On Friday, world No. 13 Jannik Sinner will take on world No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open. These two met at the Australian Open back in January, and Tsitsipas cruised to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory. Sinner was actually favored in that match-up, as Tsitsipas was coming off elbow surgery a few weeks earlier. But the Greek superstar blitzed him there, and he moved to 3-1 in four career meetings with the Italian.

That blowout loss to Tsitsipas was something of a turning point in Sinner’s career. The uber-talented 20-year-old changed coaches after the Australian Open; Sinner has high expectations for himself, and he felt that the way that he played in that match was unacceptable. A few months later, the Italian will have the opportunity to prove that he made the right decision to change his team—even if it could take some time for him to see the end result of that move.


Make your picks, and you could win big

Make your picks, and you could win big

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Tsitsipas is undoubtedly good enough to win, and this is certainly a match-up that he has been comfortable in before. But it should be noted that each of Tsitsipas’ last four matches have gone to a third set.

Look for Sinner to come out with razor focus in this one, as this match undoubtedly means more to him than it does Tsitsipas. That’s not to say that Tsitsipas doesn’t want to win this tournament himself, but Sinner is the one that is fueled by revenge after having been embarrassed the last time these two played. The 20-year-old also happens to be playing at home here, so this crowd should firmly be in his favor. We saw Sinner reach a special level in a comeback win over world No. 18 Pablo Carreno Busta when the Miami crowd fully backed the Italian. We’re expecting him to be similarly amped up in this one, and that could also get to Tsitsipas. It wouldn't be the first time we could see Tsitsipas get testy when the crowd isn’t on his side.

Overall, it’s just a little surprising to see Sinner as a +180 underdog against Tsitsipas after having been a -140 favorite when they met in Melbourne. The Italian is fully capable of walking away with a win in this match, but we want to go the safer route and back him to win a set. That protects you in the event that Tsitsipas ends up emerging with the victory in a close one.

The Pick: Sinner To Win A Set (-140)