Australian Open News, Favorites and Results from Week 1

Australian Open Tennis

We bring you the latest Australian Open news and results from the first week of action plus we take a look at who the favorites are for the men and womens titles.

The Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam tournament and one of the most spectacular sporting events, which attracts millions of sports fans all over the globe, is gaining momentum. The world’s leading players and emerging talents, driven by their quest for excellence and the desire to start the season successfully, came to Melbourne to fight for the title.

When is the Australian Open?

The tournament is held on 25 hard courts at Melbourne Park, from 8 to 21 February 2021 and due to Coronavirus restrictions, only 50 percent of normal audience capacity are admitted this year.

The Favorites for the Men's Australian Open

Australian Open Tennis

You may wonder, who are the favorites among male and female players this season. Well, obviously, Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, is one of the top contenders at the year’s first major, as his performance is extremely good on hard courts.

Just imagine, a Serb has already won 11 Grand Slams on this type of surface and holds a record of 8 Australian Open titles. Moreover, he never lost in the final there and is considered one of the most complete and mentally strongest players on tour.

However, Novak Djokovic’s mental strength is currently in question, as he unexpectedly lost in important matches at the end of 2020 season, making a lot of mistakes. One of them cost him the US Open title and he definitely remembers that.

According to tennis specialists, it will be more complicated to win the Australian Open Title in 2021 for him, as there are lots of strong competitive players, all eager to beat him.

Djokovic has a tough draw with top seeded players Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem potentially between him and the final.

Current world number 1 easily passed the first stage, however, lost one set to the American player Frances Tiafoe in the second round. He will face another American Taylor Fritz in the third round and shouldn’t have any difficulties as, according to statistics, Djokovic leads 2-0 in their matches.

Roger Federer, Swiss tennis legend and one of the greatest players in the history of the game, who won 6 Australian Open titles, decided to miss the tournament this year. Therefore, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, another outstanding player, is among the biggest rivals for Djokovic in Melbourne.

Nadal won the title only once, however, managed to play in 5 Australian Open finals. They faced each other 56 times and Djokovic is leading 29-27. Nadal didn’t have any difficulties in the first round, and should easily pass the second, however, he admitted that he has some lower back problems and tries to play carefully.

But everybody knows, that Rafael Nadal is a real fighter, without any doubt he will do his best to proceed as far as he can. The World number 2 has a potential quarterfinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas and may face Daniil Medvedev in the semifinal.

Among other favorites is also an Austrian player Dominic Thiem, current number 3, who managed to beat Nadal in semis and reached the final last year, where lost to Djokovic in a 5-set thriller. In addition, Thiem’s quarter of the draw is relatively easy, where the highest ranked player he may face before the semifinal is Diego Schwartzman. Thiem effortlessly progressed to the third round where will face Nick Kyrgios.

The Russian player Daniil Medvedev, is currently one of the biggest rivals for any player and has great chances to reach the decisive stages of the tournament.

Medvedev has 15 consecutive wins and is in incredible form now. What is more, hard courts are his favorite surface and he had an excellent season in 2020, winning ATP Finals, where he beat Djokovic, Nadal and Thiem in a row. Medvedev effortlessly passed the first-round barrier and will play against the Spanish player Carballes Baena in the second stage.

Top seeded players Zverev, Tsitsipas, Berrettini, Schwartzman, Rublev proceeded to the next rounds as well. However, some of the great players are already out of the game: Stan Wawrinka lost to Fucsovics, having 3 match points in a 5-set thriller, 12 seed Bautista Agut unexpectedly lost to the Romanian player Albot 7-6 0-6 4-6 6-7 in the first round.

Monfil’s and Goffin’s losses in the very beginning of the tournament are among the main upsets as well. Shapovalov, Raonic, Auger-Aliassime, Fognini, Khachanov, Carreno Busta, Schwartzman and Dimitrov advanced to the next rounds.

Nick Kyrgios, an eccentric Australian player, who is strongly supported by the home crowd, triumphed in a rollercoaster five set classic, beating Humbert in 5 sets. He will face Dominic Thiem in the 3-rd round and this match is going to be one of the most spectacular at the tournament.

The Favorites for the Women's Australian Open

Naomi Osaka oneof the Favorites for the Women's Australian Open

As for the women’s draw, a Japanese player Naomi Osaka is definitely among the favorites, as she is extremely good on hard courts, winning 3 Grand Slam titles on this surface. She easily passed the first two rounds and will face the Tunisian player Ons Jabeur in the third round.

Simona Halep may also reach the decisive stages, as she is one of the most complete players and played in the Australian Open final in 2018.  She beat the Australian player Tomljanovic in a tough match 4-6 6-4 7-5 and will face the Russian player Kudermetova in the next stage.

The Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, who prefers an aggressive playing style and plays successfully on hard courts, may show the highest results as well, as she is current number 7 and made an amazing progress in the beginning of the year, winning 2 tournaments in a row and having the winning streak of 15 matches.

Sabalenka beat Kasatkina 7-6 6-3 and will meet an American player Li in the third round.

Serena Williams, an outstanding American player and one of the best players of all time, is among the favorites as well. Serena Williams doesn’t lose hope to win more Grand Slams titles and is more than willing to reach Margaret Court’s record of 24 Titles.

However, Serena may face a lot of challenges on the road to victory, as the record-chasing player is always playing under pressure. Moreover, she is almost 40 years old and didn’t show high results after having a baby.

In addition to this, Serena Williams is not in perfect shape and even was ridiculed because of her age and weight. However, these statements gave her anger and desire to prove that she is still one of the best players in the world.

Without any doubt, Serena will do her best to fight for the Australian Open title this year. She has already passed two rounds and is unlikely to have any difficulties in the 3-rd, as she will play against unseeded player Potapova.

Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza and Sofia Kenin have already progressed to the next stages, when 8 seed Andreescu and 9 seed Kvitova have suddenly lost to unseeded players.

Without any doubt, the 2021 Australian Open is worth watching and tennis fans are more than happy that the season resumed after a long break. Stay tuned for more matches and surprising results, as the tournament is going to be breathtaking!

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Andy Nelson

Andy has been writing and posting about offshore sportsbooks for over 15 years. He's also an active sportsbook bonus seeker and seasoned online gambler on US sports.

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