With a little over a week before the start of the 2022 Australian Open, there are many things that the buildup to the year’s first Grand Slam should be focused on.
For example, it could be about Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both pursuing a 21st Grand Slam men’s singles title. After having to play catch-up with Nadal and Roger Federer (who will miss the Australian Open due to knee surgery), Djokovic won the first three Grand Slams last season to tie them with 20 titles. But he fell short in the US Open final to Daniil Medvedev to miss out on #21 and a calendar-year Grand Slam.
Or it could be about Medvedev looking to win his second Grand Slam title as he continues his rise to the top after a fantastic 2021. Last year, Medvedev finally had his Grand Slam breakthrough, reached the final at the Australian Open and the year-end ATP Finals, and helped lead Russia to the Davis Cup title.
Or it could be about the pressure that Ashleigh Barty, the top-ranked women’s singles player and Australian Open favorite, faces as she renews her quest to break Australia’s four-decade drought for a women’s singles winner or finalist at the tournament.
Alas, the buildup to what should be–and will still be– an exciting tournament is not focused on any of those things at the moment.
Djokovic Facing Deportation and Australian Open Exclusion Over Rejected Vaccine Exemption
Instead, it is now on his impending deportation and exclusion from the tournament due to a visa-related mess of his own design. Whatever your stance on COVID and the COVID vaccine is, if you have paid attention to his actions and comments during the pandemic, there is no reasonable way to paint him as a victim, a martyr, a scapegoat, or a hero as some are.
His lawyers have filed an appeal, and Djokovic is set for a hearing on Monday. It would not–or should not, at least–be a surprise to anyone if things happen to work out and Djokovic ends up being able to take the court in Melbourne.
But in the event that Nole does indeed get the heave-ho and must miss the tournament, what is the impact on Australian Open betting?
For now, sportsbooks are taking a wait-and-see approach with the situation. Australian Open odds at major sportsbooks still have Djokovic listed. However, he has been surpassed by Medvedev as the betting favorite for the men’s singles title.
2022 Australian Open Men’s Singles Odds
- Daniil Medvedev +160
- Novak Djokovic +165
- Alexander Zverev +275
- Rafael Nadal +800
- Jannik Sinner +1600
- Stefanos Tsitsipas +1600
- Carlos Alcaraz +2200
- Matteo Berrettini +2800
- Andrey Rublev +3300
- Felix Auger-Aliassime +4000
- Milos Raonic +4000
- Denis Shapovalov +4000
- Hubert Hurkacz +5000
- David Goffin +5000
- Aslan Karatsev +5000
- Nick Kyrgios +5000
- Andy Murray +5000
- Cameron Norrie +5000
- Alex de Minaur +6600
Australian Open men’s singles odds are via BetMGM.
So, how should you approach betting on the tournament with Djokovic’s status in doubt? If you are determined to back Djokovic no matter what, then do so by all means. If he is not allowed to remain in Australia, it is fair to assume that your bets will be swiftly refunded. So, there’s no risk involved in opting not to wait until his fate is determined.
In fact, if you are going to back Djokovic, the time to do it is now if you wish to maximize value. If he is allowed to stay and play, odds will shift accordingly.
But if his deportation is upheld, Medvedev is the obvious best bet after making a major leap forward last year.
In addition to his US Open win and his Australian Open final appearance, he had career-best results at the French Open and Wimbledon. At Roland Garros, he reached the quarters after four consecutive first-round exits. At Wimbledon, he reached the fourth round, one round farther than his previous best. Also, he reached the men’s singles quarters at the Tokyo Olympics.
Whether or not Djokovic is present in Melbourne, Medvedev is one of many reasons why we will still be in for an exciting Australian Open. And Djokovic or no Djokovic, bettors will still have plenty of reason to bet on and follow the tournament. Hopefully those things will be the focus in the coming days and during the tournament.
The post Australian Open Betting: With Djokovic’s status in doubt, US Open champ Medvedev tops men’s singles odds first appeared on Betting News.