January 7, 2022
The first tennis major of the year is coming up and it’s one that tennis star Novak Djokovic has thrived in in the past. The Australian Open is set to begin on the 17th of January but there has been a major stumbling block for the 9 time champion. Just like every other year, Novak was landed in Melbourne 2-weeks early to prepare for the tournament, only he did not make it past the Australian Border Force. The Border Force picked up on an issue with Djokovic’s visa as it did not permit a medical exemption for being unvaccinated.
As has become abundantly clear, Australia has taken the Covid pandemic very seriously which does not bode well for someone like Novak Djokovic who holds strong beliefs about his free will when it comes to taking vaccines. A few hours after the issue with his visa was picked up, the officials cancelled it. It is now wholly unclear if the situation with the tennis star’s visa will be resolved before the start of the tournament but a big issue for sportsbooks is whether or not they will have to shift their odds and refund any futures bets that were placed on Djokovic to win his 21st grand slam title.
As the speculation grows that Djokovic will not be able to sort his visa issues out in time for the start of the grand slam it is having a chain effect on the initial stabilized odds on the players to win. Djokovic was still the clear favorite to win the slam but he is still unwilling to make his vaccination status public knowledge.
The initial odds settled around +130 on Djokovic to win the title earlier this week. However, since the ruling on his visa, you will now very likely need to look elsewhere for your odds on favorite for the title. Djokovic’s team are naturally going to appeal the process whether or not the administrative side of things gets done on time is another matter entirely.
For now, it would seem that the odds on favorite is Daniil Medvedev who recently stopped Djokovic from claiming his record breaking 21st grand slam title in the final of the US open in 2021. In light of recent news, Medvedev is now tipped as the favorite with odds of +135.
It is now simply a waiting game for tennis fans around the world. Djokovic and his team are in a race against time to try and get his visa sorted before the start of the tournament. However, even if he is successful in doing so, there is still no guarantee that he will win his 21st slam. Sure, Novak is the king of the hard court and he has been in sumptuous form of late but with Daniil Medvedev playing as well as he is, there is every chance that Novak stumbles again.
Not only will he have trouble knocking over the talented young Russian but he will more than likely not have the crows in his corner. Everyone in the stadium will be vaccinated and as such will more than likely hold a certain amount of disdain for Djokovic’s attempts to be medically exempt from getting one himself. Should Novak make it to the tournament he can almost certainly expect some backlash from the crow. And this is already on top of the fact that he is not particularly well loved like his other famous counterparts Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. All of that will mean very little anyway if the Serbian tennis maestro can’t get his visa over the line before the tournament kicks off.