While the rest of the world is still coming out of the post-holiday haze, tennis fans are already gearing up for one of the biggest nights of the year: the Australian Open.
Though we once again face the disappointing prospect of a Grand Slam tournament without the presence of Rafael Nadal, there will still be plenty of excitement—and, surely, excessive time spent between points—in this year's tournament, as both the top-ranked man and woman (Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka) seek to defend their 2012 Australian Open titles.
On the men's side, all roads to victory still run through the healthy members of the Big Four of Djokovic, Federer and Murray, who have won every Grand Slam since the 2009 U.S. Open. While Murray and Federer are the greatest threats to Djokovic's title defense, several other competitors are playing outstanding tennis and believe this is the year to end the hegemony on top of the men's game.
On the women's side, though Victoria Azarenka is the defending champion and top-ranked player in the world, she is likely much less confident than Djokovic due to the resurgence of Serena Williams, who has dominated Azarenka on the court. Williams is the overwhelming favorite to win in Melbourne; if she falls, however, there are several challengers who are ready to claim a major victory.
Here is a look at the odds, courtesy of British gaming site Ladbrokes, of each of the top ten men and women in the world winning the title in Melbourne.