The 2016 Australian Open gets underway in Melbourne on the 18th January with the men’s final set to conclude a fabulous fortnight of tennis on the 31st January. As ever the championships will be held on the Plexicushion hard courts of Melbourne Park and defending champion Novak Djokovic will be looking to claim a record-equalling sixth Australian Open title.
All of the world’s best players will heading to Australia for what we predict will be a thrilling Australian Open, packed with high calibre tennis, even in the early rounds. As well as the huge glory and honour that goes with winning the first Grand Slam of the season, the men in the draw will be competing for their share of a staggering AUD44m. Lose in the first round and you’ll go home with $30,000, with quarter finalists earning $270,000 and the winner getting a cheque for a very cool $2.65m. Not bad for a couple of weeks of tennis.
Of course, for the super-rich elite at the top of the betting, the money is probably only a secondary concern. Champion Djokjovic, who won the Australian Open in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, is said to be worth around £60m and there is little doubt that for him, etching his name into Australian Open history is the main aim. A win here would move him level with Aussie legend Roy Emerson on six Australian titles and the bookies predict the world number one will deliver.
Djokovic is undoubtedly a worthy favourite but the question punters will have to ask is whether odds of just 8/11 with Bet365 represent value. In probability terms those odds represent a 58% chance of success and given the Serb has won five of the last eight Australian Opens and is in the form of his life it’s easy to believe that even at such short odds Djokovic is the man to bet on.
Djokovic has already won this season, crushing Rafa Nadal 6-1, 6-2 in little over an hour in the final to break his own ATP rankings points record and is clearly carrying on where he left off last season. The French Open may be Djokovic’s number one aim in 2016, as he seeks to complete a career Grand Slam, but he just loves Melbourne and we predict it will take a sensational performance for anyone to stop him.
One man who has shown he is capable of moments of such brilliance is Stan Wawrinka, who beat Djokovic in Paris last year to deny him the career, and calendar, Grand Slam. Wawrinka can be backed at betting odds of 14/1 with William Hill and could be worth an each way punt, although in reality he is perhaps some way short of his very best right now. That said, he won the Australian Open in 2014, beating Djokovic in the quarters, and he is perhaps the only man without a major psychological weakness against the world’s best player.
Aside from those two, Andy Murray is second in the outright winner betting, available at odds of 11/2 with Coral. Murray has lost four Australian Open finals though, and it’s hard to see him beating Djokovic should the two meet. Behind Murray is Roger Federer, priced at 9/1 with Coral in the outright winner market but we suspect age and psychology make him a poor bet.
In conclusion, Djokovic has to be the man to beat and therefore, even at seemingly very short odds, he is our main betting tip at the 2016 Australian Open.Google+