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Top FIVE Players To Watch At the 2022 Australian Open
Wednesday, 12/15/2021
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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are amongst the top favorites to win the Australian Open across multiple top-rated sportsbooks, but they’ll face stiff competition from a jam packed field that includes several steadfast challengers, top players that are knocking on the door of major success, and up-and-coming NextGen stars hungry for the spotlight.

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The 2022 Australian Open, set to get underway on January 17, 2021, promises a stellar start to the year’s Grand Slam set with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal gunning to make history as the winningest player at the majors.

Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are tied on an astonishing 20 Grand Slams apiece, but with Federer slated to miss the start of the 2022 season, only Djokovic and Nadal have an opportunity to move ahead in the grand tally in Melbourne: This extraordinary situation has captured the imagination of the tennis world as a whole, adding a new dimension to the question of who will win the tournament. Will it be Djokovic? Nadal? Or will a new champion crash the party that Djokovic’s and Nadal’s fans are already planning separately with uncontained excitement?

In this column, we highlight the top five players to spot for the 2022 Australian Open as per the odds currently available in the market. Although the official Australian Open draw will not be released until the Friday before the event gets underway, Tennis Australia issued an unofficial list of tennis players this week that are expected to feature in Melbourne next month.
 

Thus, working on the assumption that the main protagonists listed by Tennis Australia will indeed be in Melbourne to compete for the first Grand Slam title of the year, here are the players to spot.
 
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal Gunning For No. 21
Across sportsbooks, early Australian Open odds are in full swing. Predictably, World No.1 Novak Djokovic headlines the field of favorites to win the year’s first major tournament at +150, which would mark his fourth straight and tenth overall Australian Open title, and, more importantly, an incredible, record-setting 21st Grand Slam title. So make sure to check online sportsbooks before any of the matches get underway to stay up to date with the latest odds.

There’s some speculation and uncertainty still surrounding the Serbian starlet’s eligibility to attend the event due to the compulsory vaccine mandate that was issued by Victoria State. Assuming Djokovic will meet the requirements or receive an exemption to travel to Australia, he will be the indisputable top bet to win the title. However, he won’t be without stiff competition at every turn.

In the main, though, Rafael Nadal is the biggest rival to his legacy, and while the 35-year-old Spaniard is currently listed as the fourth favorite for the title, few would be surprised if he did accomplish the feat to win his record-setting 21st Grand Slam title

Daniil Medvedev Second Best Bet
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev emerges as the second-best bet to win the Australian Open, a market outlook that is underscored by his maiden grand slam victory at the US Open last year when he beat Djokovic resoundingly, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.

Medvedev reached his personal milestone and simultaneously crushed Djokovic’s bid to win an historic 21st Grand Slam title and the Serbian’s dream of becoming the first ATP player since Rod Laver to accomplish the calendar Grand Slam.

Medvedev is currently ranked No.2 in the World. If he maintains that ranking ahead of the Australian Open, he’s certain to fall on the opposite side of the draw to Djokovic, which means that the pair can’t collide until the tournament’s final.

Djokovic beat Medvedev in the Australian Open final in straight sets 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. The Russian finished 2021 with a 1-2 record against the World No.1, losing their last meeting in the Paris Masters final 6-4, 3-6, 3-6. Lifetime, Medvedev is 4-6 versus Djokovic.
 
Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas
Germany’s Alexander Zverev currently ranks No.3 in the World. He emerges as the third-best bet to win his first Grand Slam title in Australia.
 
Zverev boasts  a 4-7 record against Djokovic lifetime, which includes a quarterfinal loss at the 2021 Australian Open. The pair met five times last season with Zverev winning two of the five – he beat Djokovic in the semis at the Tokyo Olympics on the way to a gold medal. He also beat Djokovic at the year-end Nitto ATP Finals in Italy, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3.

Stefanos Tsitsipas, ranked No.4, emerges as the fifth-best bet on the tennis odds board at +1700. His slightly larger odds to win his maiden Grand Slam are impacted by injury concerns, and it’s yet uncertain where his form stands going into the 2022 season.
 
Tsitsipas reached the Australian Open semis after beating Rafael Nadal in a come-from-behind, five-set marathon in the quarterfinals. The Greek enjoyed a standout 2021 campaign and finished the season with a 55-19 record and two titles, but he lost steam down the stretch. In the last two months of the season, he won just one of his last four matches and bowed out of the Nitto ATP Tour finals after playing one match. Lifetime, Tsitsipas is 2-6 versus Djokovic.


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