2017 Australian Open: Early Odds After the US Open

Merlisa Lawrence Corbett@@merlisaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2016

2017 Australian Open: Early Odds After the US Open

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    Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams hold trophies they won in 2015 ahead of the 2016 Australian Open draw ceremony.
    Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams hold trophies they won in 2015 ahead of the 2016 Australian Open draw ceremony.Mark Baker/Associated Press

    Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber probably haven't even found a permanent place to showcase their new U.S. Open trophies, and yet some betting websites already have odds out for the 2017 Australian Open.

    According to Oddschecker, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams are the favorites to win in Melbourne, despite their losses at Flushing Meadows.

    Kerber, the new No. 1 on the WTA Tour, will be the defending champion in Melbourne. She's leading Williams in overall points and in this year's Road to Singapore. Kerber also won two Grand Slams and reached the final in three. Still, oddsmakers believe Williams remains the player to beat.

    They picked Djokovic to repeat as Australian Open champion. He's an 8-11 to 4-5 favorite with some betting sites. Andy Murray is a close second at 3-1. Wawrinka, ranked No. 3, is 12-1 ahead of Roger Federer and Milos Raonic, with both given a 16-1 shot at winning the tournament.

    Meanwhile, oddsmakers seem to have little faith in Rafael Nadal. Despite having won just one Grand Slam title, Juan Martin del Potro garners the same shot at winning as the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

    On the women's side, Kerber, who would be looking to win her third Grand Slam title in less than two years, gets 5-1 odds of repeating as champion.

    So who are the long shots? Find out in the following look at early odds for the Australian Open.

Men's Favorites

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    Milos Raonic celebrates during a 2016 Australian Open match.
    Milos Raonic celebrates during a 2016 Australian Open match.Associated Press

    Despite injuries that surfaced over the summer and his loss in the U.S. Open final, Djokovic is the favorite across the board.

    Murray comes in a solid second. He's considered the player most likely to challenge Djokovic. Wawrinka seems to be the consensus pick for third.

    After Wawrinka, the odds are similar for Federer, Raonic, Del Potro and Nadal. However, Nadal doesn't seem to get the same respect as other multi-Slam winners, including Federer, who is still recovering from knee surgery.

    With the win at Flushing Meadows, Wawrinka is one Wimbledon win from a career Slam. When reporters asked him about zeroing in on that accomplishment, Wawrinka responded, "So what? Are you saying next year I focus only on Wimbledon? There is no plan. The only plan is trying to push myself the maximum to be the best player I can."

    Wawrinka is coming off a U.S. Open victory, and when he won the 2014 Australian Open, he defeated Djokovic and Nadal.

    Looks like the oddsmakers believe the 2017 Aussie Open champion is more likely a proven performer than an up-and-coming player.

Women's Favorites

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    Angelique Kerber poses with the 2016 Australian Open trophy.
    Angelique Kerber poses with the 2016 Australian Open trophy.Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Although she's banged up, turning 35 this month and lost her grip on No. 1, Serena Williams is a 7-4 favorite.

    Kerber is followed by 2016 French Open champion Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep (8-1), who is seeking her first Grand Slam title.

    Venus Williams, who twice won the Australian Open, is a 66-1 shot. Karolina Pliskova is considered a better bet than No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska—a 2016 Australian Open semifinalist.

Odds for Top Americans

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    Jack Sock hits a forehand at the 2016 Australian Open.
    Jack Sock hits a forehand at the 2016 Australian Open.Vincent Thian/Associated Press

    It's been nearly 14 years since an American man (Andre Agassi, 2003) last won the Australian Open title. Odds are it's not happening in 2017.

    Oddsmakers aren't putting much stock in American men. One betting website gives Jack Sock a 100-1 shot at winning the Aussie Open. Isner is a 200-1 shot.

    Meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov, whose fourth-round U.S. Open performance was one of the worst at this year's tournament, is given a better chance (50-1) than any American male.

    Sam Querrey reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and is given the same odds as Isner.

    Five American women—the Williams sisters, Madison Keys, Sloane Stephens and Coco Vandeweghe—stand as good a chance, or better, at winning the Australian Open than the top-ranked American male.

The Long Shots

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    Venus Williams hits a backhand during the 2016 U.S. Open.
    Venus Williams hits a backhand during the 2016 U.S. Open.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Although Venus Williams remains second only to her sister Serena for most Grand Slams won among active players, she's a long shot (66-1) to win the 2017 Australian Open.

    Ekaterina Makarova, who is ranked No. 42, is considered a better bet than Venus. Australia's own Sam Stosur is a 100-1 shot. That's probably because Stosur always struggles in front of the home crowd. She's never advanced beyond the fourth round and hasn't moved past the third since 2010.

    On the men's side, Bernard Tomic is a 66-1 long shot. His compatriot Nick Kyrgios is 25-1.

    Yuki Bhambri, of India, is a 1000-1 long shot, according to one betting site. Although you wonder why anyone would place that bet. Bhambri's only had two Grand Slam appearances—2015 and 2016 Australian Open. He lost in the first round in both.

Variables and Unknowns

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    Maria Sharapova talks with the press in March 2016 after announcing she tested positive for a banned substance.
    Maria Sharapova talks with the press in March 2016 after announcing she tested positive for a banned substance.Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

    According to the BBC, Maria Sharapova finds out the first week in October if her two-year suspension will be reduced in time for her to play in the Australian Open. Even a rusty Sharapova might garner better odds than most women in the field. She did reach the quarterfinals and final in her last two showings in Melbourne.

    A number of top players are nursing injuries; how and when they return to play could also impact the odds. Federer has said he's targeting the Australian Open for his return, but he offered no guarantees. Last year, Federer was scheduled to play at the Miami Open but withdrew.

    Tomas Berdych withdrew from the U.S. Open due to appendicitis, but he recently tweeted he was back on the court practicing. Serena Williams is dealing with a "serious" knee injury.

    So much can happen between now and late January 2017. But the Australian Open is the next Grand Slam on the schedule. Odds are tennis fans have their own ideas about favorites.

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