Australian Open Futures: What Decade is This Again?

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer both have a chance to make the final of the same Grand Slam and we’ve turned the clocks back to 2011, apparently. That’s the last time these guys met in the final of a slam but they’ve gotten back to the top of the totem pole as the ninth and 17th seeds instead of the first and second like they were back at that French Open finale.

With just four men remaining, Rafa and Rog are the favorites in their respective semifinals and Sportsbook has Nadal as the +165 fave to take down the whole thing. Rafa was masterful in his dispatching of Milos Raonic, beating the world No. 3-ranked tennis player in straight sets (6-3, 7-6, 6-4) in their quarterfinal matchup. The Spanish lefty looks healthier than ever and his forehand still has plenty of pop. If he can continue serving the ball like he did against Raonic, it’s tough to see any of three other competitors beating him.

That being said, Stan Wawrinka is now the highest seed remaining and it baffles me why he’s not the favorite. The Swiss pro is perfect in Grand Slam finals appearances and has been cruising through this tournament. He hasn’t dropped a set since the third round and matches up well against Federer in his semifinal – despite his lackluster head-to-head record against his countryman.

Rog hasn’t had the toughest of roads to get where he’s at with Andy Murray getting beaten a round before their potential matchup. He did beat Kei Nishikori in straight sets back in the fourth round but I think his time is running out. At 35, the Fed is no spring chicken and he could have trouble sticking with Stan if the match goes to four or five sets.

Sorry for not giving you any love, Gregor Dimitrov, this is not your fight – take your medicine from Rafa and go home.

There’s another compelling finals matchup possibly looming on the women’s side of things as Serena Williams and her elder sister Venus will each face an unseeded player in their respective semis. Venus will have her work cut out for her against Coco Vandeweghe, though. Her fellow American has sailed through the last two rounds and has notched some extremely impressive wins on her belt along the way, beating seventh-seeded Garbine Muguruza and world No. 1 Angelique Kerber.

If Coco is able to slip past Venus, she will most likely take on Serena in her very first slam finals appearance and will be looking for her first ever win against the 22-time Grand Slam Sportsbook. Serena has yet to drop a set at the Aussie Open so her -250 futures line is very easily justified.

Here are the odds for everyone remaining in the 2017 Aussie Open:

Australian Open: Men's Futures
  • Rafael Nadal +165
  • Roger Federer +215
  • Stan Wawrinka +290
  • Gregor Dimitrov +585
Odds as of January 25 at Sportsbook
Australian Open: Women's Futures
  • Serena Williams -250
  • Coco Vandeweghe +400
  • Venus Williams +850
  • Mirjana Lucic +1200
Odds as of January 25 at Sportsbook

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A lot has happened at the Aussie Open since we last checked in. The field has been narrowed down to eight on both the men's and women's side and there are just two top-three seeds remaining with No. 1's Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber both dipping out in the fourth round. Some of the older names are shining brightly and sportsbooks are giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Sportsbook has updated odds for the Australian Open and has set Roger Federer as the favorite at +250 with Rafael Nadal (+350), Stan Wawrinka (+350), Milos Raonic (+400) and Grigor Dimitrov (+700) rounding out the top five.

The best money here is on either Wawrinka or Raonic. They are the highest seeds remaining and they're not getting enough respect. Rafa and Rog's prices are being much too influenced by reputation and I think they'll have a tough time getting through their respective semifinals. I put my own money on Wawrinka when Novak Djokovic dropped out of his bracket and it's become clear he's the most likely to come out of it. The Swiss pro is 3-0 when he's reached the final of a Grand Slam and he may not even have to worry about Federer if his countryman loses to world-beater Mischa Zverev in the quarters.

Raonic came oh so close to taking down Wimbledon and if it wasn't for Andy Murray, he would have. Milos has been improving year after year and his next logical step would be to win his first ever major tournament. With both Murray and the Joker out, Raonic has an excellent shot Down Under.

On the women's side of things, it's no surprise that Serena Williams (+150) sits atop the oddsboard but it is a bit of a shocker to see her 36-year-old sister still in contention. Venus is a long shot at +1600 and if she and her sister both made it to the final, it would be a rematch of the 2003 Aussie Open finale when Serena beat her older sister in three sets. Venus hasn't made a slam final since 2009 so two more wins from her are highly unlikely.

Here are the odds for everyone remaining in the 2017 Aussie Open:

Australian Open: Men's Futures
  • Roger Federer +250
  • Rafael Nadal +350
  • Stan Wawrinka +350
  • Milos Raonic +400
  • Grigor Dimitrov +700
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga +1800
  • David Goffin +2500
  • Mischa Zverev +4000
Odds as of January 23 at Sportsbook
Australian Open: Women's Futures
  • Serena Williams +150
  • Karolina Pliskova +350
  • Garbine Muguruza +1000
  • Johanna Konta +1000
  • Coco Vandeweghe +900
  • Venus Williams +1600
  • Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova +1600
Odds as of January 23 at Sportsbook

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With six-time Australian Open Sportsbook Novak Djokovic dispatched from the tournament by 117th-ranked Denis Istomin, the right side of the bracket is now wide open. Entering the second-round match, the Uzbek man was +3000 to advance past the Joker and had impossible odds to win the tournament. This massive upset did much in the way of altering the futures odds so with that in mind, here's my analysis of who I think has a chance to be crowned the Sportsbook of the first Grand Slam of the 2017 tennis season with the No. 2 seed eliminated.

Djokovic losing out so early is one of the most unpredictable events we will see in tennis all year so don’t expect this to translate into favorites suddenly starting to tank. Sportsbook updated its odds after the shocker and, no surprises, Andy Murray moved into position as the new favorite to take the Aussie Open with -120 odds.

Murray will be the happiest of anyone to see his rival ousted as he’s lost to the Serbian four of the five times he’s reached the final of the Aussies. The Englishman’s most difficult match will probably now come in the semifinals if both he and No. 3 seed Milos Raonic make it that far.

The same goes for the big-serving Canadian, who’s moved up to +600 since the Joker dipped out. Raonic has made just one Grand Slam final in his career but reached the semis at this tournament last year. If he does face Murray in the semis, expect him to give the defending Wimbledon champ a better match than his 3-9 head-to-head record against Andy indicates he might.

A significant hurdle for Raonic will come in the form of the resurgent Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard is +1000 to win out and is playing some of his best tennis in years. The lefty has a 6-2 head-to-head record against the 26-year-old Canadian.

Stan Wawrinka is now the favorite to make it to the final from his side of the bracket and is +650 to win the whole thing. The native of Switzerland is coming off a win at the 2016 U.S. Open and actually won the Australia Slam back in 2014. Stan is 3-0 in Grand Slam finals so if he advances out of a fairly weak side, expect him to do big things. In my opinion, he is the best play on the board.

Here are the complete lists of futures odds for both the men's and women's sides:

Australian Open: Men's Futures
  • Andy Murray -120
  • Milos Raonic +600
  • Stan Wawrinka +650
  • Rafael Nadal +1000
  • Grigor Dimitrov +1600
  • Roger Federer +1800
  • Kei Nishikori +2500
  • Alexander Zverev +4000
  • Dominic Thiem +4000
  • Gael Monfils +5000
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga +5000
  • David Goffin +6600
  • Richard Gasquet +8000
  • Tomas Berdych +8000
  • Bernard Tomic +10000
  • Jack Sock +10000
  • Roberto Bautista-Agut +10000
  • Gilles Simon +15000
  • Daniel Evans +20000
  • David Ferrer +20000
  • Ivo Karlovic +25000
  • Viktor Troicki +25000
  • Andreas Seppi +30000
  • Benoit Paire +30000
  • Philipp Kohlschreiber +30000
  • Mischa Zverev +40000
  • Sam Querrey +40000
  • Marcos Baghdatis +50000
  • Steve Darcis +100000
Odds as of January 19 at Sportsbook
Australian Open: Women's Futures
  • Serena Williams +200
  • Angelique Kerber +350
  • Karolina Pliskova +400
  • Garbine Muguruza +1000
  • Johanna Konta +1000
  • Dominika Cibulkova +2000
  • Elina Svitolina +1800
  • Caroline Wozniacki +2500
  • Eugenie Bouchard +3300
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova +3300
  • Daria Gavrilova +6600
  • Ekaterina Makarova +6600
  • Timea Bacsinszky +6600
  • Venus Williams +6600
  • Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova +10000
  • Jelena Ostapenko +10000
  • Coco Vandeweghe +10000
  • Jelena Jankovic +10000
  • Mirjana Lucic-Baroni +10000
  • Mona Barthel +10000
  • Caroline Garcia +12500
  • Alison Riske +20000
  • Anastasija Sevastova +20000
  • Ashleigh Barty +20000
  • Kristyna Pliskova +30000
  • Maria Sakkari +30000
  • Sorana Cirstea +30000
  • Nicole Gibbs +40000
Odds as of January 19 at Sportsbook