- Rafael Nadal has been to at least the semis in seven straight grand slams
- Nadal is only 4-3 in his career against Nick Kyrgios
- Dominic Thiem has never beaten Nadal on hard courts
The 2020 Australian Open draw has been announced and Rafael Nadal – one of the favorites to win the event – will have a tricky draw to navigate. While he’s still a heavy favorite to make it to the quarters, is anyone else in his section a better bet to win Quarter 1? Let’s take a closer look at the lines.
2020 Australian Open Men’s Singles 1st Quarter Odds
|Player||Odds at Bovada|
|Pablo Carreno Busta||+2800|
Odds taken Jan. 17
Thiem, Kyrgios in the Conversation
While Novak Djokovic’s quarter seems like he’ll be on cruise control into the quarters, Nadal’s quarter will have a few tests. That’s because Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios are in Nadal’s draw as well as Russian Karen Khachanov. The first two are at 5/1 or shorter while Khachanov is at +1600; Djokovic’s draw only has one player inside of 20/1 to win his quarter.
At any rate, it would be a sizable upset if Nadal didn’t win this quarter as Thiem and Kyrgios are both a step down in quality. Thiem was just 9-5 on hard courts last season as he’s more of a clay-court specialist. He’s never made it past the fourth round at the Australian Open and has an overall record of 10-6 at the grand slam.
As for Kyrgios, the volatile Aussie has only made it to the quarterfinals once at the Australian Open, which was in 2015. Last year, he lost in the first round and hasn’t been past the fourth round in four years. However, unlike Thiem, hard courts are his best surface. He was 18-8 on hard courts last year.
The good news is Nadal is only 4-3 against Kyrgios and Kyrgios is 2-1 on hard courts. They’re 1-1 in grand slam meetings. At the same time, Kyrgios is so unpredictable that he could end up losing before he gets to Nadal. He just lost to Robert Bautista Agut in the ATP Cup Finals, losing in straight sets, and didn’t win more than two matches in any of his final four tournaments of 2019.
What’s Nadal’s Current Form?
Nadal has been a solid OK to start the year, which is a bit of a concern. He lost to Djokovic in the ATP Cup, which isn’t a big deal, but he also lost to David Goffin, which was a surprise. It’s a small-ish tournament but seeing him lose to Goffin is not a good sign. Nadal did finish the 2019 campaign on a tear, winning 42 of his final 45 matches.
In terms of recent grand slams, Nadal has been incredible as he’s been to the semis or later in seven straight grand slams. At the Australian Open, he’s been to the quarters or later in three straight and five of his last six.
What’s the Best Bet?
At -120, I’d have to take a shot with Nadal. Could he lose? Possibly. Is Thiem or Kyrgios or anyone else worth the price of admission? Absolutely not. If they win the quarter, I’ll tip my cap and lose the bet. However, Kyrgios is so inconsistent and Thiem is so vanilla on hard courts that I can’t trust either of them. The bet is Nadal.
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