The Australian Open (January 16–29, 2017) kicks off the tennis Grand Slams for 2017. The annual major from Melbourne Park will see Briton Andy Murray enter as the number one seed in the Men’s Singles, after taking the no. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic late in 2016. Angelique Kerber will be the top seed in the Women’s Singles having stripped longtime no. 1 Serena Williams in similar fashion.
The tournament will begin the battle between two fresh world number ones and two former champions fighting to reclaim their thrones.
Odds to Win 2017 Australian Open (Men’s Singles)
Novak Djokovic: 13/8
Djokovic edged out Andy Murray (6–1, 7–5, 7–6) last year to take home the Australian Open for a record-equaling sixth time. Along the way, the defending champion beat out Roger Federer in the semifinals and Kei Nishikori in the quarters.
He enters 2017 as the co-favorite alongside the current world number one, Murray. Nole owns a 24-11 career record against Murray and took three of five head-to-head last year, but Murray beat him in the World Tour Finals (their most recent matchup) to solidify his spot atop the rankings.
Andy Murray: 13/8
Murray has reached the finals of the Australian Open on five separate occasions, and has lost each time. Four of those losses have been to none other than Djokovic. But 2016 marked the year that Andy Murray finally outgrew second place in the tennis world, reaching no. 1 for the first time in his career. Can he translate that into his first Aussie Open title?
While Djokovic has largely dominated the head-to-head with Murray, Andy’s straight sets win at the Tour Finals (6-4, 6-3) should have him feeling confident if the two meet in the finals.
Stan Wawrinka: 12/1
The 2014 Australian Open champion beat out then-no. 1 Rafael Nadal to win his first ever Grand Slam. He’s since won the French Open and the US Open. After Djokovic and Murray, Wawrinka is the favorite to take the 2017 Australian Open.
The current world number three has had to take a backseat to the Djokovic-Murray rivalry for most of his career, and 2017 will be no different.
Roger Federer: 20/1
The four-time Australian Open champion is an outside favorite for 2017. The aging tennis legend won his last Australian Open in 2010, and his last Grand Slam in 2012. Since then, he has seen a steady decline in his form as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have risen to the top.
He’s still in contention for the 2017 Australian Open, but with each year his chances grow slimmer.
Odds to Win 2017 Australian Open (Women’s Singles)
Serena Williams: 15/8
Serena Williams may have lost the Number One spot in 2016 but she will enter 2017 as the favorite to take the Australian Open. She’s won the Aussie Open six times prior and has already established herself as arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time.
But at 35 years old, Williams is at the tail-end of her career. And with the rise of the young talent in women’s tennis, Williams’ reign may be set to end. Still, she currently holds the no. 2 ranking and is favored over her younger opponents.
Angelique Kerber: 5/1
Angelique Kerber won her first Grand Slam last year when she beat Williams in the finals of the Australian Open. It was her first Grand Slam title, and she went on to take the US Open as well as the no. 1 ranking in a true breakout season.
But the 28-year-old will enter 2017 with the tough task of defending her title against a talented – if inconsistent – crop of top players.
Simona Halep: 8/1
Simona Halep is the current world number four and a rising star within women’s tennis. Big things were predicted for her in 2016; she largely failed to deliver, though, and she has yet to win a Grand Slam. That said, she has been ranked as high as number two in the world and has all the skills to reach the pinnacle of the game. With Serena out injured, Halep was seeded no. 1 in the 2015 WTA Finals.
Garbiñe Muguruza: 9/1
The young Garbiñe Muguruza won her first Grand Slam in 2016 when she beat Serena Williams in the finals of the French Open. At just 23 years old, Muguruza has a bright future ahead of her. The big hitter, currently ranked seventh in the world, is an outside favorite for the 2017 title.
Photo credit: “Andy Murray” by Carine06, CC BY-SA 2.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Flickr.