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After tearing his meniscus at the French Open in June, Taylor Fritz has now reached consecutive ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinals with a convincing 6-3, 7-6 (3), win over red-hot Cameron Norrie. For his efforts, Fritz will be rewarded with a matchup against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on Friday.

After his crushing loss to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final, the Serb took some much-needed time off to recharge his batteries for a strong year-end finish. He was understandably rusty in his 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, victory over Marton Fucsovics in the first round, and received a walkover in his second round after Gael Monfils withdrew due to injury.

Djokovic will certainly be fresh for this quarterfinal, but he probably didn’t want a withdrawal, as he’s played just one match since September. For while Djokovic was recovering physically and mentally, his Friday opponent has rounded into the best form of his life. Since the US Open, Fritz is a sizzling 12-3, with impressive wins over Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner and Norrie.

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Fritz has blasted his way into his second consecutive Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

Fritz has blasted his way into his second consecutive Masters 1000 quarterfinal. 

According to the oddsmakers, Djokovic is listed as a -450 favorite and projected to win by 4.5 total games. Djokovic leads the head-to-head with four wins to none, but Fritz very nearly pulled a monumental upset in their lone hard-court meeting, ultimately losing 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2, at this year’s Australian Open.

Going against Djokovic in any fashion is obviously extremely risky, but if there was ever a time to bet on the American, it’s right now. Even if you are the greatest player of all time, there is no substitution for competitive match play.

As long as Fritz plays within himself, he should earn plenty of opportunities to succeed against a rusty adversary. I will likely be placing a small bet on the American’s moneyline, as well a standard bet on Fritz to cover his 4.5 game spread.

The Pick: Taylor Fritz +4.5 games