With the preceding tournaments now in the books there is nothing but practice to do for the world’s best tennis players ahead of the Australian Open.
For Lleyton Hewit and Rafael Nadal their form couldn’t be in better shape as they claimed the Brisbane International and Qatar Open respectively in the immediate tournaments before 2014’s first Grand Slam gets underway.
However, the trends suggest that winning those two tournaments will actually hinder their chances of becoming the New Year’s first celebrated player.
Nadal, who toppled Gael Monfils 6-1 6-7 6-2 to claim the Qatar Open title, is the 5/2 second favourite for Aussie Open honours behind the 1/1 favourite Novak Djokovic.
If he wants to claim his second victory in the Rod Laver Arena, and in doing so become only the second man after Laver himself to win each Grand Slam title at least twice, he’ll have to overcome a rather debilitating trend.
Only two men since 1993 have won the Qatar Open and gone on to claim victory at the Australian Open a week later, a trend that weighs so heavy many Ladbrokes customers may want to look elsewhere when picking their winner.
For Lleyton Hewitt, the world number 43, his win over Roger Federer in the final of the Brisbane International was a considerable upset.
The former Wimbledon champ isn’t expected to have a serious impact on the latter stages of his home Grand Slam, as his odds of 250/1 with Ladbrokes suggest.
But his victory in Brisbane all but ends his hopes as, like the Qatar Open, only two men have managed to recover from the euphoria of winning that warm-up tournament to claim victory in Melbourne.
While many are raising eyebrows over the loss of Federer’s form, with this the latest shock, his loss in the final actually helps him as he’s found form good enough to reach that final while also avoiding being hamstrung by the dreaded trend. The Swiss can be backed for a fifth Australian Open at 14/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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