Novak Djokovic’s hamstring doesn’t seem to be an issue anymore.
Coming into the Australian Open, there were questions whether the 35-year-old was dealing with a nagging hammy, and the skeptics only grew louder in the early rounds as the 21-time Grand Slam champion didn’t look 100 percent comfortable.
He looks comfortable now.
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Australian Open prediction: Novak Djokovic vs. Andrey Rublev
Djokovic, who is searching for his 10th Australian Open title, dominated hometown hero Alex de Minaur, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2, to qualify for a quarterfinal showdown with Andrey Rublev on Tuesday night.
Rublev’s résumé in Grand Slams is the classic tale of a player who is a tough out because he beats players he’s supposed to beat, but comes up short when he punches up.
That will likely continue in this instance, as Rublev doesn’t have the weapons to deal with the legendary defense of Djokovic. The Russian is a battler and rarely gives an inch, but his second serve is a weakness and that should provide Djokovic plenty of opportunities to put the 25-year-old in his rearview mirror.
You can question whether or not Djokovic’s hamstring is 100 percent and will hold up in a marathon match, but this contest is unlikely to go deep into the night as Djokovic should be able to put Rublev away with little fuss.
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The Serb has dropped just one set so far — and that came in a tiebreaker — so backing Djokovic to win in a sweep at -115 seems like a worthwhile wager.
Novak Djokovic vs. Andrey Rublev pick
THE PLAY: Novak Djokovic to win 3-0 (-115, BetMGM)