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Saturday, 1 February 2020

Australian Open Tennis Day 14 Picks 2020- Men's Final (February 2nd)

Sofia Kenin has become the first Grand Slam Champion of the 2020 season as the young American fought back from a set behind to beat Garbine Muguruza.

The Spaniard had her moments in the final set to turn the match in her favour, but Sofia Kenin was a deserved winner at the end and will move into the top ten of the World Rankings.

Once again we have seen a new name pick up a Grand Slam title in the Women's game which remains as wide open as it has been in recent years. No longer can we expect to see Serena Williams at short prices and then the rest of the field in the outright markets, but I do think every Grand Slam to come this season will be wide open as will all the Premier Events.

Hopefully Bianca Andreescu can return to the Tour soon and get back to the level she was producing and it will make the WTA Tour intriguing, albeit very difficult to predict.

On Day 14 at the Australian Open the Men's Final is set to go as we conclude the first month of the Tour. The next month is going to see the Golden Swing in South America take centre stage, while we do have a couple of ATP 500 events to come on the hard courts too before heading into March and the first two Masters events of the season.

It has been a positive tournament for the Tennis Picks as I opened 2020 focusing on the Australian Open- however much is going to depend on the winner on Saturday with the outright selection on Novak Djokovic being key to the amount of profits produced.

As you will see below I do like the seven time Australian Open to get the better of Dominic Thiem, but I am a fan of the Austrian and I do think he is going to be a Grand Slam winner at some point in his career. You can read my thoughts about the Final and my Tennis Pick in this thread.

Novak Djokovic - 5.5 games v Dominic Thiem: It was alluded to in his post-match interview after beating Alexander Zverev in the Semi Final on Friday, but Dominic Thiem has to be a touch frustrated with the challenges he has had to face in his runs to try and win a first Grand Slam title. The Austrian has been beaten by Rafael Nadal in the 2018 and 2019 French Open Finals against the best clay courter of all time and on Sunday he will try and win the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic who has won this title seven times before, more than any other male player in the history of this Grand Slam.

Novak Djokovic is the defending Champion and has benefited from the draw as he played his Semi Final on Thursday and has had time to recover. He has also spent a lot less time on the court than Dominic Thiem anyway over the course of the tournament so having that additional time is surely going to be a factor in this Grand Slam Final.

In the last two Rounds Dominic Thiem has needed eight minutes short of eight hours on the court to beat Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev. I have to credit the Austrian for the way he has played the big points having won five Tie-Breakers across those two matches, but this is another big challenge and I am not sure Thiem has enough time to recover physically.

Anything that has been left in the gas tank is going to be extracted by someone like Novak Djokovic who is comfortable playing the extended rallies and trying to grind down this opponent. There is every chance he is going to end this tournament as the World Number 1 and Novak Djokovic has been playing at an extremely high level throughout the first month of the 2020 season as he helped Serbia win the ATP Cup before cruising through the draw here.

Over the last two weeks both Djokovic and Thiem have been the best two players with some stunning numbers produced, but it is the Serb who has the edge in both the serve and return. Novak Djokovic is winning a significant amount of percentage points on both the serve and return and he has only allowed sixteen break points in the entirety of the tournament while Dominic Thiem faced up to fourteen in the Semi Final alone.

Novak Djokovic has been holding 92% of his service games and winning 74% of the points played behind that shot. At the same time Dominic Thiem is at 89% and 69% respectively in those categories.

On the return Novak Djokovic is breaking in 31% of return games and winning 43% of points against opponent's serves, while Dominic Thiem's numbers are 24% and 39% respectively. These underline the clear edge that Djokovic has had in the tournament and I think they will be important to remember for the Final too.

You do have to believe that Dominic Thiem will take huge confidence from the fact he finally beat Novak Djokovic on a hard court at the ATP Finals back in November. However it was a day when Djokovic dominated the return and deserved to win and in their previous four hard court matches the Serb has held 89% of his service games compared with Dominic Thiem's number of 73%.

In all but one of those matches Novak Djokovic has earned at least five more break points and I do think his additional fitness and overall performances in the tournament give him the edge in the match.

Dominic Thiem has won their last two Grand Slam matches at Roland Garros, but I think the Austrian is better on the clay than the hard courts. This is an Arena in which Novak Djokovic is much more comfortable and his overall numbers coupled with the head to head numbers on the hard courts as well as the potential fatigue issue makes me believe that the favourite will have too much on the day.

Novak Djokovic will have to weather a couple of storms as Dominic Thiem is hitting very big, but I think he will have the break points that leads to an eventual comfortable win on the scoreboard.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)

Australian Open Update: 38-30, + 9.28 Units (138 Units Staked, + 6.72% Yield)

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