Old Guard to rule at the Australian Open Men’s Tennis again I?
The first slam of the men’s tennis season gets under way in a little over 24 hours.
It is incredible to look at the odds and see ROGER FEDERER as a clear favourite. He is biggest price 2/1 with bookmakers to claim an incredible 20th career Major.
He is of course the defending champion having won the epic 5 set final last year over RAFAEL NADAL.
Federer appears to have been given a much more favourable and “easier” draw than many of his potential rivals.
It is not until the 4th round that he is likely to face any “dangerous” player.
This is likely to be the big serving Canadian Milos Raonic. 2 of his 3 wins against Federer have come on a hard court with the last coming in Brisbane in 2016.
However Federer holds a a 10-3 record against him and has beaten him 3 out of the 4 times they have met in Major tournaments.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC appears to have been handed the toughest draw of all.
He faces Donald Young in the 1st round, then in all likelihood will come up against Gael Monfils the gritty Frenchman in the 2nd. Should he come through those he is then likely to face the up and coming Alexander Zverev.
This is down to the fact that he has not played a competitive match since Wimbledon. He is seeded 14 for this tournament. Whilst he is still a very dangerous player I think it will be a monumental effort for the Joker to win this tournament with a new coach and all his injury problems.
Old Guard to rule at the Australian Open Men’s Tennis again II?
RAFAEL NADAL could well pose the most likely threat to Roger Federer.
He like Djokovic comes into the tournament having suffered injuries towards the end of the season culminating in him withdrawing from the ATP World Finals at The O2 Arena in London in November.
However he at least has managed some court time having played 2 exhibition tournaments this week suffering no ill-effects.
He comes in as the No1 seed and should breeze through the first few rounds before the 4th round sees him potentially come up against the big serving American John Isner.
I would expect Nadal to come past that test but it will be interesting to see how he fares against Dimitrov and Kyrgios should he encounter one of those.
Sadly there is no Andy Murray competing so the only other men’s tennis player in the draw who has won this title is STAN WAWRINKA.
He too had to cut his season short and did not appear at the last major of the year at Flushing Meadows. His chances I feel are reflected by his odds of 50/1 by the bookmakers and there is still talk of him not appearing.
Lively “contenders” at the men’s tennis Australian Open?
Whilst Federer heads the market behind him there is now a list of younger player itching to win their first or 2nd major.
Amongst these are home favourite NICK KRYGIOS. He is the type of player you love or loathe.
He comes into this tournament in great form having won the warm up event at Brisbane.
However he does have a tough quarter of the draw to contend with. He is likely to face Tsonga or Shapovalov in the 3rd round. If he survives that then the World No3 GRIGOR DIMITROV awaits.
Dimitrov too is a player on the up and is finally beginning to fulfil his obvious potential.
He has achieved his highest career ranking of 3 and won the season ending ATP Finals at the O2. He must come here full of confidence from that.
My final pick is another man coming back to form after a long period out with injury.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO is a well respected player on the tour and has already won a major on the hard courts at Flushing Meadow in 2009. Whilst he does not have a great record here (QF 2009/2012) he is certainly a dangerous floater.
Tournament Tip for men’s tennis
I think that GRIGOR DIMITROV will break his major duck and claim success at Melbourne Park.
He is currently available at 12/1 and EW terms are 1/2 odds to make the final