- The 2021 Australian Open will get started on Monday
- Novak Djokovic has won each of the last two Australian Opens and four of the last six
- With the bracket fully released, odds have been posted on who’ll win each quarter
The 2021 Australian Open is set to get going Monday and the draw has been revealed. Of course, Novak Djokovic – who has won this grand slam in back-to-back years and in four of the last six – is favored to win it all. While he’s probably not the man to bet against, you might be better off wagering on the quarters.
With a bracket to work with, let’s take a look at the four quarters and see where there’s value in each section.
Odds To Win First Quarter
Odds taken Feb. 6th
This is the quarter where Djokovic lies and he’s going to be hard to stop. He’s a -225 favorite but the question is: will anyone be able to get to him before he reaches the quarterfinals? Djokovic has made it to at least the quarters in 11 of his last 13 appearances at the Aussie Open, so something will have to go horribly wrong for him to miss.
If you’re thinking of betting against him, the problem here is who do you go with? Alex Zverev, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic are his top competition. Raonic hasn’t been in top form in years, Wawrinka is now 35 years old and Zverev is 2-5 lifetime against Nole. Zverev will have a chance but not much of one. He’s only been past the fourth round here once.
Pick: Djokovic (-225)
Odds To Win Second Quarter
Similar to the first quarter, the second has a big favorite and not much visible competition. Dominic Thiem is the chalk here at +120 and everyone else is at +650 or longer. “Everyone else” includes Nick Kyrgios, Jannik Sinner, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Thiem made it to the finals last year but that was the first time he’s been past the fourth round. He’s clearly a bit vulnerable here but there’s no question that last year was his best year as a pro. The question is what’s his form like? We don’t really know at this point.
There’s also not an evident underdog who is ready to step up. Kyrgios is too volatile to trust while the two Canadians – Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime – are among the top 21 in the rankings, but it doesn’t feel like either is ready to step up.
Sinner is intriguing as the Italian teenager has shown well in the Great Ocean Road Open. The oddsmakers are telling us something here if he – the No. 36 ranked player – has shorter odds than No. 12 Shapovalov and No. 21 Auger-Aliassime. Take a flier with Sinner if you like but this is probably Thiem’s to lose.
Pick: Thiem (+120)
Odds To Win Third Quarter
Daniil Medvedev is a -120 favorite to win his quarter and generally speaking, he shouldn’t have too many problems here. He finished the 2020 campaign on fire, winning his last 10 matches, which gave him the Rolex Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals. He cut through a lot of good competition like Rafael Nadal, Thiem and Djokovic to get the trophy at the ATP Finals.
So far this season, Medvedev has had relatively smooth sailing, winning all three of his contests. The question here is: who would you rather bet than him? Andrey Rublev, who is second in line in terms of the odds, just nearly lost to Jan-Lennard Struff. Only once has he even made it to the fourth round at the Aussie Open.
Roberto Bautista-Agut is always a shaky bet in grand slams as he’s been past the fourth round just twice in 31 tournaments. There’s nobody really else worth considering. At this point, it’s Rublev or nothing in terms of the dog, and nothing it will be. Medvedvev should make a run.
Pick: Medvedev (-120)
Odds To Win Fourth Quarter
|Alex De Minaur||+750|
The same story plays out in the fourth quarter as we have a huge favorite and then long-ish shots the rest of the way. This time it’s Nadal who is at +110 and then there’s everyone else. That includes Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alex De Minaur and then the rest of the pack is at +1000 or longer.
Tsitsipas is capable of the upset but he’s way too volatile to trust. As for De Minaur, he’s faced Nadal three times and has won just one of the nine sets played. That’s not a good sign. If you’re looking for a dog that might bark, check out Matteo Berrettini at +1100. He’s been in good form in the ATP Cup and plays well on hard courts.
The challenge here is Nadal tends to be risky when wear-and-tear grinds him down. After a year where he was able to get plenty of rest – and considering that this is early in the new season – he’s going to be pretty fresh here. While it’s boring, the chalk is the pick again.
Pick: Nadal (+110)