Melbourne is buzzing with excitement with the 2021 Australian Open already in full swing and this promises to be another thrilling tournament of elite tennis. As the leading contenders work their way through the opening rounds, we take a closer look at which players are favourites to claim the Men’s and Women’s titles.
Nobody can match the success that Novak Djokovic has enjoyed on the famous blue hard courts of Melbourne. The latest tennis Australian Open odds from Betfair are fully behind the Serbian superstar, with the eight-times champion valued as 6/5 outright favourite.
Having won the last two Men’s Australian titles and eight in total during his career, few eyebrows will be raised if Djokovic lifts the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup again.
Grand Slam titles have thus far evaded Daniil Medvedev, although he did come close by reaching the 2019 US Open, ultimately defeated by Rafael Nadal. The 24-year-old has a great career ahead of him, having won the 2020 ATP Finals in London last November, beating Djokovic in the group stage, Nadal in the semis, then Dominic Thiem in the final.
Such excellent recent form has led to the Russian being considered a 4/1 shot for the title in Australia, where Medvedev has a genuine chance of causing an upset.
The brightest star amongst the new generation of tennis talents, 23-year-old Naomi Osaka has already tasted victory at the 2019 Australian Open. Either side of that triumph, she also won the US open twice in 2018 and 2020. The Japanese player is widely tipped to dominate Grand Slam tournaments for years to come.
Despite recent injury concerns, Osaka is considered a leading contender and tipped at 9/2 to claim the Women’s title in Melbourne.
No player will enjoy more cheers of support in Melbourne than Ashleigh Barty, aiming to become the first Australian woman to win the Open title since Chris O’Neil in 1978. The 24-year-old won her first Grand Slam title at the 2019 French Open, then reached the Semi-Finals of the Australian open last year.
Priced as the joint 9/2 favourite, she is the favourite to challenge Osaka to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in 2021. If she can, the home fans will be absolutely delighted.
Best Value Contenders
Level with Roger Federer in achieving 20 all-time Grand Slam titles, it’s impossible to ignore the Spanish tennis icon Rafael Nadal, priced as a 7/1 contender for the Men’s Australian Open title. He has won the title once in 2009, although since then, suffered agonising defeats after reaching five finals.
For precisely the same reasons, nobody can take Serena Williams for granted for the Women’s Australian Open title, which the remarkable 39-year-old has already won seven times. Priced at 17/2 odds, the all-time leading prize money player in women’s tennis is a fearsome rival, especially when she hits top form.