The first Grand Slam of 2018 is get underway in Melbourne with many wondering whether the old guard will continue to dominate men’s tennis or if many of the upstarts can finally come good and deliver on the biggest stage. Roger Federer lines up alongside Rafael Nadal to top the seedings in a repeat of last year’s final whilst the absence of Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori will encourage many of the players in the draw. There are question marks over the fitness levels of Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic whilst many of the fringe players have been finding form in recent weeks.
With 128 players in the draw, whoever lifts the trophy in 2 weeks’ time will have to overcome 7 tricky opponents – over the best of 5 set matches.
Here’s a look at some of our favourites for the Australian Open title:
Roger Federer – 2/1 (PaddyPower) – The Swiss legend had another remarkable 2017, picking up 2 grand slams in the process. His win in the Hopman Cup for Switzerland showed that he is seemingly back to his best as the new year begins. Seeded 2 in Melbourne, Federer faces some serious threats in his half of the draw (Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro & Sacha Zverev) and he will have to be on top form to win this tournament.
Rafael Nadal – 9/2 (Coral) – The world number 1 will be desperate to avenge his heart-breaking final defeat to Federer last year as he looks to add to his two Grand Slams from last season. The Mallorcan’s performance at the US Open in particular last season was an ominous sign for the chasing pack and with a favourable draw; Rafa could be the man to back here.
Novak Djokovic – 11/2 (William Hill) – Novak is back in 2018 and raring to go in the first Grand Slam of the season. The Serb has not been seen playing competitive tennis since Wimbledon 2017 and last season was his first season without a Grand Slam in more than half a decade. He’ll be looking to put his off court problems behind him as quickly as possible but looks to have a very tough draw in Melbourne.
Grigor Dimitrov – 11/1 (Unibet) – Now ranked number 3 in the world, Dimitrov looks to be coming of age on the ATP Tour and his World Tour Finals win back in November could be a sign of things to come. He has all the tools to be a real force on the tour and now looks to be believing in his own hype. Having Nadal in his side of the draw is an obvious issue however.
The Australian Open looks more open than ever this season and here are some of the outside picks:-
Nick Kyrgios – 16/1 (Skybet) – The unpredictable Aussie will have home support backing him and looked good when winning in Brisbane last week.
David Goffin – 16/1 (Coral) – The Belgian has such variety to his game and reached the final of the World Tour Finals in London in November.
Juan Martin Del Potro – 20/1 (Boyle Sports) – The Argentine has broken back into the world’s top 10 and looks to be returning to full fitness at the right time.
Milos Raonic – 50/1 (Unibet) – The Canadian has dropped to number 22 in the rankings but is always a threat – in any competition.