2019 Australian Open men's odds: Can Federer make it title 100?
Australian Open odds and predictions
The 2019 tennis season is fully under way! And anytime the third week of a new year hits, that signals the start of the first Grand Slam - the Australian Open.
As always at the inception of a long tennis campaign, there is much intrigue as to who will reign supreme in Melbourne. And with a wide open women's field, where at least 11 players have a chance to leave Rod Laver Arena as number one in the WTA rankings, and men's field seeing Novak Djokovic lose several times in the last few months, there are many legitimate contenders who could be the last two standing at Australia Day.
Let's take a look at the top men's options you should think about putting your money on to win in Melbourne!
The Serbian legend returned to his peak form after Roland Garros last year, capturing another Wimbledon and US Open double and then reclaiming the number one ranking.
But defeats to big hitters Karen Khachenov and Alexander 'Sascha' Zverev to end 2018, along with being bested by Roberto Bautista Agut in Doha, have caused Djokovic to be not in his invincible form going into his favorite tournament.
Add on a very difficult draw that could see him play the likes of Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Martin Klizan, Thanes Kokkinakis and Denis Shapovalov, even before the fourth round, and Djokovic will have to play his best throughout the Aussie Open to win it again.
But the 14-time Grand Slam winner is still the favorite to win his 7th Slam Down Under.
The Swiss legend and de facto GOAT of tennis is still energized, motivated, and happy to play tennis. And with 99-career singles titles, it would be fitting for him to make it title #100 at the Happy Slam.
Federer showed again at the Hopman Cup his utter greatness, looking like the same extraordinary force that he has always been at age 37, as he won a record third team title in Perth with Belinda Bencic for Switzerland. He was extraordinary last week in not dropping a set in any of his singles matches, including handling the likes of NextGen young studs Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Federer does have a tough opener vs Denis Istomin despite his 6-0 record. But with his latest tremendous start to begin a season, Team RF truly believes they can hit the century title mark in Melbourne.
Will this be the tournament for this ultra talented German to finally have a meaningful Slam run?
With Ivan Lendl now coaching him and his ATP Finals year-ending title in November, Zverev is desperate to just have a real run at a Slam beyond the quarter-finals.
Last year's clear defeat to Hyeon Chung began a forgettable year at Slams in 2018 for Big Sascha. But a Slam champion's determination has always been in him.
He has a very favorable draw to get to the fourth Round without too much stress, barring a vintage Giles Simon Top 10 performance in the third round. But he knows that he will have to play his best from then on if he is to get a Slam at 21, the same age that Federer won his maiden Slam at Wimbledon.
Dark Horse specials:
Stefano Tsitsipas 35/1
Gregor Dimitrov 40/1
Andy Murray 50/1
Nick Kyrgios 28/1
For some people, Greek teen sensation Tsitsipas has passed the likes of Zverev and Kyrgios as the NextGen star poised to win a Slam first.
More than his incredible skills that are akin to Federer, Tsitsipas showed throughout 2018 great mental fortitude in matches to problem solve and compete at an optimum level. It certainly is still a lot to ask for him to even be a contender for a Slam. But make no mistake, Tsitsipas has the game and the brain to really make big noise in Melbourne already.
While Tsitsipas gets the Federer comparisons of today, the one who succumbed to the label of 'Baby Fed' is poised for a revival in 2019. Dimitrov clearly took a step back last year, but is truly motivated with Andre Agassi firmly part of his team.
And for both sentimental and still realistic choices, the marvellous Murray is now playing his last Australian Open after an emotional, lachrymose press conference on Friday announcing that he plans to retire from the game at Wimbledon. And the British superstar wasn't at all done a favor by the draw in getting Qatar Open winner Bautista Agut off the bat.
But you cannot ever count out a competitor like Murray, even in the current distress that he is in at the moment. And sometimes unexpected magic can happen for the best players when we all least expect it.
And though he is as unpredictable and sometimes unreliable as they come, you can never count out a talent like Kyrgios, especially when he has some motivation to fulfill his incredible talent.
Don't put too much on...
Rafael Nadal 15/2
Karen Khachenov 25/1
While reservations for Murray are quite obvious, the same too can be said for legendary lefty Nadal.
Odds of 15/2 are very enticing for Nadal, but few think he will be at his best in Melbourne. With his injury concerns coming in, having had to withdraw from the Brisbane International with his thigh strain, Nadal could see himself have a short time Down Under this year in his return after missing last year's tournament. To add to that, a third-round encounter with Sydney International champion, and rising Aussie teenager, Alex de Minaur looms.
This is the first Slam where the talented, powerful Russian Khachenov has major expectations on him. And it maybe a Slam too early despite his deserved top 10 ranking from his shock Paris Masters title. That sensational win isn't always a great springboard into the Aussie Open for first time winners of a Masters at that tournament (just ask Jack Sock).
Tsitsipas at Australian Open odds of 35/1 is better value than Khachanov at 25/1
Based on his incredible form at the Hopman Cup again, and questions coming in surrounding Djokovic, Nadal, Zverev and Murray, it just seems fitting that it will be title number 100 for Federer in Melbourne!