A spot in the Australian Open semifinals will be on the line when world No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and world No. 10 Jannik Sinner clash on Wednesday. Tsitsipas, 23, has been to the semifinals in Melbourne twice in his young career, while Sinner, 20, has never made it beyond the quarterfinals at a major. That, however, is far from a dealbreaker when looking at whether or not you can back the Italian—who is favored to win this match.
Tsitsipas has done extremely well to get to this stage after undergoing right elbow surgery (his dominant side) just a few months ago, punctuated by his five-set win over Taylor Fritz in the fourth round. After going down two sets to one, Tsitsipas prevailed 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. His serving down the stretch in that match was flawless, and it may likely need to be again, against Sinner. That match surely took a lot out of Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas has now played at least four sets in each of his last three victories, which isn’t ideal for anybody, let alone someone coming off an injury. Meanwhile, Sinner has won three of his four matches Down Under in straight sets, and his other victory was a four-set win. He just doesn’t have a lot of mileage on him heading into this content, and he also represents a significant step up in talent in comparison to the other players that Tsitsipas has faced so far.
Sinner enters the quarterfinals after having won 11 of his last 12 matches, and he has quickly moved up the ladder on the ATP tour over the last two years. In 2020, he won his first ATP title and first cracked the Top 40. Then, in 2021, the Italian made it to the final of a Masters 1000 and moved into the Top 10 in the rankings. This is a player that is making his presence felt in the men’s game, and it wouldn’t be that shocking if he were to go on to win this tournament.
Like Fritz, Sinner is a big player with a ton of power from all over the court, but the youngster is better than the American at pretty much everything. Sinner is an elite mover for a guy his size, and he has one of the best backhands on the planet. His forehand is also a weapon, giving him no true weaknesses for Tsitsipas to exploit. If Sinner is serving well, it’s entirely possible that this match won’t even be close.
If Tsitsipas wasn’t fresh off a significant injury, I'd feel better about his chances, but Sinner has what it takes to handle his business against an opponent that isn’t playing to the best of his ability. Don’t fall for the trap of taking Tsitsipas at plus odds.
The Pick: Jannik Sinner To Win (-140)