With Andy Murray already out and talking about retirement, the 107th edition of the Australian Open is already proving to be an interesting start to the 2019 Grand Slam season with so many contenders fighting for that elusive title. Here’s a look at potentials who could be taking this year’s Australian Open at the women’s final on Saturday, 26 January and men’s final on Sunday, 27 January.
10 Players to Bet on at the Australian Open
- Novak Djokovic
The 31-year-old World No. 1 already seems on track to take his seventh Australian Open having beaten Mitchell Krueger in straight sets at the Rod Laver Arena. With an impressive 14 majors to his name – including the 2018 Wimbledon and US Open – Djokovic is now working towards holding all four Grand Slams again. The Serbian has certainly got the year off to a great start having won all three previous finals in Shanghai season opening.
- Rafael Nadal
Another strong contender if you’re betting on the Australian Open is the 32-year-old Spaniard who will be looking for his 18th Grand Slam win. He’s already made good strides, beating James Duckworth 6-4 6-3 7-5 to reach the second round. However, his career stats show that this is generally his toughest major, having taken the Australian Open title only once before (the French Open 11 times, US Open three times and Wimbledon twice).
- Roger Federer
Participating in his 20th Australian Open, the 37-year-old Swiss legend is working hard to take his 21st Grand Slam title – making this his third successive, and seventh overall, Australian Open title. He’s already into the second round – no surprises there – and says he’s brought with him some positive energy to the tournament. Add his experience and incredible skill into the mix, and it’s going to be difficult to stop this exceptional player.
- Alexander Zverev
The 21-year-old German is seeking his first Grand Slam title and is off to a great start having beat out Aljaz Bedene in the first-round clash. With somewhat of a sloppy initial play, Zverev quickly woke up and showed why he is being toted as the next generation of tennis players. He confirmed this reputation by beating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at ATP finals in consecutive days. His mentorship under newly-appointed coach, Ivan Lendl (an eight-time major winner) seems to be making all the difference.
- Kevin Anderson
The South African fifth seed is desperate for that first Grand Slam title and it’s 2019 or nothing so he’s giving it his all at the Australian Open. Having beaten Adrian Mannarino 6-3 5-7 6-2 6-1, the Wimbledon runner-up is on the right track but will need to elevate his game to take this one.
- Simona Halep
With 18 career titles and coming off her best ever year, the World No 1 female tennis player is coming into the Australian Open a very strong contender. She managed to reach the finals in 2018, narrowly missing out to Wozniacki, after which she finally clinched her first Grand Slam title at the French Open. The 27-year-old Romanian is looking in good shape to take her second title.
- Angelique Kerber
The 30-year-old German professional and second seed has sealed her place in the second round having beaten Slovenia’s Polona Hercog 6-2, 6-2 with a powerful on-court performance reminiscent of her 2016 season that saw her take the Australian Open title. A three-time Grand Slam winner, Kerber had an impressive 2018, reaching the semi-finals in the same contest last year, quarter-finals at the French Open and then beating Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final.
- Caroline Wozniacki
The reigning Australian Open champion is looking to retain her title and add a second Grand Slam win to her name. The 28-year-old Dane seemed to peak at last year’s Open, only reaching as high as the second round in the remaining three Grand Slams, however she did manage to win her 30th WTA singles’ title at the China Open with her ruthless serve.
- Naomi Osaka
Taking the tennis world by storm when she took the 2018 US Open title, we’re already seeing the precision of Osaka’s game continuing into this Grand Slam as she powered through to the second round. The 21-year-old Japanese player has proven she has that big match temperament and will be able to take on the great Serena Williams.
- Serena Williams
Despite losing to Osaka at the US Open final, Williams is still a top contender for a Grand Slam title. This would be her eighth Australian Open win and 24th major win, tying her with Margaret Court’s record. Having won the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, she went on to reach both the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 2018 after a post-pregnancy break. The 37-year-old American won all three of her singles matches at the Hopman Cup and is definitely on form.
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