There is the air of David vs Goliath when looking ahead to the men’s Australian Open singles final with seven-time winner Novak Djokovic taking on one of the new kids on the block in Dominic Thiem. Here is our look ahead to Sunday’s encounter.

Novak doing what he does best in Melbourne

Djokovic could pretty much call Melbourne his second home given his incredible record at the opening Grand Slam of the year. He’s won here seven times and he’s won every final he’s been in, so it’s hardly shocking he’s a short priced favourite at 2/7.

He’s only lost one set in the tournament so far and in the words of the commentator after his win over Roger Federer in the semi-final, “that’s some of the best tennis he’s ever played in Melbourne.” In short, he’s going to be very hard to beat and it would take a pretty brave man to bet against him.

Thiem coming of age

Given he was a 22/1 poke at the start of the tournament, not many fancied Thiem to have much success here. Taking this into account, to be in the final is a pretty impressive achievement. Before the 2020 edition, his best finish in Melbourne was the fourth round so he’s really stepped up his game.

He was very impressive when dispatching Rafael Nadal in the quarters and avoided the dreaded bounce when taking care of Alexander Zverev on Friday in the semis. Thiem has lost both Grand Slam finals he’s played and is the clear outsider here at 29/10.

Thiem will by no means go down without a fight and based on how well he’s played so far, he’s only been given a 5.5 game advantage. That’s priced at 4/5 and could be worth backing considering finals are rarely totally one-sided affairs.

Djokovic will surely have too much for his opponent

Looking at the prices and based on their records, it’s incredibly hard to look past Djokovic here. He’s been virtually perfect so far and was imperious at points against Federer, albeit the Swiss wasn’t fully fit. Thiem has played very well and is more than deserving of his spot in the final, but Djokovic in an Australian Open final is an entirely different proposition to what he’s faced so far.

As mentioned, there isn’t much value in backing Novak to win, so backing him to win by three sets to love at a much juicier 11/8 could be the way to go.

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