2023 Australian Open men's semifinal tennis odds: Novak Djokovic favored for straight-set win over American Tommy Paul in first-ever meeting
In his fairly short professional tennis career, 25-year-old American Tommy Paul has beaten six players who were ranked in the top 10 of the ATP rankings at the time of the match, but Paul has yet to face all-time great Novak Djokovic. That will change early Friday morning Eastern time in the semifinals of the Australian Open. The nine-time champion and No. 4 seed Djokovic is a heavy -2500 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook, with the unseeded Paul priced at +1000. Click here for expert picks.
Paul has beaten two seeded players to reach the semifinals, both from Spain: No. 30 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in five sets (second round) and No. 24 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in four (fourth round). In the quarters, Paul was a -280 favorite over fellow American Ben Shelton and won 7-6 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam semifinal in his 14th appearance at a major.
Paul is 6-12 on the ATP Tour against top-10 opponents, including wins against Rafael Nadal last November at the Rolex Paris Masters and victories against Carlos Alcaraz (Montreal) and Alexander Zverev (Indian Wells) last season.
Djokovic is looking to tie Nadal for the all-time Grand Slam titles lead with 22 and has never lost an Austalian Open semifinal. The Serb has only dropped one set at this year's tournament despite entering a hamstring issue. He crushed No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. Djokovic, who would reclaim the No. 1 global ranking by winning the Open, has won his past 11 sets and dropped a total of 27 games in that span in Melbourne. Djokovic's 26-match Australian Open winning streak has tied Andre Agassi for the longest run there in the Open era.
The Paul-Djokovic match is scheduled for 3:30 a.m. ET. That Djokovic wins in three sets is a -260 favorite. Paul winning in straight sets is a +3500 long shot. The over/under for total games is 29.5.
"I watched him play quite a bit, especially during this tournament. He's been playing probably the tennis of his life," said Djokovic of Paul. "Very explosive, very dynamic player. Quick, very solid backhand. Likes to step in, dictate the point with the forehand. Great, great service motion. I think he can hit all the spots with the serve. Very complete player."
The first semifinal, set for 10:30 p.m. ET, features No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece against No. 10 Karen Khachanov of Russia. Tsitsipas won all four previous meetings and is -260 with Khachanov +200.
Djokovic is -400 to win the tournament. Tsitsipas is +375, Khachanov is +1400 and Paul is +3000.
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