Roger Federer begins his bid for a third straight Australian Open title on Monday with a first round match versus Denis Istomin. The Swiss master is a best priced 11/2 (6.5) to win the tournament for a 7th time. World number one Novak Djokovic is the clear favourite and is also gunning for his 7th title. Remarkably between them, Djokovic and Federer have won 8 out of the last 9 titles.
Andy Murray returns to Melbourne having missed the 2018 event due to injury. The Scot can count himself unfortunate to have never won the tournament having been a losing finalist on no less than 5 occasions. This time around there must be some doubts over how well he will cope with potentially gruelling 5 set matches so an early exit wouldn’t be a surprise.
In terms of the bigger prices, the one that interests me is Kei Nishikori, a 3-time Australian Open quarter finalist who started 2019 in style with victory in the Brisbane International- thus ending a run of nine consecutive final losses. This will be sure to boost his confidence ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year and he looks a value bet at 33/1.
Our Verdict and Best Bets
Novak Djokovic may be the most likely winner but at much bigger odds Federer represents better value and it is hoped that the Swiss can deliver yet again on the big stage.
Kei Nishikori is a man in form having won in Brisbane and is a consistent Grand Slam performer having reached the semi-finals of the US Open last year.
Roger Federer to win @ 6.5 (11/2) with William Hill.
Kei Nishikori to win each way * @ 34.0 (33/1) with Unibet.
* Top 2 finish ½ odds