Jan 18, 78 days ago

2017 Australian Open tennis preview

2017 Australian Open tennis preview

Having ended 2016 as the world number one, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and a knight in the New Year’s Honours list it’s been a brilliant few months for Sir Andy Murray. The British number one heads to Melbourne this week in an attempt to win the Australian Open – a title which has eluded him despite five previous final appearances.
The 105th Australian Open promises to be an intriguing affair, with Serena Williams also looking to break records by winning the women’s title. Keep reading four our 2017 Australian Open tennis betting preview.

Men’s Australian Open betting

Considering that six of the last seven Australian Open finals have featured either Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray it’s perhaps no surprise that the world’s top two head the betting this year.
The great rivals have played each other in four of the last six Melbourne finals with the Serb prevailing on each occasion. Indeed, another title for Djokovic would see him eclipse Roy Emerson as the most successful player in the tournament’s history.
Murray has lost each of his five Australian Open finals – four to Djokovic and one to Federer – and in truth he’s never come close to the title, winning just two sets in his handful of final appearances. This year could be different, though, as the Scot has proved to be a match for his nemesis over recent months.
The 29 year old will go into a Grand Slam tournament as the top seed for the very first time, with his win over Djokovic at the ATP World Tour Finals cementing his place at the top of the world rankings. Murray ended 2016 on a brilliant run of success – he didn’t lose a match from September to the end of the season – and so goes into the tournament as the joint favourite.
Little can separate these two great champions, but Djokovic did get the better of Murray in Qatar earlier this month and can win his seventh title at 13/8.
For the first time in 15 years, Roger Federer starts a Grand Slam tournament outside the world’s top ten. Now 35, only Ken Rosewall has won a major tournament at an older age and you have to go back to 2012 for Federer’s last Grand Slam win. Saying that, he has reached at least the last four in Melbourne in 12 of the last 13 years, so the 18/1 available will tempt a few each-way punters.
Milos Raonic enjoyed the best year of his career in 2016 and the tall Canadian is 20/1 to win his first Grand Slam title. 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka and 2009 winner Rafael Nadal are both available at 12/1.

Women’s Australian Open betting

Just as with the men’s event, the women’s tournament in Melbourne also looks as if it could be a two-horse race between the world’s top ranked players.
Angelique Kerber finished the year as world number one after reaching three of the four Grand Slam finals and the Olympic tennis final. The German won her first major at Melbourne last year, setting her up for an impressive year where she also won the US Open title.
Having beaten Serena Williams in this event last year the 28 year old should be confident going into the tournament and she looks decent value at 7/2.
Serena’s Wimbledon title in 2016 saw her draw level with Steffi Graf on 22 Grand Slam titles and she can eclipse the German’s record if she can win a seventh Australian Open title this month. Having been out of the game since the US Open she should be refreshed and in good health although it’s worth remembering that the 35 year old has won just one of the last six titles in Melbourne. Williams is the 5/2 favourite.
With recent Australian Open winners including Kerber, Li Na, Victoria Azarenka and Kim Clijsters, this is perhaps the most open of all the major tournaments. World number four Simona Halep is surely due a good run at a major this year, with the 2014 French Open her only major final appearance.
Her record at Melbourne is mixed – two quarter finals and three first round losses in the last five years – but she could go well at 8/1.
A better bet could be Dominika Cibulkova who comes into the tournament as arguably the form player in the women’s game. The 27 year old is a previous Australian Open finalist and ended 2016 by winning the WTA Finals tournament at her first attempt, ending the season at a career-high ranking of number five.
The Slovakian looks a really sound each-way bet at 25/1.

2017 Australian Open tennis betting preview.

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