Off-court issues have clouded the issue in Melbourne but we’re ready to post our Australian Open 2022 predictions for the men’s and women’s singles.
A Covid row over Novak Djokovic’s eligibility to chase a 10th title Down Under has dominated the build-up but the time has come to make outright selections.
Men’s singles: DANIIL MEDVEDEV @ 2.5
The 25-year-old Russian made big moves in 2021, winning his first grand slam title by beating Djokovic at the US Open.
He is the world number two and the likeliest to claim the Serbian’s throne in Melbourne, having improved mentally since losing last year’s final.
Medvedev’s ability to stay in points and wear opponents down will suit the conditions in the heat of the Australian summer and his consistency makes him a percentage pick to lift the trophy.
Alexander Zverev won Olympic gold in Tokyo last term and ended the year by lifting the ATP Tour Finals for a second time, so if he can carry that form over he will be a threat at 3.75.
The German is one of the top talents on the men’s tour but has been a nearly man on the grand slam scene and is still waiting for a maiden breakthrough.
He was a runner-up at the US Open in 2020 but has never gone past the semi-finals in Australia.
However, Medvedev is very much the one to beat in our Australian Open 2022 predictions.
Women’s singles: ASHLEIGH BARTY @ 4.0
Barty is the home favourite and she will be gunning for a first Australian Open crown, having already won Wimbledon and the French Open.
The 25-year-old has been knocking on the door in Melbourne over the past few seasons, reaching the semis in 2020 in between a couple of quarter-final appearances.
She is the world number one and on her day is very difficult to stop, with her methodical and practical approach making her highly consistent.
Barty will have the crowd backing her, so if she can handle the weight of expectation she has a real shot at glory and is a worthy favourite in the Australian Open 2022 odds.
Melbourne is a happy hunting ground for Naomi Osaka, with the defending champion having won two of the last three events here.
If she is in a good place, then the 24-year-old could make her price of 8.0 seem very generous.
However, the second half of 2020 was a difficult time for the Japanese after she suffered mental health issues which saw her withdraw from the French Open and then miss Wimbledon altogether.
Her return at the US Open was also unhappy as she lost in the third round and then said she was taking a break from the sport.
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