Daniil Medvedev Favourite For Australian Open As Djokovic Loses Visa
Novak Djokovic’s luck has seemingly run out Down Under as the Serbian tennis star sensationally had his visa to enter the country revoked yet again. The news that the defending Australian Open champion is to be deported has led betting sites to install Daniil Medvedev as the new favourite to win the tournament.
In a long running saga, Djokovic - who is an open critic of mandated Covid-19 vaccination - was initially given the go-ahead to travel to Australia and play at Melbourne Park under a medical exemption. But, the decision to grant him entry to the country caused fury with locals, who have been dealing with some of the most severe Covid restrictions on the planet since the virus hit.
The waters became a bit muddier for the nine-time Australian Open winner when he landed in the country on January 5 and was questioned at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport for around eight hours due to discrepancies in his visa application paperwork. Djokovic then had his visa cancelled for the first time before launching into a legal battle to stay in the country.
It was a fight the world number one would win on January 10 as a judge quashed the visa cancellation, and it looked like all systems go for Djokovic to play in the first Grand Slam of the year.
But, Australian Border Force investigations continued and it was revealed that despite declaring on his documents that he had not travelled in the two weeks prior to arriving in Melbourne, Djokovic had in fact made a trip to Spain before leaving for the competition.
Djokovic blamed “human error” from his agent, but that looks to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Australian Government and on January 14 the country’s immigration minister Alex Hawke announced that he is revoking Djokovic’s visa for a second time, saying he had made the decision “on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”.
After everything that has happened in the last few weeks, you can still find Djokovic at second favourite on the best tennis betting sites, even though his chances of remaining in the country look slim at best. He's available at 2.7 with Betfair, but Daniil Medvedev has become the new favourite to win the title at 2.4.
Australian Open Men’s Singles Betting Odds
Daniil Medvedev Heads Australian Open Betting
Daniil Medvedev has had to bide his time in the tennis world, but the 25-year-old is now embracing heading into competitions as a general frontrunner. He is also seeking a second Grand Slam victory on the spin, after claiming his first major at the US Open in New York last September.
His triumph at Flushing Meadows had even more meaning as he toppled Djokovic in the final, preventing the Serb claiming a first calendar Grand Slam sweep since the great Rod Laver did it back in 1969.
Medvedev moved on from that ground-breaking win in the Big Apple to put up a valiant defence of the ATP Tour Finals crown he had grabbed in 2020. Unfortunately for the Russian, Alexander Zverev proved to be just a step too far in that final.
A hard surface looks to bring out the best in Medvedev these days and don’t forget it was him standing across the net from Djokovic in last year’s Australian Open final. Is it any wonder the Australian Open betting odds now point to him going one step further in 2022 - especially if Djokovic might be on a plane home.
Is A First Grand Slam On The Cards for Alexander Zverev?
At 24, Alexander Zverev still has plenty of time left to break through the barrier that stands in the way of his first major victory. However, he really doesn’t want to hold the calling card of someone who can’t win the big one, and this could be the perfect opportunity for Zverev to break his duck.
The big German is one of the most talented players on the ATP Tour, so much so that you would have to be a little disappointed with his return of just one Grand Slam final appearance in his career.
That happened at the US Open in 2020, where he heartbreakingly lost a final set tie-break to Dominic Thiem. With Zverev frequently appearing in the latter stages of competitions he enters, we’re sure he’ll want to improve his poor finals record in slams very soon.
However, maybe things are on the cusp of changing for Zverev, (as we mentioned above) he won the 2021 ATP Tour Finals in Turin at the end of November. That was without question the biggest victory of his career and he also clearly likes the conditions in Melbourne, having made it to the last four and last eight in his previous two visits. You can get Zverev at 4.0 with bet365, and this might just be the right time to nab him.
Rafael Nadal Can Create Even More History
Even at this stage of his illustrious career, how could you ever write off Rafael Nadal? After all, the man has 20 Grand Slams under his belt and stands on top of the record books - with Djokovic and Roger Federer - as one of the greatest ever to pick up a racket.
But, you just know the Spaniard wants to get out in front on his own and, with Djokovic now doubtful of the tournament he has dominated for most of his career, don’t be surprised if you see Nadal sniffing around the trophy on January 30.
It is rather surprising given that he has won the US Open four times on hard courts, that Nadal only has one Australian Open victory to date. But, he should at least be fresh as a daisy for this year’s event after skipping Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open last season to try and fully recover from a foot injury.
Nadal can be found at 11.0 on bet365 and the ‘King of Clay’ could be a decent investment.
Will Djokovic Play In The Australian Open?
As the minutes tick on, it is looking less and less likely that Novak Djokovic will be back to defend the title he has won nine times in the past. It would, of course, be a huge blow to the Serb as he looks to not only take the tennis Grand Slam record outright, but also join Rafael Nadal as the only men to ever get into double figures at a single major event.
Djokovic now faces deportation from the country, but he can still fight the decision made by Alex Hawke and he could use his vast resources to apply for an injunction at Federal Court to stay his immigration.
However, given the case would likely not be heard until Monday and Djokovic is scheduled to play fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanović in the first round of the Australian Open that day, his place in the tournament is now in more jeopardy than ever.
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