Novak Djokovic began the New Year with the hope of defending the Australian Open title that he picked up last year. The 2022 Australian Open will be a delayed affair as it is scheduled to start only from 8th February at Melbourne Park. However, an extraordinary turnaround of events has seen Djokovic denied entry into Australia. Even though, the World Number One has decided to appeal against his ‘visa denied’ status, it is very unlikely that he will take part in the 2022 Australian Open.
Australia has been very strict with regards to enforcing COVID protocols for people coming into the country. Even though Australia has faced a lot of backlash regarding the same, it has kept Australia relatively in a better position with regards to managing the pandemic. One of the key requirements for entering into Australia is double vaccination.
Novak Djokovic has been an open advocate against vaccination, but he has so far faced no major issues in being part of major tournaments around the globe. The world number one, though, has just seen his hopes of defending the Australian Open evaporate despite several attempts from the tournament organizers to bring him into the country using a special exception visa.
Australian Open Favourites in the Absence of Novak Djokovic
The absence of the world number one has definitely made a substantial shakeup in the list of Australian Open favorites. Daniil Medvedev, who lost the final against Djokovic last year, now becomes the favorite to win the event at a price of +160. His preparations in the lead-up to the tournament have also gone well. After a difficult start, Medvedev was able to get a 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 victory over Matteo Berrettini in the ATP Cup. The victory over the world number seven sees Medvedev come into the Australian Open with his confidence restored. Medvedev suffered a surprise defeat against world number 35, Ugo Humbert, in his first game at the ATP Cup. Medvedev, who is ranked number two in the world, is looking to pick up his second Grand Slam.
Even though it appears unlikely that the Australian government will budge the rules to allow Djokovic into the country, the courts may decide otherwise. Hence, bookmakers are keeping Novak Djokovic as the second favorite at a price of +165.
Alexander Zverev comes in as the third favorite for the title. His performances in the recent ATP Cup continue to provide a lot of confidence. After managing to reach the semifinals in 2020, Zverev will be keen on getting to the final for the first time. He is at a price of +275 in the Australian Open odds. Zverev has had a long list of successes including the ATP Finals and Olympics. If you are looking to bet on this even, check out our list of the top tennis betting sites in the US.
Past Australian Open winners like Rafael Nadal have also seen a jump in prices since the news about Djokovic broke out. Nadal is now placed at a price of +800 after having not taken part in any Grand Slam competition since his appearance at the French Open 2021.