Rafael Nadal now odds-on favourite to win Australian Open

Rafael Nadal now odds-on favourite to win Australian Open

Rafael Nadal is now the odds-on favourite to win the 2019 Australian Open men’s singles title after his demolition job over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final.

The Spaniard won 6-2 6-4 6-0 against the 14th seeded Greek and he is now 5/6 favourite to win his second title in Melbourne with Sky Bet. He will now will face the winner of the second semi-final which features long-time rival Novak Djokovic and Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

Djokovic had been the favourite for the title ever since before the tournament began, but Nadal’s extremely impressive performances have seen bookmakers slash him from 9/1 last week to odds-on. He has won all six of his matches against James Duckworth, Matthew Ebden, Alex De Minaur, Thomas Berdych, Frances Tiafoe and Tsitsipas without dropping a single set and has only been taken to a tie-break once.

His game has been almost perfect so far, with his forehand looking particularly strong as showcased in his semi-final win. His form looks even more impressive when you consider that this is his first tournament since retiring from his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro last September. He has fought hard to return from injury, and withdrawing from the Brisbane Open just prior to the Australian Open now looks to be a masterstroke.

Rafael Nadal could face long-time rival Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final

Nadal is of course a 17-time grand slam champion and is chasing down Roger Federer’s tally of 20, which is the record. A win in Melbourne would put him in a great position considering the next major is at the French Open, which is undoubtedly his favourite tournament having won it on 11 previous occasions.

If he does win the title he will claim one record for himself though. It would mean that he has won all four grand slams at least twice each, a feat which no other male player has achieved in the Open era.

Speaking after his win over Tsitsipas, the 32-year-old was delighted with his progress over the last few weeks. He said: “To start the season like this when a few weeks ago I was in Brisbane having to take a tough decision not to play there, it is difficult to imagine where I am today.

“It has been a great tournament and I have played very well every day. Hopefully I can play better than that.”

Elsewhere in the betting Djokovic is now 1/1 to lift the title in Melbourne, whilst Pouille is considered a massive underdog and is way out at 66/1.