- When: 15th to 28th January 2024
- Where: Melbourne, Australia
- Watch: Eurosport (Live) & BBC (Highlights)
- Official Website: Australian Open
The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slams that take place every year on the tennis circuit. Held in January, the tournament ensures that the tennis calendar starts the year in style.
Played in the heat of Melbourne on hard courts, the event is one that players will have been preparing for over the winter break.
Although the tournament’s television rights have gone to Eurosport, which means that for live coverage you’re going to need a subscription to watch it, many betting sites will offer a streaming service and highlights are available on the BBC.
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Men's Betting Tips
Please note: The following tips are for 2023 and will be updated shortly before the event starts.
The lead-up to the first Grand Slam of the season has been a little smoother than in recent years, with a merciful lack of bushfires, restrictions, or Novak Djokovic deportations. All of which helps the actual tennis take centre stage. Djokovic is here and a hot favourite to win once more, as is defending champion Rafael Nadal who continues to defy father time.
One player who unfortunately won’t be lining up at Melbourne Park is world number one, Carlos Alcaraz. The absence of the US Open champion who, at just nineteen years of age, became the youngest ever player to hold the number one spot, robs the tournament of its top seed and one of its star attractions. However, Alcaraz is far from the only bright young thing in the sport, with an impressive pool of talent seemingly primed for breakthrough success. Here we take a look at this year’s favourites for the title, a few outsiders with the potential to cause a shock and pick out our best betting options for the event.
Out on his own at the head of the market is the aforementioned Novak Djokovic, with even money just about the best price you will find anywhere online. One look at the Serbian’s record in Australia, and it’s not hard to see why he is so short. Landing his first major with a win here in 2008, Djokovic has now won nine of the past 15 editions of the event – a truly remarkable record, and one which suggests that the price of evens perhaps isn’t quite short enough. Only one win short of tying Nadal for the most Grand Slam wins, motivation will likely be greater than ever. Winning in Adelaide in his warm-up, he’s definitely the man to beat.
Next in line is 26 year old Russian star Daniil Medvedev. A hard-court specialist, Medvedev has just the one Grand Slam to his name – at the 2021 US Open – but has certainly been knocking on the door in Melbourne. Beaten in straight sets by Djokovic in the 2021 Final, Medvedev looked all set to go one better when two sets up over Nadal 12 months ago, only for Rafa to come roaring back to record a five-set success. No doubt that loss stung and should serve as ample motivation this year.
It is Rafael Nadal himself who is the only other player available at a single-figure price – although you can grab odds a little longer in places. Seizing on the opportunity presented by the absence of Djokovic in 2022, Rafa won this tournament for only the second time in his illustrious career, following that up with an astounding 14th success at Roland Garros, before his season began to tail off. The main concern for supporters of the Spaniard is his current well-being. Turning 37 in June 2023, Rafa has become increasingly plagued by injuries and, having lost his opening two matches of the season, arrives on the back of his worst-ever start to a campaign. If fit and firing, he can go close, but that looks like a significant “if”.
As the number four player in the world, Stefanos Tsitsipas, barely belongs in the outsider category. Greece’s finest tennis export is however available to back at a nice each-way price of 16/1. Considering his solid record at the event, those odds are likely to appeal to plenty of punters. Still without a Grand Slam success, Tsitsipas came closest when making the final of the 2021 French Open, but also performs well on this far quicker surface – making the semi-finals here in 2019, 2021, and 2022. Only 24 years of age, his best years may yet be ahead of him, and he looks solid to go well once more.
Of the young contenders, one man to catch the eye is Canadian number one, Félix Auger-Aliassime. A true all-rounder, the 22 year old cites clay as his favourite surface. However, if judged by his efforts in slam events, it would seem that his high-intensity, big-hitting game is particularly well suited to hard courts. Achieving a career-best result when making the 2021 US Open Semi-Finals, his record in Australia seems to be trending upwards. Knocked out in the first round on debut in 2020, he advanced to round 4 in 2021, before making it all the way to the Quarter Final twelve months ago – when only succumbing to Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller. As big as 20/1, this improving talent looks like an interesting option.
There’s plenty of interest for British fans at this year’s tournament, with Andy Murray, Cameron Norrie, and Jack Draper all in the draw. Murray however simply isn’t the same player since his hip replacement operation, whilst Norrie has been knocked out in the first round in three of his four appearances here. All of this makes Jack Draper much the most interesting option at a big price of 150/1. Now inside the top 40, the talented 21 year old, has several notable scalps on his CV, including Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and Jannik Sinner. A run to the final may be beyond him, but Draper is a player to keep an eye on in 2023.
Predictions & Tips
For our money, the betting has this right in making Novak Djokovic the clear favourite to land a 10th Australian Open title and equal Rafa Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam successes. The pursuit of those records seems likely to ensure Djokovic hits his best levels, particularly as US restrictions may see him miss out on a shot at the US Open later in the year. Match fit following that win in Adelaide, and the best player in the field, he is our main bet for success.
It is hard to knock Stefanos Tsitsipas as an each-way punt, and we certainly wouldn’t put anyone off. However, at a slightly bigger price, we just prefer to take a chance on Félix Auger-Aliassime. Improving, and coming within a whisker of ousting eventual runner-up Medvedev here last year, he seems likely to at least give backers a solid run for their money.
Betting Tip – Novak Djokovic to win at Evens
Each Way Tip – Félix Auger-Aliassime at 20/1
Women's Betting Tips
Please note: The following tips are for 2023 and will be updated shortly before the event starts.
The 2022 edition of the women’s event was certainly a memorable one, seeing a home success for Ashleigh Barty. There will however be no repeat in 2023, with Barty having surprisingly announced her retirement at just 26 years of age in March.
In Barty’s absence, it was left to Polish sensation Iga Swiatek to cut a swathe through the 2022 season, and she will be hoping to carry on where she left off here. The 21 year old may not have things all her own way though, with a whole host of viable contenders in a high-quality field. Here we pick out the most likely winners, highlight a few players who may outperform their odds, and pick out our best bets for a fascinating event.
Where else to start than with the world number one, Iga Swiatek? Already the holder of three Grand Slam titles, having added the 2022 French Open and US Open to her 2020 Rolland Garros Success, Swiatek is the clear favourite to land a first Australian Open at odds of around 2/1. On current form, that price looks more than fair. During 2022 Swiatek wasn’t only the best player in the world, but she was streets ahead of the competition, picking up more than double the number of rankings points as her nearest pursuer. A beaten semi-finalist here 12 months ago, she looks the one to beat in 2023.
Next in at 9/1 is Aryna Sabalenka. Now up to number five in the World, the Belarussian nicknamed “The Tiger” is yet to taste Grand Slam success but has certainly been edging closer – making the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2021 and reaching the same stage of the US Open in both 2021 and 2022. Those latter results would seem to confirm her ability to perform on hard courts, although she has made it no further than the fourth round in five previous attempts at this event. On the plus side, she did beat Swiatek on her way to a runners-up finish at the WTA Finals in November.
Jessica Pegula has been something of a slow burner on the WTA scene having been around since 2011. However, in a fine advertisement for persistence paying off, she enjoyed a career-best year in 2022, making the quarters of the Australian, French, and US Opens. Only succumbing to eventual champion Barty in her last eight display here, this model of consistency rates a genuine threat to make a deep run at odds of around 10/1.
In comparison to the men’s tour, shocks are far more commonplace in the women’s Grand Slam events, creating an attractive betting medium for each way punters. Of those available at a double-figure price, one of the most obvious contenders would look to the player who came so close to claiming the title only 12 months ago – Danielle Collins of the USA. A powerful hitter, well suited to hard-court tennis, Collins swatted Swiatek aside in the semis on that run to the final. Despite odds of 33/1, she shouldn’t be underestimated.
Of the youngsters in the field, one of the more likely to have a breakout year in 2023 is US 21 year old Amanda Anisimova. Having derailed slightly following the death of her father, the Florida native appeared to be back on track last season, climbing into the top 25 in the world, and reaching the fourth round in three of the four slam events. During her run to the fourth round at Melbourne, she impressively mastered defending champion Naomi Osaka, before losing to eventual winner Ash Barty. Possessing an aggressive style well suited to this GreenSet surface, if she can find the consistency to match her undoubted talent, she could outrun her 50/1 odds.
Also boasting some each-way appeal at 12/1 is 29 year old French star Caroline Garcia. Much like Jessica Pegula, Garcia has been finding her best stuff a little late in her career, showing her excellent hard-court game to good effect when making the semi-finals of the US Open last year, before causing an upset when winning the season-ending WTA Finals. In form, and confident mood, she ought to prove a match for most.
Predictions & Tips
On the overall pattern of 2022, it’s pretty tough to go against Iga Swiatek. Despite playing fewer events than anyone else in the Top 10, she registered more points than the number two and three ranked players combined and looks the clear class act in the field. Given her age, it would be no surprise to see further improvement in 2023 and she will be keen to add this to her building Grand Slam collection.
Our each-way vote goes to the young and improving Amanda Anisimova. A proven match for the best on her day, her deadly backhand looks like being a potent weapon on these slick courts and, granted a little luck with the draw, she could make those 50/1 odds look pretty big.
Betting Tip – Iga Swiatek to win at 2/1
Each Way Tip – Amanda Anisimova at 50/1
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Australian Open Men’s Singles Last Eight: 2021 to 2023
|Stage of Elimination||2021||2022||2023|
|Winner||Novak Djokovic (1)||Rafael Nadal (6)||Novak Djokovic (4)|
|Runner-up||Daniil Medvedev (4)||Daniil Medvedev (2)||Stefanos Tsitsipas (3)|
|Semi-finals||Aslan Karatsev||Matteo Berrettini (7)||Tommy Paul|
|Stefanos Tsitsipas (5)||Stefanos Tsitsipas (4)||Karen Khachanov (18)|
|Quarter-finals||Alexander Zverev (6)||Gael Monfils (17)||Andrey Rublev (5)|
|Grigor Dimitrov (18)||Denis Shapovalov (14)||Jiri Lehecka|
|Andrey Rublev (7)||Jannik Sinner (11)||Ben Shelton|
|Rafael Nadal (2)||Felix Auger-Aliassime (9)||Sebastian Korda (29)|
Australian Open Women’s Singles Last Eight: 2021 to 2023
|Stage of Elimination||2021||2022||2023|
|Winner||Naomi Osaka (3)||Asleigh Barty (1)||Aryna Sabalenka (5)|
|Runner-up||Jennifer Brady (22)||Danielle Collins (27)||Elena Rybakina (22)|
|Semi-finals||Serena Williams (10)||Madison Keys||Magda Linette|
|Karolina Muchova (25)||Iga Swiatek (7)||Victoria Azarenka (24)|
|Quarter-finals||Hsieh Su-wei||Jessica Pegula (21)||Donna Vekic|
|Simona Halep (2)||Barbora Krejcikova (4)||Jelena Ostapenko (17)|
|Jessica Pegula||Alize Cornet||Karolina Pliskova (30)|
|Ashleigh Barty (1)||Kaia Kanepi||Jessica Pegula (3)|
- Qualifying – Monday 8th to Friday 12th January 2024
- 1st Round – Monday 15th & Tuesday 16th January 2024
- 2nd Round – Wednesday 17th & Thursday 18th January 2024
- 3rd Round – Friday 19th & Saturday 20th January 2024
- 4th Round – Sunday 21st & Monday 22nd January 2024
- Quarter Finals – Tuesday 23rd & Wednesday 24th January 2024
- Semi Finals – Thursday 25th & Friday 26th January 2024
- Women’s Final – Saturday 27th January 2024
- Men’s Final – Sunday 28th January 2024
About The Australian Open
The Australian Open is one of tennis’s four Majors and is held at Melbourne Park every year. The venue has been used to host the event since 1988. ‘The Park’, as it’s affectionately referred to by locals, is notorious for having some of the fastest hard courts in the world. One of the reasons behind this is the baking Melbourne heat, which is also a pretty big factor for players of the tournament and is something extra that they need to manage.
Typically, the Australian Open is only beaten in attendance by the US Open and it welcomes a massive following of people from Melbourne and around the world. In 2020, for example, no fewer than 812,000 people came to the event in some capacity.
The History of the Tournament
The Australian Open has been around since 1905, which actually makes this the youngest of the four majors. It wasn’t until 1969 that the name ‘Australian Open’ was first adopted, with names prior to that including the Australasian Championships and the Australian Championships. Interestingly, the home of the Australian Open has moved about several times over the years within Australia, landing in five different cities including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. The tournament has also been held twice in New Zealand, taking place in Christchurch in 1906 and Hastings in 1912.
The first ever tournament was hosted by the Warehouseman’s Cricket Ground of Melbourne, which has since become the Albert Reserve Tennis Centre. That was when it was known as the Australasian Championships, with the shift in name to Australian Championships not coming until 1927. Despite how long it’s been in existence for, it didn’t become one of tennis’s Majors until 1924 when the International Lawn Tennis Federation decided that it should be. That was also the point at which the structure of the competition was altered in order to include seeding.
The decision to move the tournament to Melbourne permanently came in 1972, based on the fact that it attracted more spectators than anywhere else in the country. Initially Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club was used as the venue, with the shift to Melbourne Park coming sixteen years later. That was because the sheer size of the competition had outgrown the facilities available at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. The move was immediately justified, with the crowds for the tournament in 1988 numbering more than 244,000, as opposed to the 140,000 who had gone to Kooyong the year before.
Becoming an International Tournament
Nowadays it’s easy to forget how hard it was to travel to Australia at the start of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, it wasn’t easy to get to the other side of the world and so few non-Australian players entered the tournament in its more formative years. Even by the 1920s it still took around forty-five days to travel to the continent by boat from Europe.
It wasn’t all that much easier for native Australians to travel to the competition, given the difference from the West side of the country to the East is about two thousand miles. When it was held in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1906 just ten players took part in it and only two of them were Australian. The tournament wasn’t helped by the fact that every Australian state and New Zealand itself had their own championships, making them reluctant to take part in it.
As it happens, the first players to travel and play in the tournament from outside of Australia were the Davis Cup team from the United States who travelled by boat in 1946. Even once travel to Australia had become easier, few of the top players in the game were willing to travel and take part in the competition. The likes of Ilie Năstase, Manuel Santana and Björn Borg either didn’t enter the tournament at all or only came to play in it on rare occasions.
Things didn’t really start to shift in terms of the mentality of non-Australian players towards the Open until the start of the 1980s. The National Tennis League, which was responsible for such stars as Rod Laver and Roy Emerson, had actually prevented its players from travelling to Australia to play in the competition because the prize money was so low. That, combined with the inconvenient timing of the tournament being held over Christmas and New Year, continued to stop major players entering it until Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Mats Wilander did so in 1983.
It was after the arrival of such players that the International Tennis Federation began to encourage the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia to consider a change in venue on account of the fact that Kooyong Stadium wouldn’t be able to cope with the influx of spectators likely to want to watch the world’s best players. When it moved to Flinders Park, which is what Melbourne Park was known as in 1988, that also dictated a change of court surface from grass to a hardcourt.
The Court Surface
When the Australian Open was moved from Kooyong Stadium to its current location, the change in venue saw the end of the grass court era in the competition and left Wimbledon as the only Major played on grass. The new hardcourt nature of the tournament required a new surface and a mixture of polyurethane rubber, fibreglass and other things that was known as Rebound Ace. Manufactured by the Sports Surface Division of California Products Corporation, it was laid on top of either reinforced concrete or asphalt.
The only player to win the Australian Open on both grass and the Rebound Ace surface was Mats Wilander, with the Rebound Ace being swapped out for Plexicushion Prestige in 2008. That’s a more cushioned acrylic surface that boasts a medium pace, making for more interesting tennis. The two players to win on both the Rebound Ace and the Plexicushion Prestige were also two of the best players of all time, Roger Federer and Serena Williams.
From 2019 the surface used was GreenSet. The characteristics of this surface are similar to Plexicushion and despite the name, is still blue in appearance.
Like the majority of the ‘Open’ tennis tournaments, the Australian Open allows opportunities for both professional and amateur players to qualify for the event. Back in the early days, it was strictly for amateur players, before a professional governing body took over and allowed players from both sides to compete, should they qualify, in 1969.
As with all of the Major tournaments, there are 128 players who start out in the Australian Open before being whittled down over the course of the different rounds. The competition goes straight into a knockout format, with seeded players dictated by the world rankings in separate ends of the draw.
The nature of the seeding means that the best players are given an advantage depending on their world ranking. The tournament is split into two halves, so the number one seed will be placed as far away from the number two seed as possible and so on, highlighting their advantage in qualification over the field.
Both the men’s and women’s games will end up running through a last 32, last 16, quarter-final, semi-final and then a final stage. Each game for the men is best of five sets, whilst the women are best of three sets. From 2019, 10-point tiebreakers were introduced at 6-6 in the final sets for both the men and women.
Prize Money & Ranking Points
As one of the four Majors in tennis, the Australian Open sees the most successful players rewarded with both cash prizes and World Ranking Points for the Association of Tennis Professionals and the Women’s Tennis Association. Here’s a look at how it breaks down depending on the stage of the tournament that a player reaches:
Australian Open 2023
Singles Prize Money & Ranking Points
|Round Reached||Prize Money (AUSD)||Men’s Ranking points||Women’s Ranking Points|
|Qualifying R3||$55,150||16 (25 Qualifier)||30 (40 Qualifier)|
The fact that the Australian Open was not open to professionals prior to 1969 means that stats and records are often split in two when being referenced. Regardless, there’s still plenty we can tell you about the tournament.
Here’s a look at some of the interesting facts surrounding the competition:
- The most successful male player before 1969 was Roy Emerson with six titles, won between 1961 and 1967
- At the time of writing, Novak Djokovic has the most Australian Open titles with ten, four ahead of Roger Federer
- The same players also hold the records for the most consecutive titles win, with Emerson picking up five before 1969 and Djokovic managing three in a row between 2011-2013 and 2019-2021
- The same is true of the Doubles game, with Adrian Quist winning ten before 1969, all of them consecutively, and Bob and Mike Bryan winning six after 1969, of which three were consecutive
- If you look across all disciplines then Adrian Quest is the most successful male player pre-1969. After 1969, Novak Djokovic with his nine titles is the most successful player followed by Bob and Mike Bryan and Roger Federer having all won six titles
- There’s a standout candidate in the women’s game, with Margaret Court having won eleven singles titles across both the amateur and professional era of the tournament
- Of those eleven titles, seven came in the amateur era, which is the same number as Serena Williams has managed in the professional era
- Court won all seven of her amateur titles back-to-back, meaning she’s won the most consecutive titles over all
- In the professional era, Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Martina Hingis have all won three consecutive titles
- In the Women’s Doubles game, Thelma Coyne Long won twelve titles before 1969 and Martina Navratilova won eight after, making them the two most successful women from each era
- The woman who has won more titles in any discipline than any other is again Margaret Court with 23, ahead of Nancye Wynne Bolton, who picked up 20 in the amateur era
- Post-1969, Martina Navratilova has won twelve titles of any discipline, making her the most successful female player since the Australian Open became professional
- The youngest ever male Singles winner of any era was Ken Rosewall, who was eighteen years and two months in 1953
- The youngest women Singles winner was Martina Hingis who was sixteen years and four months when she was victorious in 1997