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tennis | Friday, January 20, 2023 9:16 AM (Revised at: Friday, January 20, 2023 9:17 AM)

Friday Tennis Best Bet: ATP Australian Open, Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton

Friday Tennis Best Bet: ATP Australian Open, Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton
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Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton Best Bet: Friday, January 20th

Much nicer result from the selection between J.J. Wolf and Diego Schwartzman, as the big ball striker in Wolf, was almost never in doubt as he ended proceedings in straight sets.

Onto Friday’s featured matchup, which pits a pair of big hitting youngsters in Alexei Popyrin and Ben Shelton against each other.

In this article:


Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton Preview

January 21st, TBD (UK Time)

A big congratulations to…someone in this match, as we are sure to see one of these two make their debut in the second week of a grand slam.

For Shelton, it would be a tad more impressive, considering the recent collegiate champion has only been a full-time professional for a few months (yet he’s still managed to reach the top 100 in world rankings already).

The big lefty – on his first-ever trip outside of his native United States – should be well-prepared to take on the big serve and forehand combination of Popyrin after playing Nicolas Jarry in the second round.

Popyrin is a better hard-court player and moves more efficiently than the big Chilean, but that match should still serve the 20-year-old well.

Despite an incredibly close scoreline, he won about 8% more points than Jarry on return, looked much better moving around the court and generated seven times as many break-point chances throughout the three sets.

He also covered the handicap, despite needing a pair of tiebreaks in the straight-sets win.

He should also be ready to deal with a hostile crowd, after the Chilean contingent in Melbourne was out in full force for the 27-year-old Santiago native, as they have been since his run through the qualifying draw. That should prove to be useful, as it’s sure to be even tougher against an Aussie on Friday night.

In terms of the matchup, Shelton’s talent may still need some polish, but for the second consecutive match, he should have the more reliable movement, advantage in the athleticism department and stronger net game than his opposition.


Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton Best Bet

The Aussie’s support may be even more vocal, and he’s certainly better than Jarry on hard courts, but the price also reflects the higher degree of difficulty in this matchup, as Shelton goes from a short favourite to the underdog.

Between the matchup advantages listed above and the clear overreaction to the incredible – but likely unsustainable – form of Popyrin against Taylor Fritz (he won 20 of 20 points on serve in the third set), we’re seeing some value on the young, energetic American here.

  • Selection: Shelton to win
  • Best Odds: 2.17 (Pinnacle)
  • Stakes: 3/10

Odds as at 1:00 am on January 20th, 2022. Odds may now differ.


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