Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams are the best bets at the Australian Open
Four-time Australian Open men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming 1-1 favorite to win the title for the fourth time in five years when tennis betting action at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for the first major tournament of 2015 gets underway on January 19.
On the women’s side, five-time winner Serena Williams is the 9-4 betting favorite despite not winning the singles title since 2010. Williams has not advanced past the quarterfinals in the last three years and sat out the 2011 Australian Open due to injury.
If Djokovic wins a fifth Australian Open this year, the world’s current top-ranked player would break a tie with Andre Agassi and Roger Federer for the most men’s singles titles in the Open era. Even though he did not win the Australian Open last year, the 27-year-old Serbian won Wimbledon to bring his career total to seven Grand Slam titles. Meanwhile, the top-ranked Williams already owns that distinction for Australian Open women’s titles, and the 33-year-old American will be trying to win her second straight Grand Slam event after defeating Caroline Wozniacki in the 2014 U.S. Open final.
Last year’s Australian Open men’s singles champ and fourth-seeded Stan Wawrinka is at 12-1 to repeat behind top-seeded Djokovic, second-seeded Federer (5-1), sixth-seeded Andy Murray (7-1) and third-seeded Rafael Nadal (10-1). Wawrinka upset top-seeded Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 as the eighth seed in the 2014 men’s final after knocking out second-seeded Djokovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in an epic quarterfinal match. Nadal got to the final by beating sixth-seeded Federer 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals.
The top-seeded Williams will not have to worry about getting through 2014 Australian Open women’s singles champ Li Na, who retired at the end of last year following a knee injury that required surgery. The fourth-seeded Li defeated 20th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 in last year’s women’s final. Li did not have to face an opponent seeded higher than 20th in the entire tournament en route to the title while Cibulkova upset third-seeded Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, 11th-seeded Simona Halep in the quarterfinals, and fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska in the semis to get to the final.
Cibulkova is 66-1 to win the 2015 Australian Open as the 11th seed, which would also be her first Grand Slam title. Second-seeded Sharapova (5-1) and third-seeded Halep are the second and third choices to win it on the tennis betting lines behind Williams, followed by eighth-seeded Wozniacki (9-1), fourth-seeded Petra Kvitova (10-1), and unseeded Victoria Azarenka (10-1). Last year, 10th-seeded Wozniacki lost in the third round of the Australian Open, sixth-seeded Kvitova in the first, and second-seeded Azarenka in the quarters. Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013.