Since the book is closed on Grand Slam betting and tennis betting itself is winding down as the season hurtles towards the finish line, we’re looking ahead to the upcoming season’s first Grand Slam Down Under. Check out our way-too early look at the 2015 Australian Open Odds to win outright for the men’s field.
The Usual Suspects Favoured
Tennis bettors will find the usual suspects amongst the top favourites to win the 2015 Australian Open. World No.1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic currently leads this pack of proven champions as the +163 favourite in futures markets across sportsbooks. The Serbian has won four Australian Open titles (2008 and 2010-2013). Although his bid for a fourth consecutive title ended at the hands of Stanislas Wawrinka (eventual champion) in the quarterfinals last year, there’s no doubt that the Oz Grand Slam is his best event so far, which makes him a tempting tennis betting pick. It also helps that he boast good form down the stretch since winning his second Wimbledon title this summer.
Rafael Nadal comes in as the second favourite across sportsbooks, trading at around +300 to win outright. Nadal has won 14 Grand Slam titles, tying Pete Sampras in the record books. Last year, he reached the final Down Under only to lose to Wawrinka. Undoubtedly, his back injury sustained during practice and aggravated in the midst of the final played a huge factor in his defeat. Not to take anything away from Wawrinka, but Nadal at 100% is one of the toughest players to beat at a Grand Slam final. Taking some of the shine off Nadal’s odds at this early vantage point however is his latest injury bout, a wrist injury that has sidelined him since Wimbledon. The Spaniard is only just slowly returning to fulltime tennis. The Australian Open won’t kick off for another three months, plenty of time for Nadal to get back into match form and fitness.
Andy Murray comes in as the third favourite to win at +550. Of the usual suspects, he’s the least successful on the Grand Slam stage with just two titles – US Open and Wimbledon. A lot about the Scots odds has to do with perception rather than form. This season has been up-and-down for Murray, coming off back surgery, struggling to find consistent form and falling out of the top ten, not to mention parting with his most successful coach Ivan Lendl. Murray’s season hasn’t been bad but it also hasn’t been great.
Roger Federer is proving critics and naysayers, who rather write him off as a has-been, wrong. The Swiss maestro is back up to World No.2 following his Shanghai Masters victory and just within 1000 points of Djokovic (approximately) in the ranking’s race. Federer is playing like his old self and not a player on the wrong side of 30. He currently holds the record for most Grand Slams at 17 titles, of which four are Australian Opens. His last Aussie triumph was in 2010. Since his last triumph, he’s fallen at the penultimate hurdle – beaten by Djokovic in 2011, Nadal in 2012 and 2014 and Murray in 2013. Given Federer’s current form and the season he’s put together, it’s somewhat surprising he’s matched at distant +1000 tennis odds to win the Australian Open. Then again, his last Grand Slam title was in 2012 when he won Wimbledon, proving just how much harder it is to win these titles even when he’s playing so well.
The remaining players available for bets on the tennis odds board make up the group of so-called contenders. It might surprise tennis bettors that we’ve included defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka in this group. However, his futures odds to win the Australian Open title merit this decision. He’s priced at a large +1200 to win outright, a reflection of diminishing confidence of a repeat after numerous setbacks and disappointments in 2014 took the shine off him. He admitted the burden of expectation was new to him and probably too much. Surely, those will be prevalent as he attempts to defend his maiden Grand Slam in full force.
Another maiden champion, Marin Cilic, is also included in this group. The Croatian shocked the tennis-betting world when he won the US Open in 2014. Chances he would repeat as a major champion are slim however. Already, his newfangled fame has impeded his results since winning in New York.
Our final contenders include Kei Nishikori +2000 and Juan Martin Del Potro +3300. The Japanese starlet reached the US Open final this year while the Argentine won the US Open in 2009. Nishikori is enjoying a standout season and if he continues on that rich vein of form, he’ll be a serious threat. Del Potro missed most of the season with a wrist injury, so it remains to be seen what form he brings to Oz if he does compete.
Our final section includes players with the talent, game and weapons to win a maiden Grand Slam. Grigor Dimitrov is a player that has made strides this season, but he has a long way to go before he can be taken seriously at his generous +1600 odds to win the Aussie Open. Same goes for Milos Raonic, who is priced rather large at +5000. Seasoned veteran Tomas Berdych (+4000) has the talent to win a Grand Slam, but because he’s mentally suspect he’s a long shot tennis pick. The same could be said of Tsonga (+4000), who reached the Australian Open final way back in 2008 (l. to Djokovic) but has flattered to deceive ever since.
Tennis Betting Verdict
At this early vantage point, the sensible tennis betting strategy is to bank on the usual suspect with a small wager perhaps on one or two of the contenders.
Not only have Djokovic and Nadal won the Australian Open title in recent seasons, they’ve consistently picked up titles at this level over the last few seasons, all of which makes them two of the most popular tennis picks before we head Down Under. Understandably, Murray and Federer backers won’t be writing either off for their tennis wagering tickets, nor can we dismiss them entirely out of hand. However, it’s hard to ignore their struggles at the Grand Slam stage of late. This leaves us with a few outside value tennis picks: Nishikori, who is an attractive option given his season; and Dimitrov, who is an up-and-comer that could surprise tennis-betting markets.