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How the Australian Open draws could work out

The latter stages of this year's first Grand Slam are nearly upon us with the fourth round of the Australian Open getting underway on Sunday.

Only 16 players remain in each of the men's and women's singles competitions and, although a handful of high seeds have fallen, some big names still remain in the mix.

As the quarter-finals edge closer, here is a look at how the men's and women's draws could work out for the big-name players in the tournament.

WhatAustralian Open 2023
WhereMelbourne Park, Melbourne
WhenMonday 16th January - Sunday 29th January 2023
How to watchEurosport / Discovery+/bet365 Live Streaming
Odds

Australian Open - to win outright - Novak Djokovic 1/1, Stefanos Tsitsipas 5/1, Sebastian Korda 15/2

Australian Open Women - to win outright - Iga Swiatek 6/4, Aryna Sabalenka 9/2, Caroline Garcia 7/1

Djokovic dealt soft route to the final

One player the men's draw seems to have worked out well for is nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic.

Despite more issues with his hamstring, the Serbian dug deep to beat Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 6-3 6-4 in the third round in Melbourne, setting up a fourth-round encounter with 22nd seed Alex De Minaur of Australia.

The pair have never met on the ATP tour but Djokovic is 1/5 to come through the contest and his quarter-final would then be against the winner of Andrey Rublev versus Holger Rune.

Both players are going well Down Under - Rune is yet to drop a set in the Grand Slam and beat Djokovic in the Paris Masters final in November.

The reward for the winner of that potential quarter-final would then be a semi-final clash against either Roberto Bautista Agut or one of the unseeded American trio of Ben Shelton, JJ Wolf or Tommy Paul.

It would therefore not be until the final that Djokovic could face the tournament's highest remaining seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas, or sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Djokovic is a 4/7 shot to make the Australian Open final with Tsitsipas second favourite in that market at 12/5. The Serbian's most likely stage of elimination according to the betting is actually winning the event for the 10th time, which can be backed at 1/1.

Tsitsipas must come through tricky section

With Djokovic the favourite to come through the bottom half of the draw, it is Tsitsipas who is expected to come through the top.

But that will be easier said than done for the Greek, who must first find a way past 15th seed Italian Jannik Sinner in the fourth round.

Sinner fought back from two sets down to beat Marton Fucsovics last time out and is a 7/4 shot to beat Tsitsipas, who is expected to advance at 4/9.

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If Tsitsipas does win, he will face either Canadian Auger-Aliassime or improving Czech talent Jiri Lehecka in the quarter-finals. Lehecka has defied expectations in Melbourne to beat the likes of Borna Coric and Cameron Norrie and could represent value at 18/1 to win his quarter.

The winner of that quarter-final between either Tsitsipas or Sinner and Auger-Aliassime or Lehecka will then set up a semi-final with one of Yoshihito Nishioka, Karen Khachanov, Hubert Hurkacz or Sebastian Korda.

Exciting young American Korda is favourite to win that quarter at 11/10, while Hurkacz - his fourth-round opponent - is next in that market at 5/2.

Swiatek in tougher half of the draw

After a blistering 2022 campaign, women's top seed Iga Swiatek has looked ruthless in the first three rounds in Melbourne, winning all of her matches in straight sets.

She dismantled Cristina Bucsa 6-0 6-1 last time out and has barely broken sweat but she will need to maintain that level of performance in a tough half of the women's singles draw.

Swiatek's next opponent is last year's Wimbledon winner and women's 22nd seed Elena Rybakina. It looks set to be a tough match but Swiatek is still 2/9 to progress and, if she does so, she could set up a gripping quarter-final with teenage sensation Coco Gauff.

Gauff herself must find a way past Jelena Ostapenko in the fourth round but is expected to do so at 2/9 in the match betting.

Whoever manages to win that hypothetical quarter-final would then face either Jessica Pegula, Barbora Krejcikova, Victoria Azarenka or Lin Zhu in the last four.

Swiatek is the favourite to win her quarter at 4/7, while Pegula, who performed well for the USA in the recent United Cup, leads the way at 11/10 to win the second quarter.

Easier draw gives Sabalenka a shot at glory

At 9/2 in the outright betting, Aryna Sabalenka is the favourite to come through the other half of the draw, meaning a Swiatek versus Sabalenka final is the most likely outcome at this year's Australian Open.

There is a long way to go yet though and Sabalenka, who crushed Elise Mertens in the last round, must first overcome 12th seed Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

A win in that game would then set up a quarter-final with either Donna Vekic of Croatia or 17-year-old sensation Linda Fruhvirtova.

And the winner of that quarter-final would face a semi-final encounter with one of Karolina Pliskova, Shuai Zhang, Magda Linette or Carolina Garcia.

Fourth seed Garcia is 10/11 to win the third quarter, while Sabalenka can be backed at 21/20 to win the fourth quarter.

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