It’s fashionably late this year, but a new year of Grand Slam tennis begins this February as the world’s best players head to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
With an extra few weeks to prepare for this year’s tournament, most players should be fully rested for this slam after a relentless end to the 2020 campaign, and that means most of the usual suspects head up the 2021 Australian Open betting.
One fly in the ointment has been the Covid isolation policies several players have been forced to follow since landing in Melbourne. That’s thrown some star’s best-laid plans into chaos, with many leading names unable to properly train in the run-up to this year’s tournament.
It’s better news for tennis fans Down Under, with tentative plans to allow fans into Melbourne Park if Covid-19 levels remain under control.
The spiritual home of Australian tennis will be split into three ‘zones’ to keep spectators socially distanced in lieu of the usual ground pass. Here’s our look at the early Aus Open betting…
2021 Australian Open Betting Preview | Who Wins in Melbourne?
Could we have seen Roger Federer in the Rod Laver Arena for the final time?
The Swiss ace will sadly be missing in action after opting to skip this year’s tournament ahead of an expected tilt at the grass court season and a potential final bid for Wimbledon glory.
However, two of the big three will be aiming to put a marker down in Victoria, with Novak Djokovic (21/10) and Rafa Nadal (111/20) once again firmly in the hunt to take this year’s tournament.
A rapid return to form for Naomi Osaka in the second half of 2020 sees the Japanese ace installed as a worthy 13/2 joint-favourite to add a third slam to her trophy cabinet, while Serena Williams’ quest for a record 24th title also sees her heavily fancied at 13/2 to finally rip up the history books.
Sofia Kenin was a surprise winner in 2020 and the 22-year-old is 23/2 to retain her crown.
2021 Australian Open Betting Tips
Men’s Singles: Could It Be Thiem’s Time?
No player on the men’s tour arguably performed more consistently than Dominic Thiem (109/20) in 2020. In a season that saw tournaments curtailed, Grand Slams moved and some players opting to play safe by skipping events, the Austrian kept a calm head to continue his upward curve at the top of the men’s game.
The 26-year-old finally broke his Grand Slam final duck at the fourth time of asking with an incredible five-set fightback win over Alexander Zverev at the US Open, a performance that sees him priced up as 109/20 third favourite with Marathonbet in the first hard court slam of the year.
He’s often struggled put his best game together at Melbourne, suffering several embarrassing first week exits here since arriving on the tour.
However, that all changed in 2020, as Thiem pushed eight-time winner Novak Djokovic all the way in the final before succumbing to an agonising fifth-set defeat to the Serbian.
Expect him to be stronger for that experience in 2021 – especially with one Grand Slam now in the bag.
Women’s Singles: Barty to be a local hero?
The unpredictable Ash Barty could be the one to watch in the Women’s Singles – if she turns up.
Barty opted to skip many of last year’s major tournaments due to Covid concerns, just as she was manoeuvring herself towards becoming one of the most dominant players on the circuit.
For now, it seems the great Aussie hope feels comfortable stepping out on home territory, and she’ll be looking to go at least one better than last year’s semi-final appearance. Barty is 9/1 to win this year’s Women’s Singles.
The draw should also be relatively kind on Barty despite her self-imposed hiatus. She still finished up last year with the World No. 1 ranking despite her no-shows.
Barty’s Grand Slam-winning credentials aren’t in question. However, her match-sharpness might be the big concern given she had spent almost 11 months away from competitive action.
A first-round exit could be as likely as a fairy-tale ending for the home favourite, but either way Barty will be one to keep an eye on this February.
Australian Open 2021 Predictions | Best Bets
Check the latest tennis odds on Marathonbet ahead of the 2021 Australian Open.
Who will you be backing in Melbourne?
Odds correct at time of writing but may be subject to change.