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Australian Open 2022 Odds: Zverev can go the distance down under

Alexander Zverev features in our selections for the Australian Open
Alexander Zverev features in our selections for the Australian Open

Ah, the Australian Open. There’s no better way to start the tennis season than a Grand Slam. Up until a few weeks ago, this was looking like a fairly standard major with your regular field, until Novak Djokovic decided to spice up the scene with his coronavirus complications. It’s safe to say the whole sports world will now be watching the world number one in his quest for a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam victory.

Of course, the bookies were also concerned with Novak’s off-court antics. The Serb started off the year as a clear favourite for glory down under but drifted into the second-favourite when this whole ordeal started. He and Daniil Medvedev are now joint-favourites for the competition with some bookmakers and rightfully so. In my opinion, they are both the most consistent on the tour and I’d actually be favouring Medvedev out of the two. I’m a huge fan of the Russian and if he was to meet Djokovic at any point in this tournament I would fancy him to get the upper hand, but 13/8 for him to win the whole tournament seems a little short to me and that’s why I’ll be looking elsewhere in the betting.

Australian Open Tips

Australian Open Odds
Alexander Zverev Tournament Winner
7/2
Odds correct as of 2022-01-13 16:40 Odds subject to change.

I’ve mentioned many times about how good I think Alexander Zverev is and he’s only improved. Since his disappointment from losing the 2020 US Open final to Dominic Thiem, the young German has improved massively and has been regularly going deep into grand slams. After his tragic loss in the USA he’s also achieved something only the most elite of tennis players achieve, an Olympic gold medal. Sascha’s hard court heroics have seen him cement himself as a top five player over the last few years and I expect him to prove why he is one of the best hard court players around at this Australian Open. 

Last year Zverev had an incredible end to the season, winning the ATP finals for a second time, claiming a title at the Vienna Open and, of course, that gold at the Tokyo Olympics. On paper he’s an easy candidate to consider when it comes to this grand slam but the bookmakers still have him as the third favourite at 7/2 which, to me, is a lot more attractive than Medvedev’s 13/8. The only reason I would have been against backing the gold medalist is his inconsistency over the years with his tendency to ‘choke’ in games and his serving problems, but they seem to be ironed out and he looks the complete player these days. In terms of his favourite surface, Zverev does have his best win rate on clay but a large portion of his trophies have come on the hard court.

The world number three currently boasts a record of 185 wins and 86 losses on hard court and has 13 trophies on this surface. He’s also a semi-finalist at this tournament and was unlucky last year where he faced Novak in the quarter finals, though he didn’t disgrace himself and put up a valiant effort against the world number one.

One final note, the projected quarter-finals have Zverev up against Rafael Nadal. It’s another match-up that I think he should win. Zverev has won two of the last three of their meetings and I think that should be a positive sign for anyone backing him.

Tennis Odds
Stefano Tsitsipas Tournament Winner
41/1
Odds correct as of 2022-01-13 16:45 Odds subject to change.

Of course it’d be no fun if we just covered the favourites for the tournament, so let’s look at some outsiders that I think have a decent chance of going deep into the slam. Stefanos Tsitsipas, whilst perhaps out of form, is still one of the best players on the tour. The 23-year-old could have already had a grand slam to his name with the 2021 French Open where he took a two set lead and blew it against Djokovic. Mind you, no one really blows it against Djokovic, he’ll find a way to win most of the time. Stefanos is a two-time semi-finalist in the Australian Open - in 2019 and 2021 - and he also has most of his career titles on the hard court, boasting a 63.1% win rate on the surface. The Greek is currently being offered at  41/1 on SBK which is a huge price considering the calibre of player he is. I feel his price is only this big because of his form towards the end of last year, but I also feel this can be slightly ignored due to the ongoing injury he had at the time. When he won the ATP Finals in 2019, people were sure he’d be the next player outside of ‘the big three’ to win a grand slam and, although he’s failed to deliver, he’s not exactly disappointed in his efforts. If we can get a fully fit Tsitsipas, expect him to go far this year.

However this goes, I don’t see Novak Djokovic winning this. He didn’t look great in the ATP Finals at the end of 2021 and his performance in the US Open final last year was also incredibly average. On top of all this, his whole saga with the coronavirus exemption to play in the Australian Open can’t have been good for him. He will have been out of practice and is lacking a fair bit of game time compared to the other competitors. I also think it’s safe to say, the Aussie crowd will most definitely not be on his side after his recent off-court antics. The support at the AO is one of the best in tennis and has carried some players like the homegrown Nick Kyrgios deeper into the tour just because of the energy they’ve given him. It’s not a crowd you want going against you and can be sure to tilt anyone. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a tasty one.

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