2022 Australian Open: How Novak Djokovic Drama Affects Betting Odds

Written By Nicole Russo on January 14, 2022 - Last Updated on February 7, 2022
Novak Djokovic Australian Open

Due to Australia’s vaccination requirements, there has been much speculation over whether Novak Djokovic will compete for his 21st Grand Slam title. He was the favorite in early 2022 Australian Open odds, but the star has openly stated that he will not share his vaccination status publicly.

You could find Djokovic odds ranging from +130 to +160 to win the tournament early last week. Odds stabilized around +130 when officials confirmed he was granted a medical exemption to play on Jan. 4.

However, news broke on Jan. 5 that his visa was canceled by Australian authorities. He appealed the ruling and was granted a release from immigration detention on Jan. 10.

On Jan. 14, authorities canceled his visa for a second time, which Dkojokic is likely to appeal once again, just days before the tournament is set to begin.

If Djokovic is out, what happens to the men’s singles futures odds?

2022 Australian Open Odds: Men’s Singles

As of Jan. 14, the Australian immigration minister canceled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time. Most sportsbooks promptly removed men’s Australian Open odds after the news. Below are what the odds were before being taken down.

(Eastern Time)
Novak Djokovic
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Daniil Medvedev
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Alexander Zverev
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Rafael Nadal
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Stefanos Tsitsipas
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Jannik Sinner
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Matteo Berrettini
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Carlos Alcaraz
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Felix Auger Aliassime
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Cameron Norrie
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Latest News On Djokovic Tournament Status

Djokovic landed in Melbourne to play the first major of the year. However, it was reported that the Australian Border Force noticed an issue with Djokovic’s visa. The visa he entered the country on does not permit medical exemptions for being unvaccinated.

Officials canceled his visa a few hours later. Djokovic appealed the ruling and was granted permission to leave immigration detention by an Australian judge on Jan. 10.

Judge Anthony Kelly found Djokovic was treated unfairly upon his arrival by border authorities. This decision, however, does not mean Djokovic will play in the Australian Open.

On Jan. 14, the immigration minister canceled his visa once again. Djokovic will be placed back into detention on Saturday while awaiting a meeting with officials regarding his status. The decision came after he admitted to falsely stating on his visa application that he did not travel 14 days prior to entering Australia.

Djokovic’s camp can appeal the second ruling as well.

How have 2022 Australian Open odds moved?

With news of Djokovic sitting on the sidelines breaking last week, odds began to shift.

According to Betfred Sports Trade Team:

Djokovic was priced at +130 prior to his visa rejection, nine of his 20 Grand Slam titles have come at the Australian Open. +130 is 43.5% of the market so a significant adjustment was made to the prices of all other competitors following the visa rejection.

Once Djokovic was allowed to temporarily enter Melbourne, he was back atop the odds board at DraftKings Sportsbook. He was priced at +140 with Medvedev behind at +175.

Daniil Medvedev was +170 at FanDuel before the first visa was canceled, shifting to a much shorter price after the news. However, once Djokovic won his first appeal, Medvedev moved down a spot in the futures odds.

Now, US sportsbooks have taken men’s Australian Open odds off the board as the situation surrounding the second cancellation continues to develop.

Medvedev is coming off of a U.S. Open win against Novak, and should become a sizable favorite if Djokovic is out for good. The young player performs well on hard court surfaces and has given Djokovic a tough time in the last few slams, finally securing his first Grand Slam title at the 2021 US Open.

Medvedev has also had an extremely impressive showing at the ATP Cup in Sydney, the tournament leading up to the Australian Open. Med beat de Minaur 6-4, 6-2, preventing Australia from securing a place in the semis.

Zverev has also gotten a nice boost since news of the visa issue. His odds shifted from +350 to +240 at FanDuel. Rafael Nadal’s futures price fell as well from roughly +1200 to +1000.

Due to Tsitsipas still recovering from elbow surgery and recent comments that he wasn’t 100% at the ATP Cup, his odds are likely to remain relatively stable; however, they still went from around +2400 to +1800 with Djokovic questionable.

If Djokovic does win his appeal and plays, don’t underestimate the impact of the audience on performance this year. The tournament is hoping for a sold-out crowd, and Australians are not happy with Novak and his medical exemption.

A large majority of the crowd will root for Djokovic’s opponent each match. That can have a big mental impact on a player, even one of Novak’s caliber.

What happens to futures bets if Djokovic doesn’t play?

If you made an Australian Open futures bet on Djokovic, you might be wondering where your bet stands.

That depends. If Novak doesn’t enter the tournament, online sportsbooks will refund your futures wager on him to win his 21st title.

However, if he participates in the tournament but is forced to exit early or is ousted, your futures bet will stand.

Futures bets on other players will stand no matter the odds shift over Djokovic’s participation.

When you make a futures wager, you lock in the odds at the time you made the bet. As long as your player participates, that’s all that matters.

Photo by Associated Press
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Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for TheLines.com. Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for PlayTenn.com and PlayIndiana.com. She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

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