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2024 ATP Australian Open Betting Preview: Adrian Mannarino vs Ben Shelton

January 18, 2024

20th seed Adrian Mannarino of France will face 16th seed Ben Shelton of the United States in the Australian Open third round. 

Adrian Mannarino and Ben Shelton have only met once on the ATP Tour. The Frenchman claimed a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory in the Miami Open second round last season. 

The winner will advance to play either 30th seed Tomás Martín Etcheverry of Argentina or top-seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the next round. 

Adrian Mannarino Betting Preview (+220 at Everygame) 

Despite his advanced tennis age of 35, Adrian Mannarino is now delivering his best game. The Frenchman had won his fifth title on the ATP tour, and is now bidding to build on his best-ever Grand Slam performance. 

The 35-year-old Frenchman had won just one of his first 10 ATP final appearances and that happened on grass-courts in 2019. Nowadays, Mannarino had won four of his last five tour-level finals (all in the 250 Series) between August 2022 and November 2023. 

Adrian Mannarino enjoyed a great end of last season as he triumphed at the Astana Open and Sofia Open, with final victories against Sebastian Korda and Jack Draper, respectively. 

The Frenchman clinched his second hardcourt title at the Astana Open in Kazakhstan in September when he completed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback victory over Sebastian Korda of the United States in the final. He lifted another title in the Bulgarian capital Sofia in November. 

With 55 main-draw appearances in Majors during his extensive career, Mannarino has advanced beyond the third round just four times, with just one occurrence on hard-courts. Adrian Mannarino reached the Australian Open fourth round two years ago when he lost in straight sets to eventual winner Rafael Nadal. 

Having been France's top-ranked player at the start of 2024, Adriam Mannarino represented his country at the United Cup earlier this year. He had an opportunity to play matches against high-profile players and even though he won only one of them - as he beat Italy's Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-4 - he still fought hard in his 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 defeat to Alexander Zverev of Germany and also played against Norway's Casper Ruud and Poland's Hubert Hurkacz. 

At Melbourne Park, the Frenchman appears as fresh as a teenager, securing five-set victories against fellow veteran and former champion Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland and the much younger Jaume Munar of Spain.

Mannarino beat the Spaniard 6-3, 6-3, 1-6, 2-6, 6-3 on Wednesday to move into the third round of the Australian Open for the fourth time in his career.

Ben Shelton Betting Preview (-303 at Everygame)

American prodigy Ben Shelton continued his superb run in hardcourt slams. Having reached the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park twelve months ago, Shelton has gone one better at the US Open, where he reached his maiden Grand Slam semi-final.  

Meanwhile, Ben Shelton started the new season in the lead-up events to the Australian Open. He suffered a 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 defeat to Roman Safiullin of Russia in the first round of the Brisbane International. 

The American did better at the Auckland Open, where as a top-seed, Shelton beat both Fabian Marozsan of Hungary and Roberto Carballés Baena of Spain in straight sets but he lost to Japan's Taro Daniel in the semi-finals. 

The 21-year-old American started his Australian Open campaign with a 6-2, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Spanish veteran Roberto Bautista Agut. He continued against home favorite Christopher O'Connell and when it seemed that he's cruising to a comfortable victory after 6-4, 6-1, O'Connell won the third set 6-3. 

Thus, Shelton was dragged into a fourth-set tiebreak that lasted over an hour. He remained composed, though, to secure his victory in under three hours at John Cain Arena after hitting 17 aces and 52 winners.

In addition to his strong serve, Ben Shelton has also been doing pretty well in return games. He created 17 breakpoint opportunities and successfully converted nine of them in the opening two rounds. 

Having won his first ATP title at the Japan Open a few months ago, Ben Shelton is definitely one of the brightest talents in men's tennis at the moment. He's still not the top-ranked American man, but if he continues with his fine performances - it's only a matter of time. 

Let's face it - even if he wins the match against Adrian Mannarino, which he is favored to do - the 21-year-old American will most likely have to beat Novak Djokovic at Melbourne Park. And we all know how exceptionally difficult this is, so he might drop some points for the ATP rankings. 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction 

The explosive Ben Shelton is heavily favored to get the better of Adrian Mannarino. To be fair, Mannarino's playing style was challenging when the pair met last season. 

Can he replicate that outcome once again? Well, back-to-back five-setters he played in the opening two rounds must be considered when the French veteran takes on a younger, fitter, and more confident Ben Shelton. 

In stark contrast with his older opponent, the 21-year-old Shelton had spent less time on the courts at Melbourne Park in the opening two rounds. Yet, we believe that Mannarino's late career surge cannot be dismissed despite Shelton's physical advantage. 

The Frenchman represents the best version of himself and should give Shelton a proper fight. 

Last but not least, the American will have to accomplish something he has never done before - to beat a fellow left-handed player (0-4 record on the main tour). And as we've mentioned above, one of those losses was against Adrian Mannarino at the Miami Masters last March.

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 38.5 Games -118 at Everygame for 6/10 Units