Australian Open betting preview: You can’t look past Novak Djokovic, but red-hot Daniil Medvedev a good punt

Novak Djokovic delighted

An 18th Grand Slam title beckons for Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open as he is the clear favourite in the men’s betting preview, but don’t be afraid to put a few quid on Daniil Medvedev.

When you look at the stats, it is easy to see why Djokovic is the man everyone wants to beat at Melbourne Park. He is an eight-time winner while he hasn’t lost at the Australian Open since he was defeated by Hyeon Chung in the fourth round in 2018.

The world No 1 has also started 2021 in typical fashion, winning his singles matches at the ATP Cup so it is unsurprisingly that 11/8 (Sky Bet and a few others) is the best odds that you will receive.

Djokovic, though, does have a tricky first couple of matches as he opens against Jeremy Chardy with American Frances Tiafoe a possible second round while dangers in the form of former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic lurk later in the section.

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev is the man to beat in section 2, but Djokovic is 1/2 to win that quarter with the German 11/2, Raonic 12/1 and Wawrinka 14/1.

US Open champion and 2020 runner-up Dominic Thiem also finds himself in Djokovic’s half with the Austrian 7/1 (bet365) to go all the way this year and win a second Grand Slam.

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He pushed Djokovic to five sets last year, but he also has potential banana skins in his way with Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori all capable of causing an upset.

If it goes according to main script then eighth seed Diego Schwartzman is the man he will meet in the quarter-final, but it is no easy path for the Argentine as the Canadians are looming in the fourth round with either 11th seed Denis Shapovalov or 15th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime a potential opponent.

Rafael Nadal is the biggest name in the bottom half of the draw and he is 13/2 (bet365) to win a second title at Melbourne Park, but there are injury clouds over the world No 2.

The Spaniard hasn’t played a match in the lead-up to the Australian Open and he starts against Laslo Dere while the unpredictable Fabio Fognini, Alex de Minaur or Dan Evans could await in the fourth round.

His big test is likely to come in the quarter-final in the form of fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas (16/1) while the in-form Russian duo of Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev are possible semi-final opponents.

You can get 22/1 at Coral for Nadal to be eliminated in the opening round while he is 7/1 to exit at either the third round or fourth round.

Fourth seed Medvedev was unbeaten at the ATP Cup to take his unbeaten run to 14 having also won the ATP Finals and the Paris Masters last year and he currently sits at 9/2 to make his Grand Slam breakthrough.

Fellow Russian and seventh seed Rublev is 22/1 at William Hill and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could win the title. However, he will likely have to get past 12th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in round four and Medvedev in the quarter-finals.

As for name the finalists specials from Coral, Djokovic-Medvedev is at 4/1, Djokovic-Nadal 5/1, Thiem-Medvedev 14/1 and Thiem-Nadal 16/1.

As for all four seeds reaching the semi-finals at Melbourne Park, you can get 9/1 odds.

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