Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Novak Djokovic
- The first Grand Slam of the 2019 tennis season, the Australian Open, starts on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.
- Novak Djokovic is the favorite to win the tournament at +125 with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Sascha Zverev not too far behind.
- Daniel Scotti offers his thoughts on the futures market ahead of the Australian Open.
The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the 2019 tennis season, kicks off Sunday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN 2). The men’s side of the Aussie features 128 participants, which shakes out to seven rounds of scintillating tennis action over two weeks, culminating in the Final on Sunday, January 27 (more like early Monday morning).
Roger Federer is the returning champion, but the GOAT is not the favorite for this season’s Aussie. That title belongs to Novak Djokovic, who barnstormed his way through the second half of 2018, winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
2019 Australian Open Odds and Draw
The Djoker is at +125 to win the whole tournament. That means the market is giving Nole ~44.4% chance of taking home his seventh Aussie title.
Federer (+550), Rafael Nadal (+800) and Alexander “Sascha” Zverev (+900) round out the top four and are the only other players under 25-1.
Top Seed: Novak Djokovic (1)
Seeded Players: Kei Nishikori (8), Fabio Fognini (12), Daniil Medvedev (15), David Goffin (21), Pablo Carreno Busta (23), Denis Shapovalov (25), Philipp Kohlschreiber (32)
Despite being the outright favorite to win the tournament, Djokovic finds himself in a rather tricky region of the draw — with names like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Denis Shapovalov, David Goffin, Daniil Medvedev, and Kei Nishikori floating around as potential opponents.
While Djokovic has not exactly impressed thus far in 2019 — dropping sets against Marton Fucsovics and Nikoloz Basilashvili in Doha, before losing out to Roberto Bautista-Agut — it’s hard to argue against him surviving his quarter. Especially in the best-of-5 format.
For me, I’ve got Novak facing off against Kei in the quarterfinal, and — given his track record against the Japanese player (15-2 over the years) — I’ve got Novak advancing through to the semis.