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2024 ATP Australian Open Betting Preview: Grigor Dimitrov vs Thanasi Kokkinakis

January 17, 2024

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov continues his Australian Open dream when he takes on home favorite Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round.

The winner will advance to face either Nuno Borges of Portugal or No. 23 seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in the third round. 

Grigor Dimitrov Betting Preview (-714 at Everygame)

The 2017 semi-finalist lost his opening set at Melbourne Park in 2024 to eventually wrap up a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 victory over Hungary's Marton Fucsovics in the first round. The tricky Hungarian already claimed some big wins over Grigor Dimitrov earlier in their career, when he won two matches in New York City within 10 days only. 

First, Fucsovics beat the Bulgarian 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters in 2020 (the 2020 edition of the tournament was held in New York City shortly before the 2020 US Open to minimize travel risks). 

Grigor Dimitrov suffered another disappointing second round defeat to Fucsovics at the US Open Championships, when he wasted a 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 lead as the Hungarian managed to win the subsequent two sets 6-4, 6-1. 

The 32-year-old Bulgarian kickstarted the new season with his first ATP title in over six years when he clinched his second Brisbane International crown (after 2017). Furthermore, it was Dimitrov's first ATP Tour title overall since the 2017 ATP Finals.

Over the course of his triumphant Brisbane International campaign, Grigor Dimitrov defeated the likes of Andy Murray of Great Britain, Daniel Altmeier of Germany, as well as two Aussies in Rinky Hijikata and Jordan Thompson in the quarter and semi-finals, respectively. 

His 7-6, 6-4 victory over top-seed Holger Rune of Denmark in the final meant that Dimitrov only dropped a set - in his opening match against Andy Murray. 

Meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov also played a few exhibition matches at the World Tennis League in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, before his trip to Australia. 

Thanasi Kokkinakis Betting Preview (+450 at Everygame)

Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia is bidding to finally reach the third round of the season's opening Grand Slam after numerous unsuccessful attempts over the years. 

The 27-year-old Australian did well to beat Sebastian Ofner of Austria in the first round. The Aussie wrapped a dramatic first-round, five-set win over a valiant Ofner, 7-6(1-7), 2-6, 6-7(4-7), 6-1, 7-6(10-8) in front of a rowdy John Cain Arena.

The four-hour, 18-minute battle started in the heat of a sunny Melbourne afternoon and ended under dark skies. Yet, the local favorite kept it cool when it mattered the most to join the other five Australian men who progressed through to the second round at this year’s competition - the same as in 2023 despite a larger contingent this year.

Meanwhile, Kokkinakis suffered back-to-back first round exits in Brisbane and Adelaide to fellow compatriot Rinky Hijikata and Dusan Lajovic of Serbia, respectively. 

Kokkinakis achieved his highest career ranking of No. 65 in November and is now aiming to improve his career. Entering the competition as No. 80 in the ATP Rankings, Kokkinakis is currently the eighth-best ranked men's player in Australia.

The Adelaide-born player arguably accomplished the biggest win of his career when he shocked then-No. 1 Roger Federer in the second round of the Miami Open in 2018. However, he had to wait nearly five years for another victory over a Top 10 player as Kokkinakis claimed a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Andrey Rublev of Russia at the Adelaide International in 2023. 

Thanasi Kokkinakis was one service game away from finally reaching the Australian Open third round twelve months ago. Yet, the Aussie, who served for the match at 5-3 in the third set, dropped a two-set lead to eventually concede a disappointing 4-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, 7-5 loss to Andy Murray in a five-hour, 45-minute clash that lasted until 4:05 AM.

All in all, Kokkinakis enjoyed his most competitive ATP campaigns in 2023 when he participated in seven of the nine Masters 1000 events for the first time in his career. 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction 

With the momentum at his back, Grigor Dimitrov is one of the in-form players right now but the Bulgarian shouldn't get too complacent. 

Thanasi Kokkinakis, on the other hand, will have to serve out one of the best performances of his career if he is to end Dimitrov's fine form on Australian soil. Kokkinakis used his aggressive forehand to match Ofner’s strong serve, but the Aussie will need something more against the 13th seed.

Kokkinakis should feel even more inspired by the courageous performances of his fellow countrymen on Wednesday. Jordan Thompson and Alexei Popyrin both fought hard in their matches against last year's finalists Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic, respectively. 

They might have both lost at the end, but they still looked really impressive against top players and the home favorite should be even more confident that he can pull off an upset at the John Cain Arena on Thursday. 

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 36.5 Games -118 at Everygame for 6/10 Units