2018 Australian Open Betting Preview

Posted by Rogelio Aguas on January 12, 2018 in

The first major of the 2018 professional tennis season starts on Monday, January 15, as Melbourne Park prepares to welcome the top competitors in the world. Both of the men’s finalists, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, return to compete, with Federer looking to defend his title from a year ago (and pick up his twentieth Grand Slam title). On the women’s side of the draw, defending champion Serena Williams will not come back for a title defense despite playing well in a victory over Jelena Ostapenko in exhibition play back in December. Check out our Australian Open betting preview for the year’s first big tournament.

2018 Australian Open Betting Preview

There are a couple of interesting props to consider as far as Roger Federer goes. You can pick him to win (7/4) — or you can pick him to win without dropping a single set (18/1). His competitive matches coming up to the Open have looked solid, while the other major contenders (Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal) have spent the winter resting, without any competitive action. If you’re thinking about picking him to win without dropping any sets, then you remember when he pulled that off back in 2007. However, when he won at Melbourne Park a year ago, three of his matches went the distance, to five sets, so you may want to exercise some caution there.

If you’re looking for a sleeper, consider Jack Sock each way (80/1). The odds are huge, but Sock got all the way to the eighth ranking in the world after winning in his debut appearance in the Masters 1000. He also beat Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev to reach the semifinals at the ATP World Tour Finals. He has never gotten past the fourth round in any Grand Slam, but he is only 25. His serve rocks, and his forehand is powerful. If you can get a wager offering each way to four places, and he reaches a semifinal berth, you could pick up some big money.

Then there’s Milos Raonic (50/1 each way). In each of the last three years at Melbourne, he has made no worse than the quarterfinals. Of the four Grand Slams, he has the best winning percentage down under. He did lose to Alex De Minaur in Brisbane, but De Minaur has been coming on lately.

Contender odds on the men’s side include: Federer (7/4), Djokovic (5/1), Nadal (5/1), Grigor Dimitrov (10/1), Zverev (11/1), Juan Martin Del Potro (14/1), Nick Kyrgios (14/1), David Goffin (18/1), Dominic Thiem (25/1), Wawrinka (25/1), Cilic (30/1).

What About the Women’s Tournament?

On the women’s side, even without Serena Williams in the draw, there are plenty of players near the top of the WTA rankings looking to knock Simona Halep out of the stop spot. Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Jelena Ostapenko and Elina Svitolina could all slide into the top spot with a win. Halep is the top seed in the tournament — and she became the first top-ranked player in the world to win a tournament since 2016 (when Serena did it at Wimbledon) when she carried home the biggest trophy at Shenzhen in the first week of the new year.

However, she has lost in the first round at Melbourne each of the last two years. HEr draw begins with Destanee Aiava, a wild card, and could hit Eugenie Bouchard (who made the semis in 2014) or Oceane Dodin in the second round. Then she could wee Petra Kvitova in the third round — an opponent who has won twice as Wimbledon. If she can make it through, she would hit Pliskova in the quarterfinals — a player that she has beaten five out of six times.

As far as getting all the way through, I could see Halep taking on Wozniacki in the finals — but this is a year when the women’s draw is wide open, so finding ah ot hand to ride on this side could be difficult — even trickier than usual.