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Tennis | Tuesday, May 28, 2024 8:14 AM

Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Alexei Popyrin Prediction, Picks, Odds, H2H, 5/28/24

Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Alexei Popyrin Prediction, Picks, Odds, H2H, 5/28/24
Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo: Thanasi Kokkinakis during the Australian Open

Our second preview from the French Open on Tuesday is an all-Australian tilt. I think there’s an edge to be had in the Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Alexei Popyrin match, so let’s dig in. My Kokkanakis vs Popyrin prediction at 1.93 odds is available below!

Popyrin’s win probability is 50%, with Kokkinakis checking in as the slightest of favorites at 1.93 odds. The handicap is 0.5 games and the total games line is 40.5.

Kokkinakis vs Popyrin Prediction: Kokkinakis the More Trustworthy of the Aussies on Clay

  • Predictions: Kokkinakis to win
  • Best Odds: 1.93
  • Bookmaker: Pinnacle
  • Stakes: 3/10

Odds as at 08:00 am UK Time on May 28th, 2024. Odds may now differ.

I don’t think either of these guys would prefer to play on clay courts, but I do think one of them has the upper hand, even if it’s not the preferred surface for him to play on.

That would be Kokkinakis, who in recent years seems to have found almost as much success on clay as he has on faster courts. There could be a few explanations for this like a lower level of competition, but I don’t think the surface is the worst fit for his game. It allows him more time to get around the court, masking his less-than-stellar movement. He is afforded a bit more time on return, masking another and his serve and forehand are still potent enough to create space and hit winners.

Throw in the fact that he knows how to take his foot off the gas and mix in the topspin forehands from time to time and you’ve got a gameplan that can work.

Popyrin on the other hand still plays a much more traditional hard-court strategy. Winning in Umag on slow clay last year and beating Andrey Rublev this year in Monte Carlo seems to have some higher on him playing on clay than I am, but that small post-French Open clay tournament is looking more and more like an outlier (with a fairly weak field) and Rublev has looked poor apart from Madrid in recent times on the whole.

Even his fourth-round run in Rome in 2023 featured three main draw wins against…. hard-court opposition.

I’m going to trust Kokkinakis, even though as time goes by, the market seems to favor Popyrin more and more. My Kokkinakis vs Popyrin prediction is for Kokkinakis to win.

Our expert insights section has more previews from Tuesday’s action at Roland Garros.

Thanasi Kokkinakis Recent Form

Though his form isn’t going to turn many heads, I think Kokkinakis has played some decent tennis since making the switch to clay. Putting his Challenger title aside (he won it on quicker green clay, which is essentially an entirely different surface), he’s still been competitive more often than not.

He qualified in Madrid and pushed Jack Draper to the brink of defeat, his loss to the athletic and incredibly talented Terence Atmane was by a single break of serve in Rome qualifying, and then at a big Challenger 175 in Bordeaux, the 28-year-old picked up a pair of wins before losing to top-40 teenage sensation Arthur Fils, who would go on to win that trophy. That loss was also by a single break of serve.

The form is better and the game is a little better suited for the conditions for me, so I make Kokkinakis a favorite in this one. At 1.89, I’ll have a bite.

Alexei Popyrin Recent Form

Let’s just say that Popyrin is a long way off from playing his best tennis at the moment. Since that win in Monte Carlo against Rublev, the Australian hasn’t won a set on the dirt against Alex de Minaur, Daniel Altmaier, Mariano Navone, or Hamad Medjedovic.

The unforced error count can rise with Popyrin who doesn’t employ as much spin and thus doesn’t have as much rally tolerance on slower courts.

Perhaps it won’t be as crucial against a fellow hard courter and serve-oriented player, but I’m just not convinced that this should be such an evenly priced match.

Kokkinakis vs Popyrin H2H – Stat of the Match

There are often moments where I’ll dismiss a prior head-to-head record for a variety of reasons (current form, surfaces previous matches were played on, how long ago they took place, etc) when I’m betting on the player that hasn’t tended to fare as well in the matchup. I think it’s only fair I do the same here when it favors the player I’m backing.

Yes, Kokkinakis leads the series 2-0 with a 4-1 record in sets, and even though both contests occurred last year, they took place on hard courts, and quicker ones at that.

Even if that metric is in our favor for this bet, it’s tough to put much stock into those wins and shouldn’t be a major factor in your handicap.

Safer Gambling

At bettingexpert, we always take a safe approach to gambling. We’ll never bet more than we can afford or chase losses. For more advice, head to our Safer Gambling hub.

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