present.

Furthermore, he’s had his moments in this tournament where he fell under the pressure.

Despite being one of the best players in the world right now, Novak Djokovic is ultimately undermined by Rafael Nadal when it comes to the mentality side of tennis.


The 2019 Australian Open is sure to provide a high level of action you won’t want to miss. The betting is going to be at its prime and with two of the best brawling it out, there’s no telling what could happen.

These two have provided tennis with some of the best matches in the history of tennis.

Right now, Nadal hasn’t lost a set and Novak Djokovic is looking to redeem himself from the past two years. Can the Serb clinch his seventh Australian Open title or will Rafael Nadal finally break the curse that’s lasted nine years?

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