Australian Open Tennis Tournament Underway – Who Should I Back?

By Ian John
January 17, 2023
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The first tennis Slam event of the year is now underway in Melbourne Australia, as the top tennis stars in the world compete in the Australian Open.

Last year it was Rafael Nadal in the men’s event, and the now retired Ashleigh Barty in the women’s event, who claimed the winner’s trophies.

And before this tournament even began we had some big news from the women’s game when one of its star players, Naomi Osaka confirmed that she would not be playing on tour this year as she is pregnant.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at both the men’s and women’s event and try and come up with some of the better value bets you can still find available on the tournament with bet365 Sport.

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Australian Open Factfile

  • The host venue for the tournament is Melbourne Park.
  • The first tournament was contested in 1905, although it was not known as the Australian Open at this point.
  • From 1905 to 1987, the tournament was played on grass, however, since 1988 it has been played outdoors on hard courts.
  • The three main courts at Melbourne Park are called the Rod Laver Arena, John Cain Arena and the Margaret Court Arena and all three have retractable roofs, allowing players to continue playing in the event of rain or extreme heat.
  • A total of $76,500,000 in Australian Dollars is the available prize money for the 2023 tournament.
  • Margaret Court holds the record for the most singles title won by a player, female or male, with 11.
  • Novak Djokovic has won nine Australian Open titles, the most won by any male player.
  • Mats Wilander of Sweden is the only player to have won the Australian Open on both grass and hard courts.
  • The Australian Open became the first major tournament to incorporate Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and the Metaverse. The NFT’s generated over $5m in revenue and won a Sports Entertainment award.
  • The Women’s singles players compete for the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup, while the men compete for the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.
  • The tournament is usually the best attended of all the Tennis Grand Slam tournaments with over 800,000 people attending the 2019 tournament before the pandemic outbreak.
  • Roger Federer christened the tournament the “Happy Slam” as it is the first major of the year and usually the players are generally fit, in good health and good spirits rather than a little more jaded later in the year when the other Grand Slam tournaments are contested.
  • Since the Men’s Open Era, the United States have seen the most winners with 14, followed by Serbia with 9 victories, Switzerland with 7, Sweden and Australia with 6 before tere is a drop down to a number of countries that have had two wins apiece.
  • There have been 18 United States winners of the tournament since the Open Era, followed by 11 Australians, 5 German winners, three from Switzerland and Yugoslavia followed a number of countries with two wins apiece.

Men’s Tournament 2023 – Preview

The 2023 tournament got off to a somewhat disappointing start for native Australians when one of their brightest hopes in the men’s event, Nick Kyrgios, pulled out of the tournament due to a knee injury.

Rafael Nadal however is playing as is Novak Djokovic who is seeking a 10th win in the tournament this year. The Serbian is the fourth seed behind Nadal, Norwegian Casper Ruud (2) and Stefanos Tsitsipas (3).

The top British prospect is 11th seed Cameron Norrie, who has already made it through the first round with a comfortable 3-set victory over wildcard entrant Luca Van Assche (7-6, 6-0, 6-3).

Andy Murray faces a tough first round clash with Italian 13th seed Matteo Berrettini while 25th seed Dan Evans takes on Argentine Facundo Bagnis, both of those games being played tomorrow.

So far 21st seed Borna Coric is the only seeded player to have lost their first round game, when he lost 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to Czech star Jiri Lehecka.

In the betting, Novak Djokovic is the 4/6 odds on favourite to win the title, a year after he was forced out of the tournament due to him not being vaccinated against Covid-19. Danil Medvedev is the second favourite at 5/1, before the odds drift out to Rafa Nadal at 11/1, Stefanos Tsitsipas at 14/1 and a trio of players at 16/1 in Jannik Sinner, Holger Rune and Taylor Fritz.

Cam Norrie is the best priced Brit at 66/1, with Andy Murray a 250/1 shot and Dan Evans a 400/1 chance.

Men’s Tournament 2023 – Tips

This year’s men’s tournament does look a little more open than in previous years. Djokovic and Nadal are not the forces they once were and there isn’t one dominant player coming through to replace them as the top men in the male game.

Djokovic’s odds are probably because he had to miss last year;s tournament so will be well motivated here, but I am not a fan of such short odds in such a tough event and as such, I like the 14/1 you can get on Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Women’s Tournament 2023 – Preview

Last year Ashleigh Barty claimed an emotional win at her home Slam event and then she followed that with an even bigger surprise when she retired from competitive tennis a short time later. So while the Champion won’t be back it does mean that the women’s event is even more open.

Iga Swiatek is the favourite and her form, especially early last year, makes it easy to see why she is 21/10. Others at shorter prices include Aryna Sabalenka, Jessica Pegula, Coco Gauff, Ons Jabeur, Carolina Garcia and Belinda Bencic.

British youngster Emma Raducanu is one of a quartet of players rated at 66/1 to win the title but in truth there is such parity in the women’s game right now that picking a winner is incredibly difficult.

Women’s Tournament 2023 – Tips

There’s two names that really stand out for me in this event and one is the favourites Iga Swiatek and the other is Ons Jabeur and I think at 14/1, Jabeur would be my pick here, although my gut feeling is it may be best to back her each way and go with Swiatek if you want the outright win bet.

However, I would also say that the women’s game has been so open and difficult to predict that almost any player that has odds of 100/1 or under will stand a chance of success.

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