The Australian Open is just days away, and the furore over Novak Djokovic's visa application is still making the headlines across the world. Read on to inform your Australian Open 2022 predictions.
ATP Australian Open 2022 betting limits
Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic to defend his crown?
The upcoming Australian Open has already been a big talking point, with the furore over Novak Djokovic’s visa application still making the headlines across the world. The world number one’s participation in the tournament still uncertain at the time of writing.
Djokovic’s detention in Australia following his flight into the country and subsequent court case has caused a media storm around the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open. It’s also wreaked havoc on the Outright betting markets, with bettors unclear as to whether he will be permitted to play. Throw in the fact that he was holed up in a detention hotel for a few days as well, where he was unable to train or potentially conform to his dietary preferences, and it’s evident that the top seed has had far from ideal preparation for the Australian Open, which he has won nine times (including the last three events).
Given the circumstances surrounding Djokovic in the last week or so, it’s understandable that he’s not received an abundance of market support. In fact, based on the current Futures market here at Pinnacle, he’s the second favourite at 2.930* behind Daniil Medvedev (2.750*). Alexander Zverev (3.690*) is slightly further back, with Rafael Nadal (8.980*) the next player in the market. All other players are around 20.00 or greater, showing quite how difficult it will be for an outsider to prevent the dominance of the market leaders.
Medvedev actually has better 12-month hard court data than Djokovic and is in fact the best hard court player on the tour, based on my key metrics. The courts at Melbourne Park are likely to be slightly quicker than the average hard court, which is also going to favour the Russian; so, unless things change over the next few days, we will see one of the first tournaments where Medvedev is favourite over Djokovic. Is this a glimpse of the future? Quite possibly.
Australian Open 2022: Who are the notable outsiders?
Part of that future is Zverev. The German is only slightly further back in the Outright market having only lost four main tour matches in the second half of last season (from Wimbledon onwards). He also got the better of both Djokovic and Medvedev in Turin to win the ATP Finals at the end of last season, showing that he has what it takes to beat the top players in a big tournament. All Zverev needs to do is put it together in a Grand Slam, which he has had issues doing previously - that’s the next step for him.
"Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alvarez could breakthrough in a Grand Slam."
One player who has had no problems putting it together in Grand Slams, of course, is Nadal. The Spaniard has now dropped to sixth in the world rankings, and his route to the trophy could be rather problematic. There’s a possible scenario where he has to defeat all of Zverev, Medvedev, and Djokovic to win the trophy, which along with him having some injury issues towards the back end of 2021, sees Nadal priced as the fourth favourite in the markets. Nadal did win in Melbourne last week but it was against a pretty mediocre field and he will need to defeat numerous better players over the coming fortnight if he is to win yet another Grand Slam.
Statistically at least, there is quite a big drop off to the remainder of the field, illustrated by the gap in the market prices. Stefanos Tsitsipas still has a slightly weaker return game than the elite players, while the likes of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz are young players still waiting for their breakthrough in a Grand Slam. The big-serving Matteo Berrettini can certainly compete, as can Andrey Rublev, but it would be a real surprise if anyone else in the field made the final.
Australian Open 2022: Andy Murray in contention?
This includes Andy Murray, who has received a wild card to the tournament and is priced at 57.420*.At the time of writing, the Scotsman has made it to the semi-final of a warm-up event in Sydney, beating the likes of Nikoloz Basilashvili in the process. Could Murray roll back the years and have one last crack at a Grand Slam title? Based on his numbers in recent months, showing a rather sizeable drop in return points won compared to when he was at his peak, it looks unlikely, but Murray will certainly be hoping he can compete again at the highest level.
Find your ATP Australian Open 2022 odds here.