There is just over a month until the beginning of the 2022 tennis season that traditionally starts with the Australian Open. The first Grand Slam tournament is scheduled to begin on January 17 and on January 30 we will know the name of the new champion. According to the current tennis betting odds, it is very likely that the crown will be for Novak Djokovic, who is defending his three consecutive titles in Melbourne.
Usually, review articles preceding major tournaments comprise analyzes of the current state of the top players, as well as tips of how to predict the matches’ outcome and place the best correct score bets in tennis. This year, however, the topic that excites journalists, punters, and fans is whether the top favorite of bookmakers will participate at all. Yes, Novak Djokovic is on the preliminary list of potential contestants in the Australian Open but he refuses to reveal his vaccination status and thus gives the organizers a hard time explaining over and over again the rules of the tour’s policy.
Will there be a fourth title in a row for Novak Djokovic?
Given his proverbial stubbornness and impish character, we are sure that Djokovic will keep us in suspense until the last possible moment. We don’t want to believe he will miss the 2022 Australian Open, so let’s review the main reasons for Novak Djokovic being the top favorite.
First and foremost, he is in very good form, perhaps the best we have seen in his tremendous career. Only one match separated Djokovic from winning the Grand Slam in 2021 – the final of the US Open where he was defeated by Daniil Medvedev. We even saw tears in his eyes although he greeted his rival for his high-level tennis.
Besides his wonderful play this season, we must not forget that Novak Jokovic is the most successful tennis player in Melbourne, having won nine titles, surpassing the magnificent Roger Federer who has six.
Several strong contenders for the Australian Open title
The 2022 Australian Open entry list shows that we are not going to see two big names in Melbourne. Roger Federer (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, and 2018 champion) and Stan Wawrinka (2014 champion) are both still recovering from injuries and are not expected on the court before the summer of next year. In this situation, the main threat to Djokovic comes from Russia and the talented Daniil Medvedev. Of course, he is in good shape and has many qualities, but he also has the psychological advantage of beating Novak in a direct match in the 2021 US Open final. Furthermore, Medvedev shows persistence and a steady psyche which makes him a dangerous rival.
It's also worth thinking about betting on Alexander Zverev winning his first Grand Slam title, namely in Melbourne. The 2021 season was quite successful for the German player as he reached the semi-finals in the Roland Garros and the US Open, and was a quarter-finalist in the Australian Open. In New York and Melbourne, it was Djokovic who outmatched him, so we see revenge on the horizon.
Other names to keep in mind are Rafa Nadal ranked 6th and Dominic Thiem ranked 15th. They both missed Wimbledon and the US Open in 2021 but now are coming back full of energy and desire to win.
Will there be a surprise from the back rows this year?
Starting just in the third week of the year, the Australian Open is the tennis tournament that is most likely to produce a new tennis star, someone who will surprise fans and punters by eliminating the top favorites and reaching the final. Probably, the most spectacular example is Marcos Baghdatis who was a runner-up in 2006. The 20-year old Baghdatis was out of the first 50 in the world rankings back then but defeated Radek Stepanek, Andy Roddick, Ivan Ljubicic, and David Nalbandian to make his way to the final.
The current tennis season is not over yet but fans are impatiently waiting for January 2022 to see the top players in Melbourne. Keep an eye on the betting odds since there is plenty of time until the start of the Australian Open, the situation is very dynamic and all kinds of changes are possible.