The 2021 Australian Open is set to take place at Melbourne Park, from February 8-21 – the 109th staging of the event, and the 53rd in the Open Era. This the first Grand Slam of the year and will see reigning champion Novak Djokovic return looking to claim an incredible ninth Australian Open title.
But could we see a new champion this year, especially with Covid-19 uncertainty surrounding many self-isolating players and the questions that throw up about training? With six-time Australian Open champion, Roger Federer, also withdrawing from the tournament due to injury, the door is open for a host of players to come through and go deep into the event at Melbourne Park.
Keep an eye on Thiem and Medvedev
Last year’s beaten finalist and current World No.3, Dominic Thiem, will be hoping to better his achievements of 12 months ago and could well claim his first Australian Open title. The Austrian pushed Djokovic to a fifth set in the championship match last year but will have been boosted by claiming his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year. He has been installed as the 9/2 second-favourite with 888sport.
World No.4 Daniil Medvedev finished last season in peak form and won the biggest title of his career to date when claiming the ATP Finals trophy. He also became the first player in history to beat the top three in the ATP Rankings at the season finale and could be a very dangerous threat in Melbourne if he can carry that form through to 2021. The Russian is priced at 11/2 with 888sport to claim a first Grand Slam title of his career and will be feared most by Djokovic.
Who else could emerge as a threat?
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a very dangerous player on his day and is capable of beating the very best. The current World No.6 enjoyed his best run at the Australian Open in 2019 when reaching the semi-finals and will hope to make his first Grand Slam final at Melbourne Park this year. He has been priced at an interesting 14/1 by 888sport.
World No.7 Alexander Zverev, meanwhile, is also one to look out for after claiming two hardcourt titles in 2020 and reaching the Australian Open semi-finals, his best run at the tournament to date. He was also the beaten finalist in the US Open and looks primed to make a bold bid for the title in Melbourne. He is also a 14/1 chance with 888Sport.
Elsewhere, home favourite and controversial figure Nick Kyrgios is a 28/1 chance to claim a famous win on Aussie soil. You’ll probably get much lower odds for him to get a warning for swearing on the court, though. Meanwhile, big hitter Marin Cilic, who reached the final in 2018, is a big price at 66/1.
Previous Australian Open wins
Djokovic’s dominance of the Melbourne Park courts began in 2008 when he won his first Australian Open title, which was also the first Grand Slam of his amazing 18 to date. Last year, he defeated Thiem in a five-set thriller to boast a perfect 8-0 record in finals in Melbourne, and he is favourite to win another title at odds of 5/4 with 888sport.
Despite reaching five Australian Open finals, Rafael Nadal has only won the title on one occasion, back in 2009 when beating old adversary Federer. However, the Spaniard has great consistency at the tournament, losing just once before the quarter-finals since 2005, and arrives hoping to reach another final. He is currently priced as third favourite at odds of 11/2 with 888sport.
- 2011 Djokovic beat Murray
- 2012 Djokovic beat Nadal
- 2013 Djokovic beat Murray
- 2014 Wawrinka beat Nadal
- 2015 Djokovic beat Murray
- 2016 Djokovic beat Murray
- 2017 Federer beat Nadal
- 2018 Federer beat Cilic
- 2019 Djokovic beat Nadal
- 2020 Djokovic beat Thiem