With little over a week to go before the ATP Tour’s finest appear on the famous Melbourne Park courts, just who is looking ripe to claim the 2015 Australian Open?
Having secured three of the last four Aussie Open titles, finishing 2014 as Tour champion for the third successive year and looking to make emends for his quarter-final exit last time, world number one Novak Djokovic is an extremely worthy 1/1 favourite.
Still, there are plenty of men capable of upsetting the odds and the Serbian’s ambitions and we’ve selected three of them.
Andy Murray: 8/1
The British number one appears to have put his injury-stricken 2014 campaign behind him. In fact, his recovery was in full effect in the closing stages of last season where Murray claimed two titles in quick succession to force his way into the ATP Tour Finals in London. The 2013 Wimbledon champion has started 2015 in fine fettle too, winning four from four matches, which includes a 6-2, 6-0 defeat of Rafael Nadal in the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament. Having made the Australian Open final three times before and at last in great physical shape for another tilt, this could just be the Brit’s year to lose the learner plates.
Stanislas Wawrinka: 14/1
The defending champion cannot be ignored, especially at these generous odds. Stan had a relatively quiet autumn but came to life again at the Tour Finals where he had several match points against Roger Federer to reach his first O2 final, only to fluff his lines. The Swiss, who excels on hard courts, very nearly reached the US Open semis last year too, only to go out in a five-set epic containing four tiebreaks against eventual finalist Kei Nishikori.
Kei Nishikori: 16/1
As mentioned briefly above, the Japanese sensation made his first ever Grand Slam final appearance in New York last season, only to eventually come up short against Marin Cilic. Nishikori has all the necessary groundstroke weapons to win a major on this surface and was impressive in Melbourne 12 months ago. Although he went out in the fourth round to losing finalist Nadal, he was close to the Spaniard in each set, going down 7-6, 7-5, 7-6. Nishikori is through to the last 16 in Brisbane and is second behind Roger Federer in the betting to scoop that title a week prior to the big one.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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