Daniil Medvedev, Australian Open odds
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Australian Open odds: Medvedev favourite after Djokovic loses appeal

| 15.01.2022

Australian Open odds: Djokovic participation remains up in the air

The Australian Open gets under way in the early hours of Monday without defending champion Novak Djokovic who lost his judicial review against the cancellation of his visa.

The world number one will not appeal for a third time and will be replaced in the draw by a lucky loser having initially been scheduled to meet fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic.

World number two Daniil Medvedev is now the outright favourite at 6/4 to win the year’s first grand slam in Melbourne as we examine his prospects and those of his rivals.

Daniil Medvedev

Age: 25

Australian Open odds: 5/2

Grand slams: 1

Last year, Medvedev prevented Djokovic from winning the calendar grand slam with a straight-sets victory in the US Open final to avenge his defeat in Melbourne.

Medvedev’s first grand slam victory came in a year when he won his fourth Masters 1000 title and helped Russia land the Davis Cup for the first time since 2006.

Chances: The way has been cleared to win a second grand slam, but the tournament now looks more open.

Alexander Zverev

Age: 24

Australian Open odds: 11/4

Grand slams: 0

The German has yet to win a grand slam although he went close at the 2020 US Open final when he squandered a two-set lead against Dominic Thiem.

Zverev enjoyed his best season on tour last year when he won six titles, including a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics and the end-of-season ATP Tour Finals.

Chances: Ended a five-match losing run against Medvedev in Turin to win the ATP Tour Finals title and will need to bring his ‘A’ game if he is to finally get his hands on a major trophy.

Rafael Nadal

Age: 35

Australian Open odds: 11/2

Grand slams: 20

Nadal is a five-time finalist at the Australian Open but his only victory came in 2009 when he won a five-set thriller against Roger Federer, who is not competing at Melbourne Park for the second successive year.

The Spaniard ended his season in August owing to a foot injury but started the year well by winning the Melbourne Summer Set tournament at the same venue which hosts the Australian Open.

Chances: His chances have been improved by Djokovic’s legal defea and he has only once failed to reach the quarter-finals in his last 14 appearances.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Age: 23

Australian Open odds: 16/1

Grand slams: 0

Fourth seed Tsitsipas looks a big price at 16/1 bearing in mind he has reached the semi-finals in two of the last three years.

But the Greek underwent elbow surgery in November and admitted he felt pain after a three-set loss to Diego Schwarzman at the ATP Cup.

None of Tsitsipas’ seven titles have come on outdoor hardcourts and it seems unlikely he will be able to withstand a rigorous two-week slam in the early stages of his recovery.

Chances: Will do well to make it to the second week having been scared to hit balls before Christmas.

Jannik Sinner

Age: 20

Australian Open odds: 20/1

Grand slams: 0

Sinner won four hardcourt titles in a breakthrough 2021 season, including one in Melbourne, and his run to the semi-finals in Vienna resulted in his first appearance in the world’s top 10.

The hard-hitting Italian has not made it beyond the second round in his two visits to Melbourne Park but he is expected to go well this time and could meet Andy Murray in round three.

Chances: The youngster is a potential future world number one and he held two match points against Medvedev in admittedly a dead rubber at the ATP Tour Finals in November, so he can compete against the world’s best.

Matteo Berrettini

Age: 25

Australian Open odds: 28/1

Grand slams: 0

Last year’s Wimbledon runner-up was forced to pull out during his first match of the end-of-season ATP Tour Finals with an abdomen injury but the big-serving Italian recovered fairly quickly and trained in Florida during the off-season.

Matteo Berrettini, Australian Open odds

Berrettini withdrew from last year’s fourth-round tie against Tsitsipas but went on to reach the quarter-finals of the French and US Opens, plus the final at Wimbledon having won the title at Queen’s in the previous week.

Chances: His serve is one of the most dangerous on the circuit and he is planning to come to the net more often this year so it will be interesting to see how he fares.

Andrey Rublev

Age: 24

Australian Open odds: 33/1

Grand slams: 0

The fifth seed captured five titles in 2020 but just one last year, although he won four of his five matches in helping Russia win the Davis Cup and reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open which he lost to compatriot Medvedev.

Rublev avenged that defeat in Cincinnati en route to his fifth final of the season, excluding the Davis Cup, but he tested positive for Covid after an exhibition in Abu Dhabi in December which forced his withdrawal from the ATP Cup in Sydney, so his preparations have been minimal.

Chances: Will be undercooked and happy to make it to the second week

Carlos Alcaraz

Age: 18

Australian Open odds: 28/1

Grand slams: 0

Alcaraz is the 31st seed but hopes to break into the world’s top 15 this season and he certainly has the talent to achieve his goal.

The Spanish teenager won a maiden tour-level title last year and reached the quarter-finals of the US Open in only his fourth grand slam, so big things are expected of a player who won the NextGen ATP Finals by beating Sebastian Korda in the showpiece.

Chances: Had three wins against top-10 players last season, Tsitsipas, Sinner and Berrettini, the player he is scheduled to meet in the third round. Should go well.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Age: 21

Australian Open odds: 33/1

Grand slams: 0

The Canadian is at a career-high ninth in the world rankings after helping Canada win the ATP Cup in Sydney where he beat Zverev, Roberto Bautista Agut and Britain’s Cam Norrie, although he was well beaten by Medvedev.

Auger-Aliassime has developed a reputation as a bridesmaid having lost all of the eight finals he has competed in but he made it to the semi-finals of last year’s US Open, the last eight at Wimbledon and the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Chances: Seems to be playing well and a good fortnight is on the cards.

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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner