The Australian Open Tennis 2022
One of the biggest tennis tournaments – and the first grand slam event of 2022 is upon us. The Australian Open is always highly anticipated amongst tennis fans and tennis bettors as one of the four grand slams. It has a truly rich history – with a structure and format that has made it even more appealing throughout time.
Recently, there has been much in the news about the tournament, with the surrounding controversy of the vaccination and visa status of the world number 1 Novak Djokovic. After lots of discussions and legal wrangling, Djokovic has been deported and will no longer be able to participate. Not good news for him – but maybe great news for the others who now have a better chance of stealing that crown. Here, we will look at who we think now has the best chance of taking the title with Djokovic no longer in contention.
THE CONTENDERS – 2022
Currently, one of the favourites to win the title is Medvedev, a player who won his very first career Grand Slam title at the 2021 US Open. He is currently in winning form, but there are certainly others in contention. Other names put forward include Alexander Zverev, Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas all make up the top four contenders.
Surprisingly enough, the tennis betting tipsters aren’t backing Nadal right now for the win in 2022 – despite the fact that the 35 year old Spanish superstar is one of the top four. He first appeared in the Australian Open back in 2009 – and shocked the world by beating Federer in a five set match that is widely considered to be one of the best matches in the tournament’s history.
However, since then, he has only been back to the Open four times and has lost on each occasion – the last time in 2019, where he was beaten by Djokovic.
There are also question marks around his health. 2021 was a year that was hampered by a foot injury, which officially ended his season in August, before the US Open. Then, last month, he took part in an exhibition tournament – Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship, but tested positive for Covid 19… which means his form here at the Australian Open may not be the best.
Having said that, earlier this year he won the Melbourne Summer Set – his 89th career ATP title. This wasn’t an easy one for him though, as he was pushed to the limit – and if he does have success in the Australian Open, it will be hard work.
There is no doubt that Medvedev is good enough on hard courts to have an impact. Although players such as Zverev, Nadal and Alcaraz have an improved chance – all having been on Djokovic’s side of the draw, Medvedev is definitely now the hot favouriite.
Medvedev has made a point of ignoring all the noise surrounding the sporting world right now and he carried on his US open winning form through to the ATP Cup. He will have some tough matches early on – against Nick Kyrgios for a start – and then Ugo Humbert, but if he gets through these unscathed he may well go all the way.
Another name thrown into the ring is Alexander Sverev. When it comes to those big occasions with big opponents that are seeded higher, then he seems to have the capability to up his game. In the US Open, he may not have won, but he managed to push Djokovic to a five setter – and he did come close to even winning the match at some points. He also finished the 2021 year on a high, defeating both Djokovic and Medvedev to lift the ATP Finals trophy. Since the Tokyo Olympics, Zverev has been victorious in 32 of the 36 matches he’s played, which is an impressive record by anyone’s standard.
MEDVEDEV V ZVEREV?
Although there will be some tough tests at the start of the tournament for Medvedev, he is going into the tournament with plenty of confidence. Some say that he has the best hard court game of any player on tour – and when he’s playing at his best, as he was in the US Open, then he is practically unstoppable. Right now, his power and momentum is high and is not slowing. He was dominant in the season-opening ATP Cup, having beaten top class players including Matteo Berrettini and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Moreover, he has proven that he is capable of winning a major tournament even with Djokovic in the mix – beating him in the final. It might well be argued that now, as top seed, this is his tournament for the taking.
So, ultimately, the focus will be on Medvedev, Zverev – and maybe even Rafael Nadal as well. However, it seems that most tennis fans and tipsters will be putting their money on Medvedev to take home the title, as Djokovic watches from home, wondering what might have been…