Australian Open: Week One Preview & Tips

Monday marks the start of the first Grand Slam of the season in tennis with the Australian Open set to get underway in Melbourne.

The best men's and women's players in the world have been Down Under for the last week or so preparing for the major and as the hard-court Grand Slam edges closer, here are the best outright and match bets for week one.

Tip 1 - Jannik Sinner to win the Australian Open @ 6/1

Novak Djokovic is the undisputed king of the Australian Open, having won the Melbourne major for a record 10th time last season.

The Serbian went on to win a total of three Grand Slams in 2023, making the final of the other.

He is most certainly still the man to beat Down Under but, from a value perspective, punters should look further down the betting and consider Jannik Sinner.

Sinner has been stationed in Djokovic's half of the Australian Open draw but that should not faze him too much given the Italian beat the Serbian in both the Davis Cup and ATP World Tour Finals at the end of 2023.

Indeed, Sinner finished last season strongly and the campaign also featured his best ever run in a Grand Slam as he made the Wimbledon semi-finals.

The draw has also been relatively kind to Sinner despite Djokovic being a potential semi-final opponent with the likes of Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov the strongest players he could play before the quarter-finals.

In the last eight, he could end up facing Andrey Rublev but that should also not be too much of a problem given Sinner has won four of the six meetings between them.

Carlos Alcaraz will also be determined to cause a stir Down Under after missing the Australian Open last season and he is another to keep an eye on.

The Spaniard has two Grand Slam titles to his name, including a hard-court major in the form of the 2022 US Open.

He is expected to be Djokovic's main contender for the crown but when it comes to value bets, Sinner is the standout option.

Tips 2 - Aryna Sabalenka to win the Australian Open Women @ 5/1

The women's Australian Open is typically more open than the men's event with the last four runnings having produced four different winners.

Aryna Sabalenka came out on top last year and she could be a worthwhile bet to defend her title in Melbourne.

Sabalenka showed character to power past Elena Rybakina in the 2023 final and that was the start of a brilliant season.

Sabalenka also made the last four at both the French Open and Wimbledon before finishing as runner-up at the US Open.

It is on the hard courts that she is particularly dangerous, having won 35 of her 44 matches on that surface last term.

And she looks a better bet than market favourite Iga Swiatek, who exited the Australian Open in the fourth round last season and has struggled on the hard courts in recent seasons.

Tips 3 - Sebastian Ofner to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis @ 3/4 There are some close contests on the cards in the first week of the Australian Open and Sebastian Ofner is a good bet to defeat home talent Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Australian Kokkinakis will have the crowd on his side in Melbourne but that has not helped him recently with the 27-year-old having lost his opening matches at both the Brisbane International and Adelaide International.

Kokkinakis trumps Ofner when it comes to experience of this major but he has still never gone beyond the second round and his Austrian opponent is a rising star.

Ofner went from 193rd in the world at the end of the 2022 season to 43rd at the end of last year and he showed his class on the Australian hard courts with a 6-4 6-2 win over Denis Shapovalov in the round of 32 at the ASB Classic earlier this month.

He exited that tournament in the last 16 but he can bounce back with victory in his first ever first-round match at the Australian Open.

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