Nothing hurts the fans more than being unable to see top tennis players in action, which is the fate which ultimately befell Novak Djokovic, who was eliminated from the Australian Open in Melbourne without even hitting a ball. His circumstances divided opinions in the host country and around the whole world, ultimately casting a shadow over the competition and courting huge controversy.
No matter your vaccine viewpoint, the whole situation left a sour taste. Both the Serbian superstar and Australian organisers will hopefully have learned plenty of valuable lessons, according to reflections published by The Age news network, although that doesn’t detract from both having missed out on a spectacular opportunity. The player lost his chance to make history, while tournament hosts inevitably missed the presence of Djokovic at their annual showpiece event.
Despite the loss of Djokovic, the show most certainly went on and fans were treated to a spectacularly exciting tournament in Melbourne, especially during the final. Daniil Medvedev must have been convinced he would win the Australian Open, yet it was Rafael Nadal who left the stadium crowd and the Russian utterly awe-struck, producing a spectacular comeback that nobody would have believed possible. Grand Slam number 22 for the Spaniard and into the record books.
The Big Push for Paris
When he won the Australian Open at the end of January, even the great Nadal himself was almost lost for words, full of emotions having accomplished such a remarkable feat and yet another milestone in his illustrious career. All this came amidst doubts that he might not feature in top competitions again, amidst huge personal doubts which surrounded his physical condition and form. Nevertheless the robustness and resolve of Rafa has become something legendary.
Having missed out on the Australian Open, where he had been expected to win, Djokovic must have cut a dejected figure as he watched such an important opportunity pass him by. Arguably, this experience will have been even more painful than losing the 2021 US Open final, beaten in straight sets by Medvedev. On that occasion, the emotional armour of the singularly minded Serbian appeared to have finally been breached, buckling under the pressure of enormous pressure of expectation in Flushing Meadows.
Nevertheless, after plenty of back-and-forth negotiations with authorities, Forbes confirmed Djokovic will be in Paris to defend his French Open title, amidst initial fears he would miss a second Grand Slam tournament this year. Providing the health and fitness of Nadal holds until May this year, this brings the promise of a potential class of tennis titans, as the Spaniard seeks to regain his Roland Garros crown. The chance to see both competing at the tournament is one thing, while the prospect of them reaching the final is genuinely something to relish.
The Predicted French Open Favourites
As the countdown begins towards the 2022 French Open in Paris, the famous Roland Garros venue is scheduled to host the tournament from May 22 to June 5. Outright odds are already being offered at the best tennis betting sites reviewed by Arabian Betting, who compare the markets and provide extensive reviews for safe and secure online sportsbooks. As always, they only recommend the most competitive odds and broadest coverage of tournaments.
Looking at the early outright markets for the 2022 French Open, the odds appear to favour Nadal at his favourite tennis venue, as the Spaniard is always the most popular figure at Roland Garros. Having won 13 of his 21 career Grand Slam titles on the clay in Paris, that’s hardly surprising, although his prospects of another monumental triumph will be fiercely contested. Inevitably, the participation of 2021 winner Djokovic will be a hugely influential factor, as his odds are only slightly longer than those of Nadal.
But what about other key competitors? Despite having reached two consecutive Grand Slam finals and winning one of them, Medvedev is considered to be an outside candidate according to the bookies, largely due to never having progressed beyond the quarter-finals in Paris. Instead, the chances of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem are given more credence by the odds, given both have tasted the experience of reaching French Open finals. Whatever the outcome, this tournament will feature the best available players in men’s tennis.