Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 16, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic is coming off a straight sets win over Mitchell Krueger that took 25 games to decide. In the victory, Djokovic won 85 percent of his first serve points and 59 percent of his second serve points. Djokovic won 78 percent of his total service points and produced six breaks on 20 break points. Djokovic was in control of the match from start to finish, but he could improve his second serve percentage and did have 26 unforced errors in two errors. While improvement is needed, Djokovic is still the clear cut favorite to win this tournament when it’s all said and done. Djokovic has been bounced before the third round of a grand slam just once since 2009. Djokovic has won 11 of his last 12 matches on hard court.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is coming off a straight sets win over Martin Klizan that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Tsonga won 94 percent of his first serve points and 56 percent of his second serve points. Tsonga won 79 percent of his total service points and didn’t face a single break point while hitting 23 aces. Tsonga is still fresh off a knee injury and has limited reps under his belt, but you combine his first round performance with his semifinal appearance in Brisbane, and the Frenchman looks impressive. As long as Tsonga continues to serve this way and hit with extreme power, he’s a dangerous, dangerous second round opponent. Tsonga has been bounced before the third round of a grand slam just twice in his last 16 appearances. Tsonga has won four of his last five matches on hard court.
These two have played 25 times and Djokovic has won 18 of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2016 US Open, a match Djokovic won in two sets. Tsonga’s last win over Djokovic came in a 2014 exhibition match, which was just one set. Each of the last 13 meetings between these players were decided in straight sets.
This is a hell of a second round match, and as long as Tsonga’s conditioning holds up, he’s more than capable of making this match very interesting. Tsonga is hitting the ball with great pace, is serving at a very high level and hasn’t lost before the third round of the Australian Open since 2007, his first ever appearance at this tournament. The question is conditioning, as Tsonga is still working his way back from injury and doesn’t have a ton of matches stashed away. Djokovic still deserves to be the favorite and he’s the safe pick, however, this is going to be highly competitive.
I’ll take Djokovic in four tight sets, and consider the over once the line is released. I also wouldn't talk you out of it if you wanted to sprinkle something on Tsonga as a big underdog. He's serving well enough to give Djokovic a run for his money.