It would not be January without the Australian Open and Liam Flin is on hand with his best bets for the men's tournament.
Carlos Alcaraz to win @ 3/1
All eyes will be on Novak Djokovic in the men’s Australian Open this year and rightfully so.
The Serbian ace has won a record 10 Australian Open titles throughout his career, including four of the last five on offer, and his powers showed no signs of waning on the ATP tour last season.
He won three of the four majors on offer in 2023 but he lost the Wimbledon final to up-and-coming star Carlos Alcaraz and did not have to contend with the Spaniard in Melbourne last season.
This time around, however, Alcaraz will be involved and he looks a value pick to go the distance at 3/1.
Alcaraz had a 28-9 win-loss record on the hard courts last season and has already won a Grand Slam on the surface, claiming the US Open back in 2022.
He has come a long way since making the third round of the Australian Open two years ago and, while Djokovic is the man to beat down under, Alcaraz looks like his fiercest competition for the title.
Jannik Sinner to win @ 6/1
Jannik Sinner could be another contender for the season’s first Grand Slam.
In terms of taking down the Australian Open’s main man, Sinner has experience, having beaten Djokovic twice as recently as November in the ATP World Tour Finals and the Davis Cup.
And overall 2023 was a positive season for the Italian, who reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the first time in his career.
He also enjoyed an exceptional season on the hard courts, winning 48 of his 57 matches, and looks ready to go a step further than his quarter-final run in Melbourne in 2022.
Holger Rune each-way @ 25/1
As for those wanting a bigger-priced selection, Holger Rune fits the bill.
It is easy to forget the talented Dane is still only 20 but he has already made an impact on the ATP tour and started last season’s Australian Open strongly, taking down Filip Krajinovic, Maxime Cressy and Ugo Humbert in straight sets in the first three rounds.
His tournament ended in the fourth round but only after a five-set battle with Andrey Rublev and he will be after more in Melbourne this season.
Rune’s preparations for the Grand Slam have gone pretty well so far with the Dane making the final of the Brisbane International, losing to second seed Grigor Dimitrov in the showpiece, and he looks a worthy each-way pick.