Novak Djokovic vs Roberto Bautista Agut ATP Picks - 7/12/2019
Novak Djokovic vs Roberto Bautista-Agut
7 am EST, 11th July 2019
One of the funniest stories in this years Wimbledon is involving the least expected semifinalist out of all four - Roberto Bautista Agut. Even he didn't believe that he'll be among the last 4 players standing in this tournament. The best proof for that is the fact that he organized a bachelor party for him and his friends this week in Ibiza. Achieving his career best in Grand Slams obviously prevented him to join his boys on that beautiful Spanish isle, but they are bringing the party to London on Friday when they'll support him in his match vs Novak Djokovic. This result might be a surprise for casual tennis fans, but not as much for someone that knows what Roberto is about and watched him play on grass before. He has a great record on this surface. He was in very good form before coming to Wimbledon, losing only to Roger Federer in a very close match. Wiped out his competition on his way to the semis, losing only 1 set altogether (vs Pella in quarters), even though he played some really good players like Karen Khachanovc and Benoit Paire.
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But, he will have to find another gear for this one, if that is even possible. Facing one of the Big 3 this late in a Major is something completely different, which he hasn't experienced yet. Similarly to the Spaniard, Djokovic lost just 1 set so far as well (Hurkacz in the 3rd round). But the way he's able to raise his form in the second week of the tournament and the level he performed at vs Goffin was scary. David Goffin played some of his best tennis recently. He also started the match really well by breaking Djokovic's serve first in the 7th game, but from that point on he got mauled in a 15-2 series, even though he didn't do much wrong really. It is almost impossible to out-rally Novak from the back of the court in these conditions and Goffin doesn't have the power to go and hit through him.
Bautista Agut is a similar matchup in my opinion. The only difference is that his ball is much flatter then Goffin's. He aims for depth and precision, trying to be as consistent as possible with it. It worked for him last two times when he played Djokovic. Both matches were played this year (Doha & Miami) and in both, he won after being a set and a break down. It shows his competitive nature. Being relentless and refusing to give up even in tough situations, against some of the best in the world.
But before that, Joker was dominating their H2H with 7-1. And as I mentioned, it's not the same when playing against Big 3 in smaller tournaments compared to later stages of Majors, when they are at their best, trying to build their legacy. Bautista Agut is going to feel that for the first time on Friday. His game works magic against 2nd and 3rd tier players that are impatient and don't know how to deal with his consistent ball striking. But that's not going to be enough for an upset against Djokovic.
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Betting odds & prediction
Books are realizing it as well. They are charging an absolute premium on the favorite and are obviously trying to attract the money on the other side with these lines. Novak is a -1000 favorite. The spread is -7.5 and the total is sitting at 32. The weird part about these lines is that they are not that much different from the ones in Djokovic's previous matches. And Bautista is probably miles better from those guys (except Goffin). As I said, they know how these elite guys raise the level even further in these important matches and separate themselves from the rest of the competition. That is why I don't think Bautista can steal a set here. Expected scoreline: 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.
Tony's Pick: under 32 games (-106)
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