The big serving Kevin Anderson and Matteo Berrettini will meet at the Australian Open on Tuesday, one of the highlights of the first round as both players are former Grand Slam semifinalists.
Anderson enters this tournament on the back of some decent play at the Great Ocean Road Open, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in two sets before falling to Kharen Khachanov, also in straight sets. The South African is still trying to find his groove back after dealing with knee injuries in 2019, when he was at the top of his game.
Berrettini was on fire last week at the ATP Cup. The Italian cruised to straight sets victories against top opponents like Thiem, Monfils and Carreno Busta (didn’t even need to play a tiebreak in either of those matches) before falling 4-6 2-6 against a red hot Medvedev, who is quite probably the second favorite to win the Australian Open.
The two players never met before on tour. Berrettini hasn’t played that much against quality big servers to evaluate his matchup against them (0-1 vs Tsonga and Querrey, 1-0 vs Kyrgios), but his game should be well suited to deal with Anderson.
Watching Berrettini play last week, you have to feel that the Italian is in top shape right now and he could do some damage here in Melbourne if he stays consistent. He was quite impressive at the ATP Cup.
Anderson showed decent form so far this year as well, but he hasn’t beaten top opposition. Although there’s no doubt he is still dangerous and can play, Kevin is still working his way back towards his optimal rhythm, and right now he is not the player he once was. In a 3 out of 5 set slugfest against Berrettini, he’ll have to move quite a lot and will have his work cut out for him.
I’m trusting what I saw from Berrettini last week and I am trusting his form, not to mention he is the better player. My tip will be Matteo to win. Odds might not be satisfying enough for everyone, but for me anything above 1.40 is good value here and I’m happy to take this price. Prediction: Kevin Anderson – Matteo Berrettini 7-6 4-6 6-7 4-6.