The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam event of the calendar year in tennis, held annually over the last fortnight of January in Melbourne.
Although it can trace its history back to 1905, due to the country’s geographical remoteness and changing scheduling of the tournament, it’s only in the last 30 years or so that the Australian Open has finally been able to attract all the big names in the game on a regular annual basis.
The tournament was played on grass until 1987, but has since been on a hard court, initially on a surface known as Rebound Ace. Since 2008 the tournament has been played on a cushioned, medium-paced, acrylic hard court surface known as Plexicushion Prestige. This is not unlike the surface used for the US Open, so tends to best suit similar players and Australian Open betting odds naturally tend to favour such individuals as a consequence.
Another factor to take into account when contemplating Australian Open betting is the heat in Melbourne, which can be extreme at times. It’s not a tournament where you want to be backing a player going into it with any fitness concerns.
In the men’s event, two players have largely dominated over almost a decade and a half. Prior to the 2018 Australian Open, Novak Djokovic had won six titles (a record in the Open Era), whilst Roger Federer had won five. Injury and age are seemingly catching up with both players though, so new challengers for the crown are surely imminent.
In the women’s event, Serena Williams has been the dominant figure, with seven Australian Open titles in total since securing her first way back in 2003. However, age and motherhood will surely finally take their toll on Williams and it’s difficult to predict who, if anyone, will be able to come even close to replicating her dominance of the game in Melbourne and elsewhere. With no fewer than 43 different players winning at least one of 59 WTA tournaments in 2017, women’s tennis is more unpredictable than ever.
In both the men’s and women’s events, the top players have a tendency to come out on top at the Australian Open – rank outsiders rarely feature in finals in Melbourne. Likewise, clay court specialists down under also generally struggle (even the mighty Rafael Nadal has just a solitary Australian Open title to his name).