Australian Open 2019: The 2019 Australian Open, the tennis season’s first Grand Slam, began Monday, Jan. 14, at Rod Laver Arena inside Melbourne Park and will conclude with the men’s and women’s singles championships Sunday, Jan. 27.
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Top-seeded Novak Djokovic, aiming for his seventh Australian Open title, takes on upstart Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the semifinals. The match begins at 3:30 a.m. ET Friday (7:30 p.m. Friday local time in Melbourne). Djokovic, the pre-tournament favorite, was dominating Kei Nishikori 6-1, 4-1 in the quarterfinals when the Japanese player retired with a thigh injury. Pouille, the 31st seed, reached his first Grand Slam semifinal with a stunning four-set upset of Milos Raonic. Bookmakers list the six-time champ as a -1800 favorite (risk $1,800 to win $100) in the latest Djokovic vs. Pouille odds, with Pouille getting +950 (risk $100 to win $950) as the underdog. The over-under on total games is 30.5.
There are plenty of ways to approach this match, so before you make any Djokovic vs. Pouille picks and Australian Open predictions, you’ll want to see what renowned tennis bettor Sean Calvert has to say given the streak he’s on. Not only did Calvert nail the US Open, calling Djokovic -1.5 sets in the final (a straight-set laugher over Juan Martin del Potro), he has displayed an uncanny feel for the Australian Open.
In 2014, Calvert called Stan Wawrinka’s shocking Aussie Open triumph, a legendary call that rewarded Calvert’s followers with a 60-1 payout. That was the only time in the past 13 years someone not named Federer, Nadal or Djokovic won this event, and Calvert saw it coming.
This is the same expert who cashed in huge on John Isner winning the Miami Open at 100-1, a life-changing payout for those who followed Calvert’s advice. He just nailed Daniil Medvedev winning the Tokyo Open at 45-1.
Now, Calvert has broken down the 2019 Australian Open semifinals and released two highly confident picks on Novak Djokovic vs. Lucas Pouille. He’s only sharing them over at SportsLine.
Calvert knows Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 player, is favored to capture his third straight Grand Slam tournament. He has won 19 straight Grand Slam matches and wasn’t tested at all in the quarterfinals. Djokovic won’t take Pouille lightly, knowing the Frenchman has beaten Rafael Nadal in his career. Pouille comes into the match ranked 30th in the world. Against players ranked 15th through 30th in hard-court majors, Djokovic is a strong 28-1. But, Calvert notes, Djokovic has shown signs of vulnerability.
“Djokovic has dropped sets against them five times in his last nine matches, and seven of the last 10 have gone over 30 total games,” Calvert told SportsLine. “And against one of those players [Daniil Medvedev] this week, Djokovic looked less than secure and at times was physically struggling.”
“Medvedev didn’t take his opportunity and faded badly, but if Pouille can keep serving as well as he has done all tournament, he could surprise,” Calvert said.
Thus far in the 2019 Australian Open, Pouille has held serve a whopping 93 percent of the time.