Novak Djokovic vs Lucas Pouille
The World no.1 in men’s tennis, rightfully and deservingly, is back in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic has been in a rich vein of form since the second half of 2018, and despite some blips here and there, he remains one of the most unstoppable forces in tennis.
If he’s ranking is not enough proof, the Serbian juggernaut has won the last two majors of 2018—beating Kevin Anderson in Wimbledon and taking down Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open.
Djokovic benefitted from Kei Nishikori’s mid-game retirement in the quarter-final. And so with a relatively fresher pair of legs, he is expected to comfortably handle Lucas Pouille who is making his first semi-final appearance in a Grand Slam.
Some unfinished business for the Djoker
Djokovic has some matters to settle in the Australian Open. It is the only Grand Slam tournament wherein he failed to reach the quarterfinals last year, losing in the fourth round to South Korean Chung Hyeon.
Now, Djokovic is through to the last four, and he will look to avoid another upset as he aims for a record-breaking seventh Australian Open title.
Luckily for the 31-year-old, he’s at the peak condition and playing brilliantly, dropping only two sets so far and not more than two in a single match in the competition.
As if he’s not the favourite yet, Djokovic is well rested after playing only two sets and 12 games against Nishikori in the quarters. Exhausted after three of his four previous matches went to five sets, Nishikori opted to retire with an apparent right leg injury.
That should give Djokovic a massive advantage, especially with Pouille playing nine sets and more than 80 games in his last two matches.
If there’s one thing deadlier than an in-form Djokovic, it’s a well-rested version of him.
Pouille ready to make French history
Pouille knows what he’s up against in the semis. The odds are stacked against him, and it would be a momentous upset if he would be able to fend off Djokovic and deny the Serb a milestone win in Melbourne.
There were only six French players in the modern era to have reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Before Pouille, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the last person to make it to this stage, way back in 2010.
No Frenchmen has ever won the Australian Open men’s singles title in the Open Era.
Pouille will rely on his shotmaking ability and aggressive playing style to trouble Djokovic. So far in the Australian Open, the World no.31 is among the best big hitters with 84 aces. He is no.5 in the list, though only two in the top five remain in the competition—the other one is Stefanos Tsitsipas who is on the other semis against Rafael Nadal.
It remains to be seen if he can keep up the production against the experienced Djokovic, but the fact that Pouille has shown great mental strength in his last two matches should help him put up a fight.
The two players meet for the first time, so it will undoubtedly be an interesting match that is almost certain to provide some of the best Australian Open 2019 highlights.
As mentioned, Djokovic is a six-time winner here. He is tied with Roger Federer with the most titles and could get the lone record if he wins his final two games.
The Djoker didn’t make it past the quarter-finals in the last two instalments of the Australian major, though he did win it in back-to-back years in 2015 and 2016 before an elbow injury slowed him down.
On the other hand, Pouille is playing his first-ever slam semis. Before this, his best performance in the major was a pair of quarter-final appearances in the Wimbledon and US Open 2016.
Last year, the Frenchmen failed to make it past the first round of the Australian competition, losing to Ruben Bemelmans in four sets.
What are the odds?
Pouille have little to zero chance of winning this match. As what the Australian Open 2019 odds suggest, Djokovic is at 1.07 to win while the 24-year-old Pouille is at a far-off 6.88.
Their meeting is also expected to end in straight sets. Asian Handicap betting at us put Djokovic at -2.50 that pays at 1.55. On the other hand, Pouille is at 2.40 for the +2.50 plus handicap.
With a Djokovic domination likely, it might not be wrong to look at Game Handicap as well. In this market, tennis fans can get Djokovic -8.00 @ 2.04.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE TENNIS STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.
Follow us on social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.