Our tennis betting expert previews the Australian Open 2017 and has tips for both the men’s and women’s quarter betting (to reach the semi’s), plus outright markets.
The tournament starts on Monday (16th January) at 11am Australian time, so don’t forget to place your outright Australian Open bets by midnight on Sunday, UK time.
Men’s Preview and Tips
|Stan Wawrinka||2nd Quarter Winner||2/1||Coral|
|Milos Raonic||3rd Quarter Winner||11/4||Coral, Sky Bet|
|Novak Djokovic (ew)||Tournament Winner||13/8||Sky Bet, Paddy Power|
A quick look at the odds ahead of the men’s event shows that bookmakers view this tournament in very much the same way as tennis fans across the globe do: we have surely moved into the new era in men’s tennis, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fading away – while Andy Murray is taking the opportunity presenting itself to open up a straight head-to-head at the top of the game between him and Novak Djokovic.
The Serb dominated the game for 3 years prior to a run of poor results in the latter half of 2016, allowing Murray to seize the World no.1 crown by coinciding his run of form perfectly. Both are priced at 8/11 to reach the final here and it’s hard to argue with that assertion – Sir Andy Murray has shown no signs of easing up on the form which propelled him to the top of the rankings, while Djokovic very much seems to have recovered from the blips which marred his otherwise excellent 2016 season.
The most interesting element of the draw on Friday was Roger Federer being drawn into the same quarter as Andy Murray. Out since June, it’s hard to know what sort of Federer will show up – his stats during the first half of last season were strong, but a long spell on the sidelines at his age will make it tough for him to return in top form. On balance, I will leave the 5/1 on him reaching the semi’s at the expense of Murray.
Dropping into the second quarter, we have an open betting heat – but I believe Stan Wawrinka is a spot of value to win the quarter at 2/1 with Coral. The World no. 4 has reached the quarter-finals in 10 of the past 13 Grand Slams, and the semi’s in seven of those. Contrast that with second favourite for this quarter – Marin Cilic – who has only once been past the 4th round in Australia and has just three career slam semi’s to his name, and the Wawrinka odds look pretty appealing. The biggest danger looks to be Nick Kyrgios – but I reckon this event could have come a year too early for him.
In the third quarter, World no. 3 Milos Raonic will surely sense a chance to grow his stock considerably over the coming season, and he can follow up on his Wimbledon final appearance with a semi-final appearance here. To do so, he’ll probably need to beat Nadal, but there has been little between them in their past two meetings (both in the last fortnight) and 11/4 with Coral & Sky Bet looks appealing on the Canadian.
Finally I’ll come to my outright tip. With Djokovic available at 13/8, I think it would be foolish to ignore the value presented on the Serb. He has won this event in 5 of the past 6 years, won 11 of the last 24 Grand Slam finals (in a period when Federer and Nadal posed a much sterner test) and reached the final in 18 of the last 24 slams.
Women’s Preview and Tips
|Garbine Muguruza||1st Quarter Winner||9/2||Bet365, Coral|
|Venus Williams||2nd Quarter Winner||10/1||Bet365|
|Agnieszka Radwanska||3rd Quarter Winner||7/2||Sky Bet|
|Johanna Konta||4th Quarter Winner||6/1||Paddy Power|
|Agnieszka Radwanska (ew)||Tournament Winner||28/1||Sky Bet, Betfred|
As usual, the women’s tournament is more competitive than the men’s, with Serena Williams the 3/1 favourite. And with five women available at odds of 12/1 or shorter, the task of finding the winner here will certainly be a challenge.
In the first quarter, I am taking a chance on Garbine Muguruza getting the better of Angelique Kerber to reach her 3rd Grand Slam semi-final. She’s an improving player, but has already proved she can dominate Kerber by winning their last four meetings – and there is every chance they collide in the quarter-finals. At 9/2 with both Coral and Bet365, the Spaniard looks much better value in the quarter than Kerber at 2/1 and it’s hard to imagine a scenario where one or other doesn’t reach the semi-finals.
Venus Williams may be getting on a bit compared to the majority of her opponents, but she might still have enough in the locker to come out on top in a weaker second quarter. Simona Halep has struggled with consistency – so looks short at 2/1 in the second-quarter betting, while Elina Svitolina has a less than convincing 19-19 record against players ranked 10-50 on Hard courts over the past 24 months. On the same metric Williams is 20-6, so at more than twice the odds I’ll take the American at 10/1.
In the bottom half of the draw, Agnieszka Radwanska is a stand-out 7/2 with Sky Bet to win the third quarter and that looks an absolute gift in my eyes. It’s arguably the weakest section of the draw, and Karolina Pliskova is a likely quarter-final opponent – a lady she has beaten in all 7 meetings without dropping a set. The likes of Daria Gavrilova, Alize Cornet or Ana Konjuh are potential threats, but none of those looks to have the ability to beat Radwanska, who reached the final in Sydney this week.
In the final quarter, I’m being all patriotic and backing Johanna Konta. The Brit began her astonishing rise up the rankings here just 12 months ago – and she is arguably the most in-form player on the tour right now. This time last year she was ranked at 47th in the world, but since then has reached a Grand Slam semi-final here, and has reached at least the semi-finals in her last four events. A good performance here at the Australian Open would almost certainly move Konta into a position in the top 8 in the world, which would significantly strengthen her chances in future Slams – so she will be ultra-motivated. Back on the courts she loves best, she could be the one to upset Serena and she looks value at the 6/1 with Paddy Power to win the quarter.
Finally, back to Radwanska and I think it’s worth backing her each-way at 28/1 to win the trophy. With a 21-5 Australian Open record since 2012, only Serena Williams and Johana Konta can better her win % – one of those is ageing while the other is from a very small sample. She also has among the strongest records against players ranked between 10th and 50th, and 50th and 100th – so should be trusted to progress deep.