The final four on the men’s side of the Australian Open features some big names and the futures board is reflective of just how close the remaining matchups could be as we approach the conclusion down under.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is still the favorite – as he was heading into the tournament – and is currently priced at -155 at online book Sportsbook. The Serb gets to face Roger Federer in the semis with the all time head-to-head record 22-22 between the two superstars.
The other men’s semifinal is another great contest as Canada’s Milos Raonic meets No. 2 seed Andy Murray. Raonic has the longest odds on the futures board at +1285 but has already dispatched a high seed when he bounced No. 4 Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round.
Serena running away at the top of the futures board
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Serena Williams has gone from presenting a bit of value heading into the quarterfinals (+135) to running away at the top of the board, currently sitting at -285.
Williams defeated Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-1 in the quarters and now gets No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska in the semis. It won’t be easy for Radwanska as she is winless in eight career meetings with Serena.
The other women’s semifinal pits Angelique Kerber, second on the futures board at +600, with Johanna Konta. Kerber, the No. 7 seed, defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the semis.
Thanks to a 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-3 win over No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, Canada’s Milos Raonic punched his ticket to the Australian Open quarterfinal and his odds have been adjusted, though the No. 14 seed still presents plenty of value on the futures board.
Raonic enters the quarters priced at +1400 at online shop Sportsbook and is matched up with France’s Gael Monfils. At +8000, Monfils is down toward the bottom of the futures board and is coming off a tough four-set contest versus Andrey Kuznetzov in the fourth round.
Novak Djokovic is the still the fave, now priced at -152 as he heads into his quarters matchup with No. 7 Kei Nishikori.
Serena Still Offers Plenty of Betting Value
As far as the women’s draw is concerned, No. 1 Serena Williams is still the woman to beat but is also offering some great betting value on the futures board. Williams, who gets Maria Sharapova in the next round, is currently tabbed at +135 at Sportsbook to win the Aussie.
Victoria Azarenka, who has dominated through her draw without losing a set to this point, is +190 to win the Open and gets matched up with Angelique Kerber in the next round. Azarenka has dominated Kerber when the two meet up, winning all six times the ladies have met (Kerber via a walkover at Tokyo in 2012).
First, the tennis world was turned upside down with the latest developments in a match-fixing scandal. Now, the Australian Open has lost one of the most popular names in the game as Rafael Nadal was defeated by Fernando Verdasco in the Sportsbook round in Melbourne.
Heading into the tournament, Nadal was +800 to win the event outright. With the Spaniard’s early exit, there has been some reshuffling when it comes to Aussie Open Futures.
Novak Djokovic is currently being offered as the favorite at -166 at online shop Sportsbook. Next up on the board is Andy Murray (+670), followed by Stan Wawrinka (+1125) and Roger Federer (+1185).
Prior to the tournament, we suggested Nick Kyrgios as a player that could make some noise and provide tennis bettors with some value. The Aussie won his first-round match versus Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 and is matched up with Pablo Cuevas in the second round.
Azarenka Closes Gap on Serena Williams
The upsets down under certainly haven’t been limited to the men’s draw as both No. 2 Simona Halep and No. 8 Venus Williams were bounced in the first round in the women’s side.
Halep lost to Zhang Shuai 6-4, 6-3 while Venus was ousted by Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2.
One Sportsbook was Victoria Azarenka who steamrolled Alison Van Uytvanck 6-0, 6-0 in her Sportsbook round match. The Belarussian can now be had at Sportsbook at +280 – just behind the leader of the women’s futures board, Serena Williams, at +275.
It comes as little surprise that five-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic heads into the first grand slam of the 2016 season as the favorite.
Djokovic, who defeated Andy Murray en route to his first of three grand slam titles here last year, is currently listed as the -150 favorite at online sportsbook Sportsbook. The Serbian just missed out on winning all four grand slam events in 2015, losing to Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in four sets at the French Open.
If you’re looking at longshot value, it might be worth looking at Australia’s Nick Kyrgios who heads in at +3300. Kyrgios reached the quarterfinal last year before losing to eventual runner-up Andy Murray in straight sets.
With his country cheering him on, the 20-year old could provide some solid betting value as the tennis season really starts to heat up.
Odds as of January 12 at Sportsbook.
Serena Edges Azarenka in Women's Futures
Much like the men’s draw, the women’s futures board features little in the way of surprises as defending-champion Serena Williams checks in as the favorite at +250.
Serena won the first three grand slam events of the season before losing in the semifinals of the US Open. Her win in the the 2015 Aussie open, in straight sets over Maria Sharapova, ended a four-year drought at the event – her longest of any of the slam events up to that point.
Madison Keys could be the one to make a big leap in 2016, especially in Melbourne. Her semifinal appearance at the 2015 Australian Open was her best finish at a grand slam event and the American, who will look to build on a promising 2015, can be had at +3300 heading into the event.
Odds as of January 12 at Sportsbook.