Novak Djokovic Still Australian Open Favourite As Visa Row Rumbles On
Novak Djokovic may have successfully appealed the decision to cancel his visa to enter the country and betting sites continue to make the Serb favourite to win the Australian Open, but confusion continues on if he will make it to the service line at the tournament.
Djokovic can still have his visa cancelled thanks to special powers held by Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke in which he has discretion to revoke the permission of anyone granted entry to the country on a visa.
To make matters worse for the world number one, it has since emerged that he had failed to declare that he had travelled two weeks prior to landing in Melbourne for the tournament, which Djokovic has described as a “human error” from his agent. However, the issue has been seen by many as the final straw and the pressure has ramped up on Hawke to deport Djokovic.
The original decision to grant Djokovic - a vocal critic of Covid-19 vaccine mandates - entry to the country prompted utter dismay from locals, as they have had to live under some of the sternest restrictions in the entire world over the past few of years.
However, an extraordinary mix up in the visa application process led to Djokovic having his permission to enter the country cancelled just after he arrived in Australia.
But the defending Australian Open champion vowed to fight his deportation and the uncertainty over his participation led to Daniil Medvedev briefly taking over as the frontrunner in the market on best tennis betting sites to win the first Grand Slam event of 2022.
That all changed when it was confirmed that Djokovic had won his appeal to enter the country, as documents revealed he had returned a positive result Covid PCR test on December 16 and that was the basis of his application for a medical exemption.
Novak Djokovic Joined At The Top Of The Australian Open Market
However, the speculation around the Djokovic’s participation just isn’t going away, so much so that Medvedev is currently joint favourite with the nine-time Australian Open champion on most online tennis betting sites.
In the Australian Open betting odds, you can still find Medvedev at a slightly higher price than Djokovic on Unibet – with the US Open champion at 3.0, while the Serb can be backed as 2.5 on Betfair.
Who Is The Men's Australian Open Favourite?
Daniil Medvedev Next In Men’s Australian Open Betting
Question marks still linger on if Djokovic smashes a ball Down Under or not, but Daniil Medvedev comes into this competition on the back of a stellar victory at the US Open last September anyway.
The victory was doubly sweet for the Russian as it was not only his first ever Grand Slam success, but he also toppled Djokovic in the decider – stopping the Serb from being the first man since the iconic Rod Laver in 1969 to complete a calendar Grand Slam.
Medvedev followed up his breakthrough victory in New York by putting up a stern defence of the ATP Tour Finals title he won the previous year. But, he would eventually go down bravely 6-4 6-4 to Alexander Zverev in a cracking final.
The Russian star seems to play his best tennis on a hard a surface and after being defeated in the final of the Australian Open by Djokovic last year, Australian betting sites are looking favourably on his chances of going one step further this year.
Can Alexander Zverev Finally Win his First Grand Slam Title?
No one wants to be known as someone who just can’t win the big one, but Alexander Zverev may be starting to get that unwelcome tag. The big German is only 24 years old, but given the scope of his talent and how he performs at normal ATP Tour events, you would have to say a single appearance in a Grand Slam final - which happened at the 2020 US Open - is an unsatisfactory return for Zverev.
But, a ray of light has appeared for fans of the star, and that came at the 2021 ATP Tour Finals. In Turin, Zverev beat Djokovic and Medvedev on the way to the title - once again demonstrating he can mix it with the world’s best players. He has also appeared in the last four and last eight at the Australian Open in his last two outings, so it’s not surprising at all to see Zverev being quoted at 5.0 with Betfair to claim his first ever win at a major in the coming weeks.
Rafael Nadal Seeking A Second Australian Open Victory
You are getting your warning now, do not sleep on the chances of Rafael Nadal winning this competition. That’s because a rare triumph for the clay court master at Melbourne Park would push him out alone when it comes to the tennis Grand Slam record books. Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer all currently sit tied together on an unbelievable 20 titles each.
It is strange, especially when he has scored four times at the US Open on hard courts, that the Spaniard has only won the Australian Open once in this illustrious career.
However, he comes into the 2022 edition of tournament well rested after skipping Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open last term in order to rehab a recurring foot injury. If Djokovic was to miss out on the event, then the price of 11.0 on bet365 for Nadal to take this title would not look at bad investment at all.
When Is The Australian Open On?
The Australian Open begins on Monday, January 17, and will run all the way to Sunday, January 30, when the men’s final will be played on Rod Laver Arena. The women’s singles final will be played on Saturday, January 29. Meanwhile, the draw for the tournament will take place on Thursday, January 13.
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