The Australian Open begins on 15th of January, and with it, the start of another exciting year of sport. This year’s tournament has been blighted by a succession of injuries and big names like Andy Murray and Serena Williams have pulled out of appearing in Melbourne. Betting Tip Stars are still excited for the action to come on the hard courts however and here is our tips for the first major sports tournament of 2018.
The Australian Open has been the domain of Novak Djokovic who has won it six times in the last 10 years. Last year however saw a surprise return to form for Roger Federer. The Swiss defied his age to outclass all comers to claim the trophy.
This year is looking positive once again for Federer as Andy Murray has pulled out of the tournament with persistent injury. On top of this his main rivals Nadal, Djokovic and Wawrinka have all had injury scares coming into the tournament. This could leave Federer plain sailing to the final. He is unsurprisingly favourite for the tournament with most bookmakers offering 7/4.
Rafael Nadal appears to be Federer’s nearest opponent but pulled out of the Brisbane warm up event with a niggling knee injury. Once again, the Spaniard might find his potential hampered by injury.
Djokovic has not played a competitive game since last year’s Wimbledon, having been sidelined by an elbow injury.
All of the injured players might take heart from the fact that Federer himself won last years tournament after a six month lay off but considering he is back to magician level it will be interesting to see if anyone can topple him.
With so many of the main players questionable through injury it might be a surprise package that can triumph in OZ. When there is a surprise package there is also money to be made.
Stan Wawrinka seems to have been written off by the bookies but he is just the sort of player who relishes being an underdog. His game is well made for hard-court and an injury hampered year could motivate him to do something big to start a new season. Paddy Power is offering 25/1 which makes it a very tasty bet.
Outsiders include Juan Martin Del Potro who has come back in to contention over the last few major tournaments is at 14/1. His big serving colleague Milos Raonic is 28/1.
If you are a fairy-tale bettor hoping for a good story, then Aussie boy Nick Kyrgios would be headline news if he wins in Australia. It will come off yet another turbulent year for the youngster. His odds at 14/1 however does not entice us in enough, even though he has won Brisbane this week.
Serena Williams has somehow managed to dominate the papers without playing in the last 9 months. She managed to do it again when she announced she would be playing at the Australian Open in 2018, just a few months after giving birth.
After a loss to Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi however, Williams has decided to not compete in Melbourne. It is understandable that so soon after giving birth it might be a bit too much to expect a return by the American.
With Williams missing the joint favourites with bookies are Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza who both have odds of 8/1.
Muguruza has had a stellar 2017 and will want to stamp her authority on the WTA. She won Wimbledon in 2017 and had her highest finish in the Australian Open, reaching the quarter final. She will be hungry to take this a few steps further.
Karolina Pliskova is one of the favourites for a major this year but had a shock loss in Brisbane this week.
With the absence of Serena the WTA has become increasingly unpredictable as the cream is struggling to reach the top. There were 59 WTA tournaments in 2017 and they were won by 43 different players.
This may make it difficult to predict, but also makes for some exciting prospects and odds. Caroline Wozniacki might be one of these at 10/1 as she looks for her first major. Elsewhere Petra Kvitova looks generous at 16/1 and might be able to blow people away with her serve on the hardcourt as she has done so often in the past.