The first Grand Slam of the year gets underway this week. Certain athletes are tipped to provide tennis fans with good performances in the Australian Open. Let’s take a look at the betting favourites in both men’s and women’s divisions.
Novak Djokovic returns to Australia as the heavy favourite to clinch the Australia Open. Following, the retirement of Roger Federer last year, and the absence of injured World number one Carlos Alcaraz, the Serbian became a huge threat to reign supreme.
Djokovic who missed last year’s tournament following his deportation over his COVID vaccine stance is seeking to equal Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles. Djokovic survived a hamstring injury last week in Melbourne to claim the 92nd ATP Title of his career. He has an outstanding 33 matches unbeaten streak in Australia since his last loss in the fourth round of the 2018 Australian Open. The 35-year-old is hoping to extend his record 10 Australian Open titles.
He is a great athlete and most of his fans want him to win as many titles as he can before he retires. Although he is the champion of clay surfaces he is still a favourite on whatever surface he plays on. He currently has the highest number of grand slams in his kitty (twenty-two) and he will try his best to defend his top position. His 2022 was dominated by injuries too which forced him to skip other tournaments. The Spaniard even withdrew from the Wimbledon semi-finals. He has to dust himself and be a good shape if he aims to successfully defend his hard-earned Australian Open title.
The young Russian ace Medvedeev return to a major tournament after a long time because he was caught in the middle of Russian involvement in a war against Ukraine. As such, Russian athletes were not allowed to compete in any tournaments. The former World number is hoping to finally secure the Australian Open title this time around.
Before, he has come close twice in 2022 and 2021 both losing in the final to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic respectively. The young man possesses a huge talent which has seen him being one of the few players of his age to defeat arguably all-time top three players (Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer).
Can Nick Kyrgios finally step up and claim a Grand slam? This has been a question raised for years by tennis lovers across the globe. There is no doubt that Kyrgios possess great talent and is one of the exciting players on the court but seems to be not living to his full potential. At the age of 27, many by this time had predicted that the Australian would have a Grand Slam title in his trophy cabinet. But he has been dominating the headlines for the wrong reasons. Last year though he proved to the tennis fraternity that he is a gem. He managed to have an incredible Wimbledon run when he lost in the final to Novak Djokovic. Despite arriving on home soil not in great shape as injuries cut his tour short last year but he is one of the favourites to scoop the title.
Casper Ruud arrives in Melbourne with the hope of living up to his favourite tag. The Norwegian star started off on the back foot after he suffered a disappointing second loss to Laslo Djere during ASB Classic in New Zealand last week. Nevertheless, this can’t take away the incredible form Ruud showed on tour last year. The 24-year-old Ruud reached finals of Grand Slams, Masters and the season-ending ATP Finals — only to finish on the losing side every time. The unluckiest player in 2022? Only time will tell if he is going to come back much stronger.
The world number one didn’t have an ideal start this year. She suffered a shocking defeat to Jessica Pegula in the United Cup. Then she withdrew from the Adelaide event due to a shoulder injury which many pray that she recovers on time in order to have a good run in the Australian Open. Nevertheless, Swiatek is the strong favourite to claim the first Grand Slam of the year after a spectacular 2022 season. Last year, she recorded a 37-match unbeaten run winning eight titles including Roland Garros and the US Open.
Will 2023 finally be Jabeur’s year? The Tunisian superstar provided some classic performances on the court last year which left fans praising her talent. She came agonizingly close twice in scooping a Grand Slam title both losing in the final of Wimbledon and the US Open. This year, she is on the quest to make history by becoming the first Arab and first African woman to clinch a Grand Slam. She possesses a never say die attitude and it remains to be seen if she is going to add a major to her three career titles.
Coco Gauff heads to Melbourne in high spirits considering she started the year on a bright note. The 18-year-old conquered the ASB Classic in New Zealand last week to boost her winning momentum. Since the young American burst into the scene at 15 when she qualified for the Wimbledon main draw and had a run till the fourth round has been tipped as the dominant figure in more years to come. Last year, she came short of claiming her maiden French Open title, losing in the finals to Iga Swiatek. Will she finally etch herself into the history books in Melbourne? Only time will tell.
There are many reasons that make Jessica Pegula a firm favourite to claim the Australian Open. Firstly, she arrives in Melbourne brimming with confidence after winning the inaugural United Cup in the United States of America. Secondly, she recently achieved a high career third position ranking. Plus, on her run to clinch the United Cup, she defeated world number one Iga Swiatek. If statistics is something we can rely on, then Jesula will be a tough opponent to beat in Melbourne.
Last year’s US Open losing finalist Caroline Garcia seems to find great form as she grows older. At 29, Garcia is coming from remarkable form last year, where in the end she won the WTA Finals, which remains the biggest victory of her career. Besides that, she managed to win Cincinnati, Bad Homburg and Warsaw titles in the second half of the tour last year. Nothing will excite her more than starting brightly in the first major of the year.