Tommy Paul is the first American men’s tennis player to reach the Australian Open semifinals since 2009. Andy Roddick was the last American men’s tennis player to play in the Grand Slam event’s final four. Paul’s qualification for the semifinals could be a new dawn for American men in the sport.
Unfortunately for Paul, he will play No 4 seed Novak Djokovic in the semifinal at Melbourne Park on Friday. Djokovic has been a wrecking ball throughout the Australian Open, as he attempts to win a 10th Australian Open title.
Djokovic has a chip on his shoulder after the events of 2022 when he was deported from Australia due to COVID-19 protocols. The Serbian has lost just one set in five matches in Melbourne. The only player to push Djokovic to four sets was Enzo Couacaud in the second round.
Paul is being overlooked heading into the final. Of course, that is natural, as he will play one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Paul, who is unseeded, played fellow unseeded tennis player Ben Shelton in the quarterfinals, winning 3-1.
The American has already eliminated two seeded opponents. In round two, Paul defeated No 30 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in five sets. In round four, the American knocked off Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets. The 25-year-old is ranked No 25 on the ATP Tour. Until this season, he had never reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam event. Can Paul pull off the shock of the decade at the Aussie Open?
Novak Djokovic vs Tommy Paul Betting Odds
Novak Djokovic began the Australian Open 2023 as the bookmakers’ favourite to win the competition. With just four players left in the Grand Slam, Djokovic is still the sportsbooks’ favourite to lift the famous Grand Slam trophy.
The Serbian is at the best betting odds of 1/5 to win the Aussie Open. Tsitsipas is the second favourite to win the tournament at odds of 4/1. Khachanov is at odds of 16/1, while Paul comes in at odds of 22/1 to win the Aussie Open.
Paul is a major underdog going into Friday’s match at odds of 10/1. The American has won a mere one ATP Tour tennis title while posting a pre-Aussie Open 2023 record of 91-79. He has basically played .500 tennis since joining the ATP Tour.
Djokovic is a heavy favourite at the best betting odds of 1/20 to win the match. There is little value in a straight-up winner bet on Djokovic. However, value can be found in other markets. Djokovic is 8/15 to win the match in three sets. Keep in mind that Djokovic has lost just one set at the Australian Open 2023.
Bookmakers strongly believe the match will only go three sets. Odds on three sets are at ½. The odds grow significantly on the match going four or five sets. Twice in five matches at the Aussie Open, Djokovic opened the match with a first set, 6-1, win. Bookmakers have Djokovic at odds of 5-1 to win the first set 6-1.
Novak Djokovic vs Tommy Paul H2H
Friday’s semifinal between Djokovic and Paul will be their first-ever head-to-head encounter. The players have moved in different spheres in the world of tennis, which makes it no surprise that Friday will be their first match.
There is no comparison between Djokovic and Paul. The Serbian has won 92 career ATP Tour titles, while Paul has one to his name. Djokovic has won 1,036 matches compared to Paul’s 91. Friday could be a short match in the second semifinal of the day.
Paul started 2023 playing in the Adelaide International No 2 tournament. The American won against Christopher O’Connell in straight sets to progress to the second round. There, Britain's’ Jack Draper defeated Paul in two sets. Paul goes into the semifinal on Friday with a record of 6-1 this season.
Djokovic played the Adelaide International 1 and went through the competition without a defeat. The Serbian defeated Constant Lestienne, Quentin Halys, Denis Shapovalov, Daniil Medvedev, and Sebastian Korda on the way to lifting the title. Djokovic has now played 10 tournament matches in 2023. He has lost a mere two sets during that time.
Paul has a 55.9%-win rate on hardcourt on the ATP Tour. Djokovic’s win rate is 84.5% on hardcourt on the ATP Tour.
Novak Djokovic vs Tommy Paul Betting Tips
Paul has been brilliant down under. Some might say the American is overachieving and has benefitted from the likes of Ruud, Nadal, and other top players being eliminated from the tournament early on. He has also been helped by the Australian Open being the first Grand Slam of the season. Its placement on the ATP Tour calendar takes players off guard.
The real question for Friday’s semifinal is how many sets will it take Djokovic to defeat Tommy Paul? Djokovic has dropped just two sets in 10 matches this season. He won the Adelaide International 1 to prepare for the Australian Open and is now on pace to smash his way to the final.
Djokovic should brush Paul to the side on Friday in Melbourne Park. The Serbian is likely to pick up another 3-0 win and cruise into the final against either Karen Khachanov or Stefanos Tsitsipas. While the first semifinal of the day between Khachanov and Tsitsipas is likely to go four or five sets, Djokovic will be off the court in a short time to get rested for Sunday’s Aussie Open final.
Djokovic won his last three Aussie Open matches in a mere three sets. The Serbian should get off the mark early and could pick up a 6-1 win in the first set for the third time in the Australian Open. Djokovic is 10-0 to start the 2023 season. He is playing with a chip on his shoulder and could use the Aussie Open as a springboard to win the remaining Grand Slams in 2023. Djokovic won’t be happy until he is recognised as the greatest tennis player ever. Our betting tips prediction is for Djokovic to win 3-0 over Paul.