- No. 3 Zverev and No. 6 Nadal are the highest seeds remaining in the top half of the Australian Open men’s draw
- The two could meet in the quarterfinals next week
- Read on as we break down why some higher seeds are underdogs in the round of 32
The top half ot the Australian Open men’s singles draw is the half that used to contain world No. 1 and nine-time champion Novak Djokovic.
The timing of his withdrawal – the day before the tournament began – meant it was too late to relocate some seeded players to make the draw more balanced.
The two highest seeds – Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal – are slated to meet in the quarterfinals (if both get there). Which would eliminate one of them from the final eight and greatly affect the Australian Open odds.
Australian Open Rounds of 32 Odds – January 20
| Karen Khachanov (RUS) vs.  Rafael Nadal (ESP)||+400/-600|
| Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) vs.  Matteo Berrettini (ITA)||-175/+138|
| Reilly Opelka (USA) vs.  Denis Shapovalov (CAN)||-125/+100|
|Adrian Mannarino (FRA) vs. ]18] Aslan Karatsev (RUS)||+320/-450|
| Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. [Q] Radu Albot (MDA)||-10000/+2000|
| Gaël Monfils (FRA) vs.  Cristian Garin (CHI)||-1200/+650|
|Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB) vs.  Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)||+150/-187|
|Sebastian Korda (USA) vs. ]19] Pablo Carreño Busta (ESP)||+110/-137|
Odds as of Jan. 20 at William Hill
Carlos Alcaraz vs Matteo Berrettini Prediction
Still just 18 years old, Alcaraz has arrived in Australia looking like he … did not skip arm and shoulders day during the off-season.Advertising Disclosure
He is suddenly buff. And he is seeded at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. And if people weren’t high on his prospects before, the sound is deafening now.
But he still is very inexperienced in the best-of-five set format used at the majors. Meanwhile, opponent Matteo Berrettini was a Wimbledon finalist last summer.
Is it surprising that the odds have Alcaraz as a slight favorite? Yes.
The two met once before, in October 2021 when Berrettini was worn down from a sterling season and the teenager Alcaraz still had the eagerness of a rookie. Alcaraz won. But it came down to a third-set tiebreak at an indoor tournament in Vienna.
Berrettini has likely recovered from some … intestinal issues early on that weakened him a little. He managed to get through his first match, and then dropped a set, but basically rolled against American wild card Stefan Kozlov.
Alcaraz had an equally good draw. And he has yet to drop a set.
Best Bet: Berrettini in four sets (+390)
Sebastian Korda vs Pablo Carreño Busta Prediction
Both Korda and Carreño Busta had gruelling second-round matches on Wednesday.
Korda, ranked No. 43 and coming off a recent bout with COVID-19, needed a super-tiebreaker in the fifth set to defeat crafty French lefthander Corentin Moutet.
Carreño Busta defeated Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, 6-4 in the fifth set.
Sebastian Korda, 21-year-old American, reaches the third round of his first main-draw at the Australian Open. Had to EARN it, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-5, 7-6 (6)
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) January 19, 2022
The Spaniard needed four hours, 10 minutes. The American Korda played for four hours, 47 minutes before finally prevailing.
Korda has a nine-year edge, at 21. But Carreño Busta has a major edge in experience. Both are players capable of hitting winners, but make their money winning long rallies. Korda has the bigger serve and a little more firepower. And it feels as though this might be his time.
Best Bet: Korda to win (+110)
Reilly Opelka vs Denis Shapovalov Prediction
The two have met just once, and it was 4 1/2 years ago when both were starting out, in the qualifying of the Queen’s Club tournament on grass.
Shapovalov won that one in a third-set tiebreak. But he is the player in better form, after posting some impressive victories in the ATP Cup, leading up to the Australian Open.
As is too often the case, Shapovalov has wasted some energy getting to the third round, with patches of brilliance and patches of inconsistent play.
Shapovalov survives in five 🙌
🇨🇦 @denis_shapo prevails in an epic 7-6(6) 6-7(3) 6-7(6) 7-5 6-2 battle with Soonwoo Kwon after four hours and 25 minutes!#AusOpen • #AO2022
🎥: @wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis pic.twitter.com/OvOtSIOMdh
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2022
He needed five sets to get past Korean Soonwoo Kwon Wednesday in a match he was expected to win rather handily. Opelka has not dropped a set against former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson (6-3, 6-4, 7-6) and speedy German lefty Dominik Koepfer (6-4, 6-3, 7-6).
Shapovalov is the slight favorite in this one. But sets can get away quickly against a 7-foot-tall serving giant who is very hard to break serve against. One bad game can easily cost Shapovalov a set. But a few well-timed returns can also win him a set.
Best Bet: Shapovalov to lose the first set and win the match (+550)