Rarely, perhaps never, has a fourth seed been such a short priced favourite for a grand slam tournament but Novak Djokovic is no ordinary player.
The Serbian’s world ranking has dropped due to his well documented refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19 but most experts expect him to romp to a record-extending 10th Australian Open title.
One leading bookmaker has him at $1.83 to lift the silverware but Wally Masur has identified the two players most likely to upset the apple cart.
The Australian tennis great likes the look of the in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas but also last year’s losing finalist Daniil Medvedev.
The Russian was the favourite in Djokovic’s absence last year but the defeat to Rafael Nadal in an epic come-from-behind final seems to have put him in a tailspin.
Medvedev has dropped to eighth in the world rankings with John McEnroe saying “he never recovered from his lost Australian Open final.”
But Masur begs to differ.
“Daniil Medvedev, not much talk about him but he’s just made the semi-final of a leading event (losing to Djokovic in the Adelaide International),” Masur said on Stan Sport’s Grand Slam Daily preview show.
“I like him because I think the five set format – he’s like water dripping on your forehead.
“He just never goes away. He’s really hard to beat, one of the great counter punchers.
“We’re not talking about him as much as we may have in previous years but I actually think along with Tsitsipas, he’s a real threat…
“He’s been there, done that and he’s so, so hard to beat over five sets.”