Players To Watch Out For At The 2022 Australian Open

With Daniil Medvedev capturing his debut Grand Slam at the US Open this year after he picked apart a lacklustre Novak Djokovic in three straight sets, the Grand Slam calendar year has been concluded. 

With Djokovic’s 2021 Grand Slam supremacy cut short at the US Open, courtesy of Medvedev, the tennis hordes might be in for a surprise next year with a much-needed changing of the guard in Melbourne. The Australian Open has largely belonged to just two men since 2004, with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer winning 14 of 17 titles. 

With Federer reserving his remaining tennis years for the grass, Djokovic is the obvious favourite at 7/5 in the tennis betting markets. The other two contenders who have a chance of drinking from the chalice of success are US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal. Others who hope to have a stake in the action are Dominic Thiem, who earned his first Grand Slam at the 2020 US Open 

The women’s draw is slightly more open, but still has a few players in the spotlight, As with the men’s draw, there are three players who stand clearly above the rest. Australia’s own Ashleigh Barty, the World No.1, who did not play over the lockdown period in 2020, Simona Halep, who reached the 2020 Australian Open semi-finals and Naomi Osaka, winner of three Grand Slams including a 2019 Australian Open. 

Then there’s Serena Williams, who gets a spot because of her Grand Slam dominance over her career and the fact that you can never write off the 40-year-old veteran. If the Michigan-born player wins next year, then she will tie with Margaret Court with 24, 

With such a plethora of talent cementing the Grand Slam circuit, it seems time for one of the non-household names to bathe in Grand Slam glory. Let’s take a look at the players who might ruffle some feathers in Melbourne at the 2022 Australian Open.

When Is The 2022 Australian Open Taking Place?

The opening Grand Slam tennis event of 2022 is due to take place between January 17 and 30.

Where Is The Event Taking Place?

The Australian Open is played at Melbourne Park in Melbourne Australia,

What Players Shall We Watch Out For?

Nick Kyrgios

The Australian bad boy is one of the most technically gifted players to ever wield a tennis racket, In possession of an overpowering serve, the 26-year-old flourishes on the hard courts and makes it difficult for any competitor to brush him aside. His hard-court winning percentage is among the highest of players competing at the hard-court tournament,

Unfortunately, the Australian has so far failed to live up to his enormous potential. Temperamental, inconsistent and undisciplined, he has tumbled down the rankings, going from an all-time high of 13th to 223rd in the world. But, the loquacious player has age on his side and at 26-years-old he still has time to hone his craft on the court to hopefully claim Grand Slam glory,

His athleticism and showmanship make him a crowd favourite and also riveting to watch, With a heated rivalry with Nadal still active, Kyrgios has the upper hand coming into the Grand Slam with little to no pressure on winning, At 40/1, the 2015 Australian Open quarter-finalist is always worth a punt on in the tennis betting markets.

Stefanos Tsitsipas 

Stefano Tsitsipas has climbed the tennis rankings and cemented himself as the world number 3 seed after a successful tennis decade. The Greek showcases a flawless tennis style with grace, precision and a desire to succeed. With his impressive tennis locker, Tsitsipas has become a threat on the tour while pushing many players to their breaking point on the court. The Greek has reached two Australian Open semi-finals and a French Open final, where he fell agonisingly short against an in-form Novak Djokovic last June.

With all the 23-year-old’s success comes a turbulent and inconsistent Grand Slam record. Tsitsipas has been marred with first-round eliminations at all four Grand Slams over the past five years, even as recently as Wimbledon 2021, where Frances Tiafoe put the No.3 seed to the sword in straight sets.

The Athen’s-born tennis titan is chasing his fabled first Grand Slam and always creates problems when he starts to build momentum in a Slam competition, At a generous 12/1, the Greek is a worthwhile bet coming into this Australian Open. 

Denis Shapovalov

The Canadian one-handed backhander has been making some waves in the last few years, most notably at this year’s Wimbledon first round against the resilient Andy Murray. The former SW19 champion battled it out with Shapovalov in the first round but the 22-year-old ultimately triumphed in an exciting return match for the Brit.

Denis fell in the semi-finals to the durable No.1 seed Djokovic and left the court in tears, but it shows how far the youngster has come. He’s duelling with the very best in the game and holding his own, With defeat comes unteachable experience, he displayed to the world that he can be a disruptive force on any surface and has the mental fortitude to vanquish even the most accomplished players on the circuit.

Shapovalov is still young and is finding his feet on the variety of surfaces the four Grand Slams have to offer but he really has some truly mesmerizing shots in his locker. The Canadian comes into the Grand Slam at 33/1 and will be sure to raise some eyebrows.

Bianca Andreescu

Bianca Andreescu has been plagued with injuries and has missed large chunks of court action over the past two years, No top contender has been vacant from the court as long as the Canadian from 2019 but is back honing her craft yet again in time for the first Grand Slam of 2022. 

2019 was a monumental year for Andreescu, who won 31 of her 34 matches including the BNP Paribas Open as a wild card because of a wide array of shots and a fearlessness in going for them. She solidified her rise to prominence with a big upset against the venerable Serena Williams in the US Open finals. 

If the Canadian can stay fit she possess the aggressiveness and drive to power into the latter stages in Melbourne. At 17/2 the 21-year-old is worth an each-way flutter.

Emma Raducunu

The British teenager had a phenomenal year in tennis as she triumphed against Leylah Fernandez to claim her inaugural US Open Grand Slam, After such a fantastic year, Raducunu comes into the Australian tennis betting markets as a 15/2 third-favourite. 

The US Open victory has catapulted the Brit to newfound levels of stardom, as she became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam and the first player to lift the title on just their second appearance at a Major. With all this success comes drawbacks, as the one-time Grand Slam winner has the weight of a nation on her shoulders. 

Nonetheless, the British teenager won the Slam for a reason this year, because she is an extraordinary talent with so much tennis to give at such a young age.