2021 Australian Open Predictions: Djokovic Odds-On, Dark Horse Nadal & Medvedev Magic

The 2021 Australian Open has featured in many a sports headline as the first tennis major of the new year, and not always in a positive light. Here is what U.S online bookies predict.

Novak Djokovic has travelled to Melbourne as frontrunner to win three straight Australian titles for the second time in his career, but the disruptions caused to player preparations could prise the field wide open.

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Prediction: Daniil Medvedev to win 2021 Australian Open (+475)

The tournament gets underway on February 8, and the world No. 1 stands clear of his peers as +135 favorite Sugarhouse USA, who are offering the biggest odds on a far-ranging field of contenders. The Serb’s odds are less than one third the price of his nearest competitor, 2020 ATP Tour Finals winner Daniil Medvedev, who is bound to receive a lot of interest as a +475 contender.

The major storyline surrounding the first major of 2021 relates to the quarantine and self-isolation laws to which players have had to adhere. Djokovic attracted criticism from many for his ‘list of demands’ to Tennis Australia, critiquing the current system that limits players’ ability to train and meet with their coaches:

Following the blowback in response to his requests, Djokovic issued a reply of his own in an attempt to clarify his stance, concluding that he’s “very much looking forward” to competing:

It’s hardly the first time Djokovic has made headlines for the wrong reasons, but it’s possible those distractions and changes from the usual preparation will in turn affect performance.

Dominic Thiem lost a five-set thriller to Nole in the final of last year’s Australian Open, and the Austrian once again features among the frontrunners, listed at +525 to go one better in 2021. That puts him just in front of world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, the second seed guaranteed to start at the opposite end of the bracket to Djokovic:

Nadal, 34, won the tournament in 2009 and has finished as runner-up four times since then. Two fo those near misses came at the hands of Djokovic (2012, 2019), while he’s also lost finals to Swiss duo Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. 

Medvedev has played only one Grand Slam final in his career to date (the 2019 U.S. Open), but there’s a very real chance that changes next month. The Russian holds a commendable 4-3 head-to-head record against his Serb rival and beat Djokovic in straight sets (6-3, 6-3) during the round-robin phase of the ATP Tour Finals:

Winning that title in London crowned a triumphant end to Medvedev’s 2020 season, with the 24-year-old hoping to carry through that momentum into 2021. Medvedev lost his first three career matchups with eight-time Australian Open winner Djokovic, but he’s since won three of their last four encounters (two on hard surface), suggesting he’s got the veteran’s number if they come into contact.

His record trophy haul in Melbourne means there’s every reason to back a Djokovic title defense. However, there’s plenty to like about an odds runner-up at at +475 in Medvedev, and if the argument comes down to who can stop the world No. 1, he looks best-equipped to take the title.

2021 Australian Open Odds Leaders

Player

Outright Title Odds

Novak Djokovic

+135

Daniil Medvedev

+475

Dominic Thiem

+525

Rafael Nadal

+575

Stefanos Tsitsipas

+1400

Alexander Zverev

+1700

Andrey Rublev

+2500

Nick Kyrgios

+2500

Jannik Sinner

+4000

Milos Raonic

+6000

Alex de Minaur

+6000

Denis Shapovalov

+8000

Stanislas Wawrinka

+10000

Roberto Bautista Agut

+10000

David Goffin

+10000

Odds via Sugarhouse NJ

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