What the Novak Djokovic Situation is Doing To Australian Open Odds

What the Novak Djokovic Situation is Doing To Australian Open Odds
© USA Today

As we get closer to the Australian Open beginning, it still remains uncertain whether the men’s betting favorite will take part.

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Novak Djokovic took a step to being able to play in the first tennis major of the year when he won a court battle to stay in Australia despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19. Federal Circuit Court Judge Anthony Kelly reinstated Djokovic’s visa and all of this has had an effect on Australian Open betting odds.

Last week, Djokovic had his visa canceled because he didn’t meet the criteria for an exemption on an entry requirement that all Australian visitors must be fully vaccinated.

Djokovic was also released from a Melbourne quarantine hotel where he spent the past four days.

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Still, Djokovic is not out of the clear. According to Government lawyer Christopher Tran, Alex Hawke, the minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, may look to personally cancel Djokovic’s visa.

“Following today’s Federal and Family Court determination on a procedural ground, it remains within Immigration Minister Hawke’s discretion to consider canceling Mr. Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation within section 133C(3) of the Migration Act,” Tran told members of the press. “The Minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing.”

A news outlet in Australia reported Wednesday that Djokovic could face five-year imprisonment for providing fake evidence to the Australian Border Forces. The paper said that a decision could come as early as Thursday.

Betting Odds impact

Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 ranked men’s player, opened as the betting favorite to win Australian Open at +130 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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Since he was quarantined, his odds increased to +145 as Daniil Medvedev’s odds dropped from the +200 range to the new favorite at +135. But with Djokovic’s latest court win, he’s now the favorite to win the event once again at +130, while Medvedev is still +135.

Djokovic is the three-time defending champion of the event and has earned major title wins at the French Open and Wimbledon last year. His bid for the grand slam was thwarted by Medvedev, who topped Djokovic in the U.S. Open Final to earn his first major tournament.

Other Contenders

If Djokovic isn’t allowed to take part in the Australian Open, the tournament will be one of the first majors in recent history that will be more wide open.

With Roger Federer still recovering from multiple knee surgeries, Djokovic’s absence would mean the major would be without two of tennis’ “Big Three.”

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Combined, Djokovic and Federer have won the past seven Australian Opens. Their dominance goes back even further, with the two winning the Australian Open 15 times since 2004. Only Marat Safin, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka have won the event during that span.

Nadal would be the only member of the Big Three to compete if Djokovic can’t compete. Nadal has the fourth-best sports betting odds to win at +1000. Alexander Zverev, who topped Djokovic last summer in the Olympics for the gold medal, has the third-best odds at +240.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (+1800) and Jannik Sinner (+2000) are two of the best from the younger generation and round out the top six on the betting board.

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