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In a rather unexpected matchup, youngsters Alexei Popyrin and Ben Shelton will face off for a spot in the fourth round of the 2023 Australian Open. Expect plenty of aces, as these two big servers will probably set off some fireworks.
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton Match Predictions
Saying that Popyrin and Shelton weren’t execpted to make it this far would be a bit of an understatement. While Shelton avoided a clash with Miomir Kekmanovic in the second round following the Serb’s surprising first round exit, Popyrin had to triumph over Taylor Fritz in order to advance. With two big-time servers going up against one another, we can expect a long match with few break points.
Popyrin to Win
This one is far from a certainty, but I’m going with Popyrin’s experience. The former top 60 is in his fifth Australian Open, having previously made it to the third round back-to-back in 2019 and 2020.
Of course, the home-court advantage could also play a hand to help the 23-year old. As one of two Australian players still left in the men’s singles bracket, the crowd will certainly act as an extra boost to Popyrin’s chances.
Total 5 Sets
As mentioned earlier, both Popyrin and Shelton have their big serve as a strong point. Expect a match with limited break chances, which can naturally lead to two or three tiebreaks.
Of course, there is always a chance that the match could end in 3 or 4 sets – all it takes is one bad service game for things to go wrong. But overall, I can see this one going the distance as Popyrin and Shelton will hold their serve for most of the match.
Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton Preview
Now that we have taken care of this match’s predictions, let’s take a look at how these two young players made it to the third round.
Looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 and return to the top 100, Popyrin is off to a great start in 2023. The 23-year old made it to the quarterfinals at the 1st Adelaide International, but fell in the first round of the 2nd tournament.
Drawn into a tricky part of the bracket, having to take on Taylor Fritz in the second round, Popyrin once again showed why he was considered one of the rising stars two years ago. Relying on his strong serve, the Aussie sent the #8 seed home in five sets. This is the third time Popyrin has made it past round 2, but the first since 2020.
The 20-year old American is playing in only his second major, having debuted at the US Open last year. Shelton defeated Zhang Zhizhen and former top 40 Nicolas Jarry in the first two rounds. This will be Shelton’s ninth match at the Tour level, which makes this achievement even more impressive.
The youngster from Atlanta made his ATP Tour debut last summer, scoring a famous win over Casper Ruud at the Cincinnati Masters 1000. Currently #89 in the ATP rankings, Shelton is going to climb a few positions at the end of this Australian Open.
Popyrin vs Shelton Head to Head
This will be their first head to head match in the ATP Tour.
Alexei Popyrin vs Ben Shelton Match Details
- When does this match start? The match is currently scheduled to start at 2:00 am GMT.
- Can I watch the AO 2023 in the UK? Yes, viewers in the UK can catch up with the 2023 Australian Open action live on Eurosport, both TV and streaming, and on Discovery + for streaming.
- Which court will host this match? The match will be played on John Cain Arena.