The qualifiers have finished, and the draw is set in Australia, with the first matches taking place Sunday night — Monday in Australia.
Due to a shuffle in the ATP rankings, Novak Djokovic is fifth in the world and enters the Open as a four-seed. Despite that, bookmakers still view him as the favorite to win the tournament with (-125) odds.
Djokovic dropped in the rankings due to all this missed playing time in 2022. The Serbian missed multiple tournaments, including the 2022 Australian and US Open, because he refused to receive the vaccine. Luckily for him, Australia has become less strict on inoculations, so he can compete this year.
Novak is one of the worst futures a bettor can place. While he will likely win this tournament, he is currently dealing with a knee injury that may cut his Open short. In addition to that, his odds won’t change much as the tournament progresses. It would be far wiser to make this bet come the semifinals or even the finals.
If he makes the finals, Djokovic to win and both players to win a set will have very similar odds to his current future. Taking him this early is a complete sucker bet.
The one-seed. Rafael Nadal enters play as the top man in the tournament and offers bettors the best value.
Rafa to Win The Australian Open (+1800)
Rafa to Reach the Quarter Finals (+160)
Nadal has more Grand Slam victories than any man in the history of the sport. Despite that incredible feat, he has only won in Australia twice. Most recently, last year. He ran away having almost no competition. With Novak back in play this year, he will make things more difficult for the Spaniard.
Nadal will not even be tested until the quarter-finals, so that play is free money. He is always liable to take home the trophy, with a $10 bet yielding a $180 profit; it is well worth the risk.
Daniil Medvedev has been flirting with greatness for quite some time, but Nadal and Djokovic always seem to get in the way. Should they ever retire, Medvedev would run away with every tournament, but for now he has to compete against the gods of tennis.
Medvedev has seen some successes on the hard court, winning the 2021 US Open and making the finals in the last two Australian Opens. However, he received a poor draw in this one, as he will likely face Nadal in the quarter finals Djokovic in the finals.
Seeing that path his futures are completely inadvisable — especially given the odds.
The only other name that stands out to me in this draw is Stefanos Tsitsipas. He is another guy who cannot find his way over the hump. However, he has had the most success in Australia and received an incredible draw in this one. He can only face Medvedev OR Nadal, and it wouldn’t be until the semifinals, and he won’t see Djokovic until the Finals. The man has a cakewalk to the semis.
Stefanos Tsitsipas to Reach the Quater Finals (-115)
Sportsbooks often offer big guns vs. the field kind of props, but Nadal is the only member of “the field” that could make a run at this tournament. So while these offerings are usually enticing, for this particular tournament, bettors should stay away.