- Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal, if they get through their Jan. 22 matches, will meet in the quarterfinals
- Both are favoured – Nadal, heavily favored – to get through in the round of 16 (Saturday night ET)
- We look for value in the four round of 16 contests played Jan. 22, and make some predictions
World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev was the favorite to win this year’s Australian Open, even before No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s immigration drama and eventual deportation from the country.
Nothing that has happened since is likely to change that.
Australian Open Round of 16 Odds – January 22
| Alexander Zverev (GER) vs.  Denis Shapovalov (CAN)||-500/+350|
|Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) vs.  Gaël Monfils (FRA)||+350/-500|
| Pablo Carreño Busta (ESP) vs.  Matteo Berrettini (ITA)||+190/-250|
|Adrian Mannarino (FRA) vs.  Rafael Nadal (ESP)||+1100/-3300|
Odds as of Jan. 22 at William Hill
But those who went with Rafael Nadal as a +1000 long shot before the event began won’t find a lot better than +333 now; his stock has risen both with the absence of Djokovic and his own fine play so far this week.
He’s also the only player in the field who has ever won an Australian Open.Advertising Disclosure
Zverev vs Shapovalov Prediction
These two have a long history, beginning with Shapovalov’s home-country tournament in 2017 where, at 18 and ranked No. 143, he made a huge run – only to be stopped by Zverev in the semifinals.
The German was just 20, but already No. 8 in the world.
They’ve since met in team events like the ATP Cup and Laver Cup. And for the most part, Shapovalov has always played him tough – and has even beaten him twice in six meetings.
But this one – at least for Shapovalov – is the biggest so far. And it’s their first meeting with the best-of-five-set format.
Zverev hasn’t dropped a set in three matches so far. Shapovalov, with a tougher draw, has played two four-setters and one five-setter.
He won’t be as fresh. But he still have belief. Zverev might have a doubt or two, knowing the quality of opponent.
Best Bet: A Four-Set Match (+185)
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Carreño Busta vs Berrettini Prediction
If it felt like Pablo Carreño Busta was ripe for the picking against Sebastian Korda in the third round, with Korda in the rise and a decade younger, the veteran Spaniard snuffed that threat out in a hurry.
Meanwhile, Berrettini was busy with another rising star, 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz.
ESCAPE FROM ALCARAZ 🔓
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 21, 2022
The fact that this was a four-hour, 10-minute match and that the Italian looked to have it comfortably on point after winning the first two sets – and then it ended up being a grueling five-set battle in big heat – will leave Berrettini a little short of vim on a day that promises to be even hotter.
Berrettini is a strong favorite. But that’s in part because Carreño Busta is perennially underrated.
It’s a first meeting between the two.
The Italian has been less than convincing so far. Meanwhile, Carreño Busta had the same odds against Korda. And while that was a less-risky pick, he’s fully capable of winning again.
Best Bet: Carreño Busta to Win (+190)
Mannarino vs Nadal Prediction
Poor Adrian Mannarino. It was after 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning when he finally knocked off No. 18 seed Aslan Karatsev, the 2021 surprise semifinalist. It took four hours, 38 minutes.
But he didn’t catch a break with the scheduling; he has a Sunday afternoon date with … Nadal.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 21, 2022
A night match might have helped him, both with the extra hours of recovery, and with the weather. But when you’re playing Nadal as an unseeded player, your needs don’t matter much.
Mannarino’s inspiring Australian Open run included a shocking straight-sets dismissal of No. 10 seed Hubert Hurkacz in the second round.
Even though he’s nearly of Nadal’s generation, the two have only met twice before: in 2016 and in 2019. Nadal, not surprisingly, won both. The Frenchman’s run ends Sunday. He might make a set or two close, but he’s unlikely to win one.
Nadal is far more bullish about his chances in this tournament then he was when he arrived in Australia.
And he’ll be focused on not wasting any extra energy against a player outside the top 50 – not with a potential date with Zverev in the next round. And especially after he let a set slip away Friday against Karen Khachanov, one that turned on a break of serve in a game Nadal had led 40-15.
Best Bet: Nadal in Three Sets (-290)