The first tennis major of 2019, the Australian Open, started this morning and we may have already seen the last of Andy Murray on a tennis court, but it is sure to be an eventful few weeks in Melbourne to see who takes the title.
Roger Federer won the event last year with a thrilling five-set win over Marin Cilic, but can the Swiss superstar make it three successive Australian Opens for the first time since 2013?
Caroline Wozniacki took the crown last year in Melbourne when seeing off Simona Halep in three sets, but there are plenty of contenders for the title this year and our tennis betting expert takes a look at the best bets for the tournament.
Magnificent seven for Djokovic?
You cannot hide from the fact that the winner of the last nine Australian Open’s have been Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Stan Wawrinka.
It is hard pushed to look beyond Djokovic or Federer, despite their short odds of 11/10 and 9/2. respectively.
Djokovic, the world number one, has had a fine second half of last season after returning from elbow surgery and is back to somewhere near his best.
The Serb is also eyeing a seventh Australian Open title and a 15th major in total, with only Federer (20) and Nadal (17) ahead of him in terms of Major wins.
A dark horse may well be the Russian Karen Khachanov at 25/1 and he comes into the tournament having upset the odds against Alexander Zverev and Djokovic to take the Masters 1000 title in November.
The 22-year-old has never progressed past the second round in Australia, and will be up against it in the draw with Marin Cilic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal all potential opponents if he is to make the final.
Kerber eyes second Australian Open
The women’s draw is not an easy one to pick from, with eight different players winning the last eight majors.
On top of those eight winners they are several others with the potential to go the distance here in Australia.
Serena Williams is eyeing her eight Australian Open and it would be easy to tip her at 4/1 having reached the last two major finals following her return from maternity leave.
One who could have the beating of Williams is Kerber though, having dispatched her twice in two slam deciders and she is 6/1 to win the title with Grosvenorsport.com
One of the many with potential to take her first major is number 11 seed Aryna Sabalenka.
She enjoyed a fine debut season last year and picked up the title in the Shenzhen Open heading into this major tournament.
Again she will have some challenges to overcome if she is to make the latter stages, potentially facing Petra Kvitova and Kerber, but first major wins are meant to be tough and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her take the crown at 10/1.
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