Roger Federer Installed As The New Australian Open Favourite

With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray failing to make the second week in Melbourne, could the 2017 Australian Open represent a changing of the guard as far as the natural order of men's tennis is concerned or will one of the more experienced heads claim the title again?

Experience

It is Roger Federer who is now a 3/1 favourite (Bet Victor) to win the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career and he is unlikely to have a better opportunity to claim the title for the first time since 2010. The Swiss veteran hasn't gone beyond the semi-finals in Melbourne in the past six years 'Down Under' but he has a prime opportunity in the top-half of the draw as he next faces Murray's conqueror Mischa Zverev in the quarter-finals.

Federer would then face either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (18/1) or Stan Wawrinka (4/1), who has a decent claim to being the favourite here now. Wawrinka won the Australian Open as recently as 2014 and he used that success as a springboard for further major titles at the French Open and the most recent US Open, although his record against Federer is woeful.

Wawrinka has lost 18 of 21 previous clashes with Federer and his three lonely wins all came on clay, with Federer dominating their hard court meetings.

Bottom-Half Of The Draw

It is worth noting that Federer hasn't won a Grand Slam tournament since 2012 and he has won only one major since turning 30. With Djokovic and Murray both turning 30 in May of this year, could there be a maiden Grand Slam winner in the offing in 2017?

Milos Raonic would appear to be the most likely as he is the highest ranked player left in the Melbourne draw and he has progressive form at the Australian Open, where he reached the quarters in 2015 and the semi's in 2016.

The big-serving Canadian is a 9/2 shot currently (Paddy Power) and he next meets Rafael Nadal. It is Nadal who leads their head-to-head meetings 6-2 but Raonic has won two of their past three match-ups, including in the quarter-finals of Brisbane earlier this month.

Raonic was struggling with a fever in his fourth round win over Roberto Bautista-Agut but if fully fit then the 26-year-old ranks as a major threat. Last season's Wimbledon runner-up is growing in stature and he would fancy his chances if he makes the final as he beat Wawrinka at the 2016 Australian Open, while he has won his past two meetings with Federer

Nadal (7/2 with BetVictor.com) is looking to win a first major since landing a fourteenth career slam at the 2014 French Open and he actually has a decent record in Melbourne having won the title in 2009 and reached the finals of 2012 and 2014.

Nadal has beaten Federer on a couple of occasions in Australia in recent years and were he to beat Raonic then he would meet either Grigor Dimitrov or David Goffin in the semi-finals.

2017 Men's Australian Open Odds

Posted: Monday, 23rd January 2017
Author: Chris Knight

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