The men’s field at the 2019 Australian Open could turn into a battle of the generations.
After the Stefanos Tsitsipas upset of six-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer in the round of 16 Sunday, the men’s singles draw appears to point towards two intriguing semifinal match-ups of “old guard” versus “new guard” players.
After his upset of Federer, Tsitsipas will next face Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain in the quarterfinals, where he will be favored, despite RBA’s recent tournament win in Doha and suffering through three five-set match wins en route to the quarterfinals. Tsitsipas would then, likely, face world No. 2 Rafael Nadal who, despite injury fears at the end of last year and the start of this year, has rolled into the quarterfinals. Nadal is a heavy favorite to beat another “NextGen” young star, 21-year-old Frances Tiafoe of the USA, who defeated Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round to reach his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal. A semifinal between the 20-year-old Tsitsipas and the 32-year-old Nadal would be a prime box-office engagement.
Almost as intriguing a semifinal match-up would be a potential penultimate round showdown on the top half of the draw between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic against No. 4 Alexander Zverev. Djokovic, 31 and a six-time Australian Open champion, has No. 15 seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round and either No. 8 Kei Nishikori or No. 23 Pablo Carreno Busta and appears on a collision course with the 21-year-old Zverev. With new coach Ivan Lendl is his corner, Zverev will seek to reach a major semifinal for the first time. Former Wimbledon finalist and Australian Open semifinalist Milos Raonic awaits in the round of 16 and No. 11 Borna Coric or No. 2 Lucas Pouille in the quarterfinals.
It will be interesting to monitor the tennis betting odds at 888sport and who they view as the favorite in these and other potential match-ups.