Australian Open Betting Preview, Odds for Tournament Favorites
Jan 14 2018 by Marjorie Miles
I haven't played in six months.
"It was a huge surprise".
It was a welcome sight for Australian Open organisers and fans following the withdrawals of five-time runner-up Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori as well as 23-time slam victor Serena Williams on the women's side, but Djokovic insisted he is still not 100 per cent fit with the tournament set to get underway on Monday. The live draw for both women's and men's singles brackets was held on Thursday evening (local time, which translates to Thursday morning in the United States). Rafael Nadal showed that talk of his demise had been exaggerated by winning the French and US Open titles past year although he faces a battle to repeat those feats without his lifelong coach and uncle Toni while also fighting familiar injury troubles.
"Everybody thinks I probably have a good chance to maybe repeat and other guys are maybe a bit hurt", Federer said recently before being drawn against Aljaz Bedene in the opening round. Anything can happen. It's a Grand Slam. However, this is Melbourne and not Paris, where the Spaniard has reigned supreme, with honours shared over two Aussie finals.
Federer was coming off an extended injury break and was seeded 17th at last year's Australian Open when he beat Nadal, who was seeded ninth, in five sets in the final.
Nadal's knee injury hampered the end of his 2017 season and forced him to skip last week's Brisbane International, but he was able to give it a workout at the non-tour event in Melbourne.
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Six-time Australian Open champion Djokovic pulled out of a tournament in Abu Dhabi last week because of continuing problems with his right elbow and wore a sleeve over the joint during his round robin match against the Austrian.
Plagued by rumors about personal issues last year-alongside having gotten rid of his entire training team and switched coaches from Boris Becker to Andre Agassi-the world No. 14 seems to have put those behind him and is trying to stay positive.
"Roger, obviously, with the year he had is the favourite", Djokovic said.
Maria Sharapova [16.0] will get plenty of attention, after re-entering the top 50 for the first time since her ban.
He seems to be the biggest hurdle for Djokovic as the two have been drawn in the same quarter.
But with Murray out until the summer, perhaps this will be the year of the newcomer. 19-time major champion Roger Federer has been given the number two spot, Grigor Dimitrov at three, followed by Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem who completes the top five.