Serbia’s Novak Djokovic plays a return to Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti during their fourth round match on day 9, of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Monday, June 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
- As expected, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic remain on track to meet in the French Open semifinals
- Matteo Berrettini got an unexpected break when Roger Federer withdrew before their round of 16 clash
- We crunch the numbers to find some value in the underdog Berrettini in this quarterfinal match
Novak Djokovic is a strong favorite against Matteo Berrettini Wednesday for many reasons.
Not the least of those is his dismantling of the Italian in their one previous meeting. That came more than 18 months ago in the ATP Tour Finals in London.
Novak Djokovic vs Matteo Berrettini Odds
| Novak Djokovic (SRB)||-6.5 (-122)||-455||O 34.5 (-115)|
| Matteo Berrettini (ITA)||+6.5 (-103)||+350||U 34.5 (-107)|
Odds as of June 8 at DraftKings
It’s not just the moneyline. The World No. 1 isn’t even expected to be tested with a four- or five-set match against the world No. 9.
That, even though Berrettini dropped just one set in his first three matches, all the way back in the first round against Taro Daniel of Japan.
Novak Djokovic vs Matteo Berrettini Match History
|2019||ATP Tour Finals (RR)||Indoor Hard||6-2, 6-1||Djokovic|
Big Scare for Djokovic Against Lorenzo Musetti
Lorenzo Musetti, a 19-year-old Italian, was making his career Grand Slam main-draw debut in Paris this year.
He played like a major champion for the first two sets of his round of 16 match against Djokovic Monday.
The brilliant shotmaking was something Djokovic, who wasn’t playing poorly but not at his best level, couldn’t match.
Suddenly the world No. 1 was down two sets to love.
2021 French Open Odds Tracker
A bathroom break took Djokovic off court for about five minutes. And he returned with fresh kit – right down to fresh briefs and clean, blinding white socks – and a fresh mindset.
“After I lost the second set and went out to change and came back on the court, I just felt different; I was a different player. I had a better feeling in my shots. And I had just more confidence going through the ball. Decreased the amount of errors. Started playing the way I was supposed to play at the beginning,” Djokovic said.
Musetti won 85 points in the first two sets. He won just 18 in the final three sets of a 6-7 (7), 7-6 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 Djokovic win that ended with a spent Musetti’s injury retirement.
Berrettini Gets a Four-Day Slam Holiday
When Berrettini takes the court against Djokovic Wednesday, it will have been four days since he played his last match.
After Roger Federer won his third-round, late-night match against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer Monday, he dropped major hints that he might not answer the bell for his round of 16 match against Berrettini.
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) June 6, 2021
And, in the end, he pulled the plug on his French Open the next morning and gifted the Italian with a pass to the quarterfinals.
That can be a blessing, if a player has had tough matches earlier in the tournament.
But in Berrettini’s case, after three fairly routine victories, it could be a momentum-stopper.
Big Serve Should Be Neutralized by World’s Best Return
While Berrettini is six years older than countryman Musetti, he doesn’t have the same kind of devastating variety. His game is more straightforward: power, more power, and whatever little extras he needs.
But where he really doesn’t match up well with Djokovic – unlike Musetti, with his flashy one-hander – is on the backhand.
It is the (relative) weakness in his game that the Serb, whose two-handed backhand is virtually impenetrable, will exploit.
On Berrettini’s side are the continuing warm, dry conditions, which will help his serve velocity. But he’s facing the world’s best returner.
Novak Djokovic vs Matteo Berrettini Head-to-Head
|34 (May 22, 1987)||Age||25 (April 12, 1996)|
|Belgrade, Serbia||Birthplace||Rome, Italy|
|83||Career ATP Singles Titles||4|
|18||Career Grand Slam Titles||0|
|No. 1 (July 4, 2011)||Career High Ranking||No. 8 (Nov. 4, 2019)|
|No. 1||Current Ranking||No. 9|
|$148,092,073||Career Prize Money||$6,063,335|
|24-3||2021 Won/Loss record||21-5|
Pick Djokovic in Straight Sets
While the upset is highly unlikely – especially as Djokovic got a bit of a wakeup call Monday and is expected to get off to a better start – there is still value in this matchup.
With Berrettini’s serve, you’d expect there would be at least one tiebreak (+118).
A straight-sets Djokovic win is at +123. If you think Berrettini can sneak out a set, those odds get more interesting at +285.
But this is the business end of a major. And the Serb, who has won 18 of them and knows what to do.
Best Bet: Djokovic in three sets (+123)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.