Join us on our ATP Australian Open main draw analysis. We'll take a closer look to both halves of the draw, as well as the highest value tennis bets for you to place on this event.
For the first time in his career, Andy Murray is the highest ranked player on a Grand Slam event. The new world no.1 is looking for his first title in Melbourne Park after five prior defeats in the Australian Open final. Murray is the main favorite on the top half of the draw with Ladbrokes offering -137 for the British to reach the decisive match.
Looking now to Andy’s draw on this event, the world no.1 shouldn’t experience any kind of problems on his first two rounds against Illya Marchenko and Yen-Hsun Lu.
In the third round Murray might face Sam Querrey, the player responsible for Novak Djokovic’s elimination last year in Wimbledon. Even though Sam can be a very dangerous player with his powerful serve, it’s unlikely to see the American surprising Andy on these slower conditions.
Considering now Andy’s potential opponents in the 4th round, Lucas Pouille is the biggest threat on the British’s path. Despite Lucas’ improvements in recent years, Murray is a terrible match-up for him with Andy allowing only an average of 1.67 games per set in their previous three meetings.
Roger Federer makes his official return to competition after a six-month absence. The Swiss holds a phenomenal 80 – 13 career record in Melbourne with four titles. However, since the tournament surface changed to Plexicushion – back in 2008 – Roger only won one Australian Open title in 2010. Adding to the lack of competitive rhythm in recent months, the slower game conditions are far from ideal for Federer’s offensive tennis. For those reasons, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Roger losing the first rounds, especially in a possible 4th round match against Kei Nishikori.
Nishikori and Murray feature a very interesting rivalry with the Japanese surprising Andy last year at the US Open. However, Murray clearly holds the edge with an 8 – 2 lead on the h2h. We expect a high quality contest if these two met in the quarter-finals with the world no.1 emerging victorious at the end.
Known for playing his best on Grand Slam events, Stan Wawrinka is the biggest threat on Murray’s half of the draw. Despite his phenomenal record on Majors in recent years, the 2014 Australian Open champion won’t have an easy task. Nick Kyrgios is also on his quarter and this might be the Australian’s year. Having said that, adding Kyrgios' betting odds to win the 2nd quarter at +500 at Coral is a great option for this event.
Regardless of who makes it into the semi-finals, Murray should be too strong for any of them. Therefore, we expect Andy to reach the Australian Open final for the 6th time in his career.
Bottom Half of the Draw
Playing in Melbourne brings great memories to Novak Djokovic. The defending champion won 94.74% of the matches played on this event since 2008 with six titles already in his record.
Looking now to Djokovic’s quarter, the Serbian might face some dangerous players such as Fernando Verdasco, Grigor Dimitrov or Dominic Thiem. Even though their quality is undeniable, it’s unlikely to see any of them presenting the required consistency to defeat Djokovic in a best of five sets match.
After reaching the Australian Open semi-finals last year, Milos Raonic is in a good position to repeat that result. Raonic is the highest ranked player in the 3rd quarter with Rafael Nadal as the biggest threat on the Canadian’s path. It seems unlikely to see any other player reaching the semi-finals on this quarter, which makes it a very good investment to play both players – Raonic at +250 and Nadal at +225, both at Coral.
Even though these two players can create some problems to Djokovic, the Serbian should be too strong for any of them. With this in mind, Novak to reach the final is also a very solid investment at -139 at Bet365.
For those who want to take a higher risk, we recommend you to add to your betting picks the bet Name the Finalists - Andy Murray & Novak Djokovic. Bet365 and Ladbrokes offer very attractive prices on this market with +175 for the two players to face each other in the final for the third consecutive year.