While a lot has happened, the biggest news to come out of Melbourne is Novak Djokovic not attending the Australian Open.
2022 Australian Open Betting News and Updates | January 17th Edition
Novak Djokovic Is Back Home
After a long and controversial lead-up to the 2022 Australian Open, we finally got an answer to the question of whether Novak Djokovic will be allowed to defend his title. Unfortunately, the Australian court ruled against it, forcing the Serbian tennis star to leave the country and miss out on the Australian Open for the first time in his career.
As revealed on Sunday, January 16, Djokovic was prohibited from attending the Grand Slam tennis tournament due to his vaccination status. That is despite the tournament organizers including him in the draw days prior.
In a statement, Djokovic said that he felt extremely disappointed by the decision but was left with no other option but to accept it and head back home.
“I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me, and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love,” said Djokovic.
“I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.”
Due to his forced withdrawal from the Australian Open, Djokovic will be unable to complete the Grand Slam – which slipped from his fingers last year, when he lost against Daniil Medvedev in the grand finals of the U.S. Open.
It also marks the first time Djokovic won’t compete in the Australian Open since he made his debut here in 2005, and only the second Grand Slam the Serb will miss in his career – besides the 2017 U.S. Open.
The Action Continues
Despite Djokovic’s absence, the action in Melbourne continues with the opening rounds of the tournament on Monday, January 17, when some of the best tennis players in the world began their quest for the coveted title.
With Djokovic out of the competition, the focus on the men’s side turned to Daniil Medvedev, who is the current favorite to go all the way and win his second Grand Slam. The Russian tennis star will play his first match of the 2022 Australian Open on Tuesday, January 18, when he’ll face off against world no.91 Henri Laaksonen.
Meanwhile, due to Djokovic’s absence, Alexander Zverev rose up in the outright betting markets and is now billed as the second-most likely tennis player to win his maiden Grand Slam. Unlike Medvedev, Zverev has already concluded his opening round of the Australian Open, in which he eased past his compatriot, Daniel Altmaier, in straight sets.
The ATP Finals champion won the match with 7-6, 6-1, 7-6, securing a spot in the second round. There he will face off against world no. 89 John Millman on Wednesday, January 19.
Like Zverev, Rafael Nadal did not struggle in making it into the 1/32 finals. On Monday, the Spaniard defeated world no.66, Marcos Giron, with 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, and is now set to face off against world no.126, Yannick Hanfmann, on Wednesday, January 19.
Although we’re still very early into the tournament, the top favorites have already delivered, and we’re excited to see what this week of action will bring and who has what it takes to rise to the top.