Australian Open: Betting Tips, Stats & History

The Australian Open is one of the highlights of the tennis calendar and one of the four majors. Winning the tournament will allow players to go down in folk law in the sport and whilst it’s probably fair to say not quite as prestigious as Wimbledon or the US Open, having a win in the Australian heat is definitely something to savour.

The tournament is not only very important because it’s a major, but it’s the first major of the year. There is a sizeable break between the last major (The US Open) and the Australian, which takes place in January. Often players will be using this period to solely concentrate on this event, meaning it gets more interest than it might. 

It’s held at Melbourne Park, Melbourne and is played on the hard courts there. Interestingly, up until 1987, the tournament was actually played on grass, but switched in an attempt to get a more consistent playing surface, mainly down to the extreme heats that can be on offer. 

Mens Singles Betting Tips

Andy Murray did all he could to avoid surgery on his hip, but he eventually decided that going under the knife was the best option to prolong his career. In taking such drastic action, Murray has again shown just how physically demanding competing at the top levels of tennis is.

Murray is joined on the side-lines by Kei Nishikori while many of the men competing in the Australian Open have their own fitness problems that will require management. Those problems have opened up the draw for some of the younger players in the draw but will it be 36-year-old Roger Federer who outlasts the lot?

Tips And Predictions

When Federer won the Australian Open last year it was described as a fairy tale, one last hurrah for a great coming towards the end of his career. 12 months on and Federer is moving as well as ever and, judging by his form in the Hopman Cup, playing hard court tennis from the very top level.

Federer dropped just one set in his Hopman Cup singles matches and won the tournament alongside fellow Swiss, Belinda Bencic. He may not play in every big event any more but when Federer turns up, he turns up to win. There’s little if anything to suggest Federer is weaker than last year so you can’t argue with a price of 15/8 with Coral.

Few fans attending Melbourne would begrudge Federer another success but the passionate Aussie fans are desperate for one of their own to lift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup. In Nick Kyrgios, they might finally have a player ready to step up. The 22-year-old had his first taste of success on Australian soil recently at the Brisbane International. As well as handling the pressure of the crowd, Kyrgios played some astounding tennis. He is technically sound but it’s his flair that sets Kyrgios apart and makes him a tempting option at 16/1 with Betfred.

Tournament Info

  • 20 up for Federer? - Bookies’ favourite, Roger Federer, is bidding to win his 20th Grand Slam and his fifth Australian Open title
  • Hot, hot heat - The temperature is forecast to get up to 37C during the coming fortnight
  • Open era passes its double century - The 2018 Australian Open will be the 200th Grand Slam of tennis’s Open Era
  • Fast courts to remain - The Plexicushion courts at Melbourne Park played very fast last year and are set to be just as quick this time around

Other Bets And Odds

Novak Djokovic, making his Grand Slam return after an elbow injury, has been talking up his chances of success in Melbourne. Nobody doubts his ability but with question marks about his fitness, he doesn’t really convince at a general 6/1. The same can be said about Rafael Nadal at a general 9/1.

The 16/1 that BetVictor are quoting about Alexander Zverev’s chances is much more like it. The 20-year-old will surely win a slam at some stage. After an impressive 2017, could he spring a surprise by coming of age at the Australian Open?

Womens Singles Betting Tips

The Australian Open is a chance for the world’s best tennis players to send out a message to their competitors. By going on a run deep into the second week or even winning the tournament, the women competing in Melbourne over coming fortnight have a chance to set their stalls out for a successful 2018.

In years gone by, that task has been made tougher by the presence of a clear favourite for the title. That couldn’t be further from the case for this year’s tournament with several leading contenders. Bookies, punters and pundits alike are struggling to form a consensus on who to back so expect drama and more than a few surprise results.

Tips And Predictions

The women’s Australian Open may be tough to call but look on the bright side, there’s some excellent value available on some world class players. Case in point, 2016 champion, Angelique Kerber can be backed at 11/1 with BetVictor.

Pessimists will point to Kerber’s form in 2017. Yes, she did have a horrible year when compared to the year before where she won two Grand Slams and reached number one in the world, but with new coach Wim Fissette on board, Kerber has already started putting last year behind her. She was impressive at the Hopman Cup and in Sydney in the lead up to the Australian Open could well look overpriced very quickly indeed.

Due to Andy Murray’s absence, British hopes in Australia will be spearheaded by Johanna Konta. The British number one had a real breakthrough year in 2017 and with her own new coaching set up, she’s confident of yet more improvement in 2018. Konta reached the semi finals in Melbourne in 2016 and having spent a lot of her childhood in Australia, she’s better placed to deal with the harsh sun than many. With Konta’s powerful ground strokes and excellent defence, she has a genuine chance at odds of 25/1 with Betfair.

Tournament Info

  • As open a field as ever - The list of players capable of winning in the women’s draw could conceivably be as high as 20
  • No defending champion - Serena Williams looked as though she would return from maternity leave in Melbourne but has subsequently decided she’s not yet at ready to compete in a Grand Slam
  • A new number one? - World number one, Simona Halep, can be overtaken by five challengers depending how results pan out
  • Tricky conditions - Hot weather, fast courts and late nights make the Australian Open as physically demanding as any tennis tournament

Other Bets And Odds

At 26, CoCo Vandeweghe should be coming into her prime as a tennis player. The American has displayed glimpses of her tremendous talent but has only rarely put it together for long periods. Things are starting to change in that regard as Vandeweghe continues to put in good work with her coach, Pat Cash. If she continues improving, Grand Slam success could be just around the corner and the 28/1 that Coral are quoting looks a tempting enough price on that success coming at the Australian Open.

About

As the Australian Open is exactly that, an ‘Open’ essentially anyone can qualify to play in the event. Providing that you are able to make it through the qualifying rounds then you are eligible to play. 

But, for most of the formats there will be a limited number of sports on offer. For the men’s game for example, there are 128 places in total, with the top 104 in the world rankings being guaranteed entry into the tournament. 

8 more selections are made up of wild card entries. As the host of the tournament, the Australian internal selection committee get to pick 4 of those, with the French also getting one pick. Wild card entries into qualifying events are also reserved in this section, where 3 more players who have won their respected tournament, based on geographic, are entered also. 

On top of that 16 players will qualify for the event via any of the qualification tournaments held around the world. 

The world rankings play a huge role in the draw. The top 2 ranked players in the world are kept at opposite ends of the draw, which means that should they both win all of their matches, they would be set to meet each other in the final. The draw is broken down into 8 sections and with each section will be a player ranked from 1-8, then 9-16, then 17-24 and 25-32. The rest of the players will be then drawn randomly within each group, meaning wild cards and qualifiers are then mixed. 

The draw has been designed like this to give the best players a reward for being a higher ranking. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will have easier games to play in theory, but on paper it is meant to give them an easier run in. 

The beauty of the Australian Open is that there are hundreds of games to watch throughout the fortnight of the event. They have a huge variety of competitions on offer, that include men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles, boy’s and girl’s singles, boy’s and girl’s doubles, men’s and women’s wheelchair, wheelchair quad singles, men’s and women’s wheelchair doubles and wheelchair quad doubles. 

With so many games on offer, it may come as little surprise to see that there are 20 courts in total within Melbourne Park, often attracting crowds of over 750,000 over the course of the 2 weeks. In fact, the Australian Open is the highest attended major of the year, although it’s often very closely run with the US Open in terms of attendances each year. 

The majority of the courts are smaller offerings, but there are three that are classed as the main courts within the tournament. These are the Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena and the Margaret Court Arena. The biggest of the three is that of the Rod Laver, which holds 14,820. The second, and newest of the three, is that of the Hisense Arena with 10,500 capacity and the third is the Margaret Court, with 7,500. All three courts have retractable roofs, which can be used in the unlikely event that it rains, or if the temperatures get too hot. 

As you would expect, the finals are held at the Rod Laver Arena, as it’s here where the highest capacity is.

Prize Money

The prize money has been a hot topic of debate within the game of tennis, mainly because of the movement towards having equal pay for both the men’s and the women’s games. In total, there is a prize fund of $50million on offer, which get split up between all of the events. 

The winner of the singles will get $3.7million and the runner up will get $1.9million. for the doubles the winners get $650,000 per team and the runners up $325,000 per team. The mixed doubles is $165,000 and $84,000 respectively, per team. Please note that all amounts are n Australian Dollars.

To give you an idea of the money involved, it was only announced in 2012 that the record amount of prizemoney in tennis would be at the Australian Open, with $26 million on offer. In just over 5 years, this amount has almost doubled and looks set to rise again before 2020. Below is a table of prize money for the 2017 tournament. All prices are listed in Australian dollars. 

2017 Prize Money

Round

Prize Money (AUD) 

1

50,000

2

80,000

3

130,000

4

220,000

Quarter final

440,000

Semi Final

900,000

Runner Up 

1,900,000

Winner

3,700,000

Scoring System

The scoring system in a match follows the usual sets of rules, in terms of 15, 30, 40 and deuce. But, in terms of games it works a little different to most tour events. The men’s games, for example, is played as best of 5 sets. In the first 4 sets of the match a player must get to 6/7 games before their opponents and to win by 2 clear games. If the result is tied at 6 games, then they will play in a playoff game to decide the winner of that set. This means they will be playing in points with the first to 7 points winning the play-off match. This also must be won by 2 clear games. 

The final set of the match must be won by two clear games, with no tiebreak in place. 

The women’s works in much the same way, but games are played as best of 3 sets. Tie breaks will occur in sets 1 and 2, with the 3rdand final set again needing to be won by 2 clear legs. 

Statistics

The Australian Open only became a professional event in 1969, much like the other 3 majors. So, the records, as a result, are often separated between pre and post this date. The modern-day records are often used when refereeing to most winners etc. but, bear in mind that there are other winners before these dates, of which any major ones we will mention. 

The most successful men’s player in modern times is that of Novak Djokovic, who’s won the Australian on 6 different occasions. It’s a pretty incredible feat when you think of it as he’s done it in an era where three of the best of all time (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray) have all be in circulation. Roy Emerson of Australia has also won the Open on 6 times as well, all of his wins coming in the 1960’s, with 5 coming consecutively from 1963 to 1967. 

On the women’s side a similar sort of story is painted with the names two of the most iconic of all time in women’s tennis. First off from the modern era you have Serena Williams winning on 7 different occasions. Williams has publicly stated that the Australian hasn’t always been her strongest surface, so to win 7 times on a surface you don’t like is nothing short of incredible. 

The other name is that of Margaret Court. You may have noticed that earlier in the article we mentioned that a court was named after her (no pun intended), The reason behind this that she won the women’s single titles 11 times, from 1960 to 1973. It’s also impressive to see that she did it after the switch from amateur to professional in 1969 as well. 

In terms of the doubles, on the men’s side the winner is that of brothers, Rob and Mike Bryan. The pair have become the most decorated doubles players of all time and the Australian was a coup they managed to achieve on 6 different occasions from 2006 to 2013. On the women’s side of things, legend Martina Navratilova has been able to lift the title 8 times from 1980 to 1989. Her playing partner for much of that was Pam Shiver, picking up 7 of those wins all in a row from 1982 to 1989. 

Men’s Last 5 Finals

Winner

Runner-Up

Score

Roger Federer

Rafael Nadal 

6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray

6-1, 7-5, 7-6

Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray

7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-0

Stan Wawrinka 

Rafael Nadal

6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3

Novak Djokovic 

Andy Murray

6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 

Women’s Last 5 Finals

Winner

Runner-Up

Score

Serena Williams

Venus Williams

6-4, 6-4

Angelique Kerber

Serena Williams

6-4, 3-6, 6-4

Serena Williams

Maria Sharapova

6-3, 7-6

Li Na 

Dominika Cibulkova

7-6, 6-0

Victoria Azarenka 

Maria Sharapova 

6-3, 6-0 

History

The Australian Open has been running since 1905, which makes it one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. But, the tournament wasn’t called the Australian Open until 1969 when the event first went professional, moving away from amateur scene.

It was first known as the Australasian Championship before then becoming the Australian Championships in 1927. It wasn’t notified as one of the majors until 1927 and throughout the majority of the early years was run by the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia, before switching to hard courts in 1989. 

The tournament has been hosted in a number of cities within that time before finding it’s home in Melbourne. These have included Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Christchurch and Hastings. But, because of the crowds that Melbourne pulled in over the other cities it was decided that this would become the home of the tournament. 

The switch to Melbourne was one that saw almost immediate success. They enjoyed crowds of over 250,000 in 1988, up over 50% from the previous year. As the remoteness of Australia in the early 20thcentury meant that many players from overseas didn’t take part in the event, it wasn’t until the 1940’s that players from abroad came to play, most notably the US Davis Cup team. These days accessibility is much easier and so, like all tennis tournaments, players and even fans flock to the event from around the world. 

Attendances at the Australian Open have seen steady increases, almost year on year from the switch in 1988 to Melbourne. They now boast over 700,000 fans each year throughout the 2 weeks, a number that is only rivalled by that of the US Open. 

Rod Laver and Margaret Court

We’ve spoken about these names briefly throughout this article, mainly down to the naming of certain courts within Melbourne Park, but it was both Laver and Court that were able to really put Australian tennis on the map. 

Rob Laver has managed to win 11 grand slam titles, making him one of the most successful men’s tennis players of all time. He won the Australian Open on 3 occasions and was the first winner of the event after it switched from an amateur to professional status in 1969. 

His success was highlighted by the fact that he managed to earn over $1.5million in prize money throughout a long career spanning through to 1977, when he later retired. His aggressive play was typical of the Australian sporting mentality and was a massive influence for the next and future generations of the sport.

Margaret Court was even more successful than Laver throughout her career and the two were pinned as the top tennis players in their respected fields for a generation. Court won a staggering 24 major titles and was only the second women to have completed the Grand Slam, winning all four majors in the same year in 1970. 

But, what’s just as impressive as her singles record is her doubles record, winning another 19 major titles throughout her career. Combined, no women or man has won more titles than Court, even to this day. 

Their success has been highlighted by Tennis Australia, naming two of the show courts that take centre stage for the tournament after them. 

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic is going to go down as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. But, his dominance within the modern era at the Australian Open has laid way to his latest success. He’s won the tournament on 6 different occasions, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him add to this number in the coming years. 

The hard-hitting Serbian won the first of his titles in the 2008 final, beating Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. In fact, of the 6 finals he’s been a part of at the Australian Open he’s managed to life the trophy on each occasion. 

His most memorable battles and probably biggest rivalry at the courts throughout this time has come in the form of Scotsman, Andy Murray. Djokovic has beaten Murray 5 times from his 6 finals, with some marathon games thrown in for good measure. The closest and most memorable has to have been that of the 2013 final, where Murray went 1 set up, before Djokovic won the second on a tie break. At this point the game could have gone in any direction, but Djokovic stepped up to play some unbelievable tennis and win the game 3 sets to 1. 

For what it’s worth, Murray has been a beaten finalist at the Australian Open in 5 of the last 8 finals! 

Serena Williams

Many people rank Serena Williams as the greatest female tennis player of all time. The 23 major titles certainly stand her amongst the elite, with 7 of those wins coming at the Australian Open, her joint most successful major alongside Wimbledon. 

She has 39 major titles to her name at the minute and looks set to add more to that in the years to come. She’s been able to do the Grand Slam on 2 separate occasions, tying the record with Rod Laver and Steffi Graff. She sits just 1 major title behind that of Margaret court in the all-time list, but is the most successful in the Open era. 

Whilst the numbers are all very impressive, her most impressive victory had to have been that of the 2017 Australian Open where she beat her sister, Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4. Another win yes, but the fact that Serena did it whilst she was pregnant is almost mind-boggling, and highlights just how tough she is both physically and mentally. 

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