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Australian Open: Djokovic Eyes 11th Title

First Grand Slam of 2024 Underway Down Under

The Australian Open got off to a rather uneventful start with all the seeded players in action advancing. No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev did need to win in a fifth-set tiebreaker while top American hope Taylor Fritz was also extended to five sets.

The biggest tennis news coming into the tournament was former Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the tournament after being injured in a recent tournament. He suffered a hip injury while playing in Brisbane.

Australian Open: Djokovic Eyes 11th Title

The tennis betting odds list Novak Djokovic as the favorite to extend his record by capturing his 11th men’s singles title at the Australian Open after losing one set in the 2023 event.

Without Nadal in the field and Roger Federer being retired, Djokovic is the only former champion seeded in the event. He looks to add to his tennis record for most men’s Grand Slam singles titles.

Djokovic sits atop the current ATP rankings. He is followed by Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner, and Andrey Rublev.

Djokovic is listed with even odds in the Australian Open men’s tennis outrights.

Will Anybody Stop Defending Champion?

Only being on the wrong side of perhaps the best men’s tennis match of 2023 kept Djokovic from going in 2024 as the reigning champion in all four Grand Slams as well as in the ATP Finals.

Djokovic has won at least one Grand Slam singles title in 9 of the last 10 years.

He won the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open titles in 2023 and lost a classic final to Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon. This came after his visa was canceled as a result of Djokovic not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and that prevented him from playing in the 2022 Australian Open. He wasn’t able to play in the 2022 US Open for the same reason.

Djokovic won seven titles in 2023 and beat a different player in each of those championship matches.

Andy Murray, Gael Monfils, Bryan Shelton and Taylor Fritz are among the players Djokovic could run into before he even gets to the quarterfinals. He had an entertaining opening match against 18-year-old Dino Prizmic with Djokovic winning in four sets.

Other Top Contenders

Alcaraz could be the top challenger for Djokovic as he is priced at +330 to win the Australian Open according to the Las Vegas odds.

Alcaraz pulled out of the 2023 Australian Open as a result of a hamstring issue and he lost the No. 1 ATP ranking to Djokovic after the Australian Open men’s singles title went to Djokovic. Alcaraz lost in the second round in Sydney in 2021 and fell in the third round in 2022.

Jannik Sinner, not far removed from a run to the singles final at the ATP Finals, has +600 odds to win the Australian Open.

Sinner was the only player to beat Djokovic at the ATP Finals and won again in a Davis Cup match. Both of those matches took place in November. Djokovic did win the rematch at the ATP Finals in the championship match, dropping only six games in the straight-set victory.

Sinner has never advanced past the semifinals at the Grand Slam event. The 22-year-old Sinner has made it past the fourth round just once in his four previous Australian Open appearances.

Daniil Medvedev is a two-time Australian Open finalist and the 2021 US Open champion.

He has played in five Grand Slam singles finals and met up with either Djokovic or Nadal each time. Medvedev is in the same half of the draw as Alcaraz.

Medvedev lost in the third round in last year’s Australian Open. He is priced at +900 in the Australian Open outrights.

Let’s Look at the U.S. Hopes

The last American-born player to reach the Australian Open men’s singles final was 2003 champion Andre Agassi. The tournament started with 12 U.S. players in the main draw. JJ Wolf retired in the fourth set in his first-round match against No. 26 seed Sebastian Baez.

No. 12 seed Fritz is the top-seeded American. Tommy Paul and Bryan Shelton are seeded 14th and 16th followed by No. 17 Frances Tiafoe and No. 29 Sebastian Korda.

Paul, Shelton, and Korda each reached the 2023 Australian Open quarterfinals with Paul topping Shelton in four sets to reach the semifinals. Paul’s run ended in straight sets to Djokovic.

Shelton has the best tennis odds among the U.S. players at +5000 followed by Taylor Fritz (+6600), Frances Tiafoe (+8000), Korda (+10000), and Paul (+10000).

What the Quarterfinals Could Look Like

Djokovic may see either Fritz or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals in the top quarter of the draw.

Fritz struggled a bit in his first match while Tsitsipas has had some mixed results at recent Grand Slams.

No. 4 seeded Sinner could face Baez and then Tiafoe in what might be a tricky draw. Korda and No. 10 seed Alex de Minaur could be waiting as well.

Is there a tougher bracket than the one featuring No. 5 seed Rublev, No. 8 Holger Rune, ninth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz, No. 13 Grigor Dimitrov, and No. 3 Medvedev?

The bottom quarter is headlined by Alcaraz with a potential quarterfinal looming against Alexander Zverev.

Perhaps Paul or No. 11 seed Casper Ruud could spoil that projected quarterfinal showdown.

Way Too Early Predictions for Semifinals, Final

  • Top Half Semifinal Prediction: Djokovic vs de Minaur
  • Bottom Half Semifinal Prediction: Medvedev vs Alcaraz
  • Final: Djokovic vs Alcaraz

Questions of the Day

Is Rafael Nadal playing in the Australian Open 2024?

Rafael Nadal had to withdraw from the Australian Open after being injured in his previous tournament.

Who has won the most men's Australian Open titles?

Defending champion Novak Djokovic has won 10 Australian Open men’s singles titles.

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