The first Grand Slam of the tennis season is upon us as the 2023 Australian Open begins on Sunday. Each major has its own unique experience. The Australian Open is known to be the Happy Slam. But there is nothing happy about the summer heat that affects the players Down Under. Even with such a short offseason, the players on both the men’s and women’s sides are ready to get the season underway.
Unlike last season, the odds are drastically different with Novak Djokovic permitted to play. Djokovic is the heavy favourite to win the tournament at -110. Though he has not been here in a year, oddsmakers still recognize his greatness. Djokovic has won this title nine times in the past looking for number 10. However, his road to number 10 will not be easy with some formidable foes that have some good odds to win this tournament.
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First-round action is set to begin Sunday night here in North America and late Monday morning down in Australia. Carlos Alcaraz the World Number 1 had to withdraw due to an injury he sustained during training. However, this is still a loaded tournament. The Australian Open runs from January 15th through January 29th.
Australian Odds (via Covers)
Look we know Novak Djokovic loves playing in Australia. As previously mentioned he has won the title nine times. He has three-peated twice including winning the last three he has played in. This is where he won his first of 21 major titles. He will look to tie Rafael Nadal’s 22 career major championships with a win here. Djokovic enters the tournament already having won in Adelaide International at the beginning of the year. He beat some tough competition there too including Denis Shapovalov, former World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, and Sebastian Korda.
And look what he did last year not playing in two Grand Slams and two ATP Masters 1000 events. He still finished Number 2 in the world. And had he gotten points for his Wimbledon win, he would have finished number 1 in the world. The Serb is already in fine form, so the rest of the field better be wary.
Medvedev pops in second at +550 on the oddsmakers’ list to win the title. He has gone to back-to-back Australian Open finals, losing to Djokovic in 2021 and blowing a 2-set lead to Nadal last year. However, he has a big serve to go along with his lethal groundstrokes. Outside of losing to Djokovic last week, Medvedev looks in good form as well. The only thing that could stop him is himself. Let’s see if a third time is a charm down in Australia for the man they call “Meddy Bear.”
You can never count out the 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal. However, it is hard to think he can repeat in Australia, a place where he has only won twice. Once coming in 2009 and he did not win the title again until 2022. He made the finals on multiple occasions including that epic against Djokovic in 2012. But it feels like Nadal at +1200 is a risk considering his form coming into this event. But Rafa is a fighter and you can never count him out especially if he gets to the second week of a slam.
Some players that are worth betting on that have some pretty good odds are Nick Kyrgios at +1400 and Felix Auger-Aliassime at +1600. Both had amazing 2022 seasons. Kyrgois made the Wimbledon final where he lot to Djokovic. With Nick, it is all about his head because he has the game to match any player on the tour. Felix has the weapons to get the job done but his game can go wild and erratic. However, these two players are good solid bets to win if Novak does not.
Never count out Stefanos Tsitsipas who has yet to recover from his loss to Djokovic in the 2021 French Open Final. Another of those Next Gen players that have the talent, but mentally he just needs to get his confidence so he can close matches.
It is always fun starting the tennis season with a major tournament. Outside of Djokovic, the field is wide open to win the 2023 Australian Open. Will this finally be the year an American wins a Grand Slam title? Taylor Fritz has a good shot to do so. All it takes is seven wins to be crowned champion at the 2023 Australian Open
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