The first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year has arrived, with Novak Djokovic looking to defend his Australian Open trophy in Melbourne and close within two of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in terms of total majors won.

As is so often the case in this tournament, the Serb starts as the favourite to lift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup which he has already done eight times in his illustrious career.

Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam champion, is not taking part in Australia as he recovers from knee surgery, but even with Nadal playing, the bookmakers believe the biggest threat to Djokovic lies elsewhere.

Daniil Medvedev arrives at the tournament in the midst of a 14-game winning streak in which he has racked up the Paris Masters title and the ATP Finals crown.

The Russian is tasked with a first-round match against the Canadian big server, Vasek Pospisil, and even in Canada betting sites have Medvedev priced as short as 1/10 to advance.

Is Daniil Medvedev the favorite and underdog?

Despite not having a Grand Slam title to his name, Medvedev is 4/1 to reign supreme in Melbourne and continue his rampant hard court form. He is looking to be a perceived underdog of the tournament but also one of the favorites to come out of the bracket. Speaking of which, here’s the printable bracket for the 128 seeded players participating in the tournament.

For a blank 128 “team” bracket, go to

US Open champion, Dominic Thiem, is also highly respected in the market at 6/1. The world number three is in the opposite half of the draw to Nadal, who he beat in four sets in the quarter-finals in Australia in 2020 and also defeated in London in November.

Thiem’s projected last eight opponent as per the seedings is Diego Schwartzman, and a rematch of last year’s epic five-set final could beckon in the semis if Djokovic makes it through unscathed.

Alexander Zverev made the final of the last Grand Slam tournament and was two sets to the good in the US Open final against Thiem, but couldn’t convert it into a win largely because of issues with his serve.

The German has good form Down Under having made the semi-finals here last year, and the 16/1 quotes seem fair for the man Nadal once described as ‘a possible future number one’.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is priced the same, and the Greek has a potentially tricky opening encounter against Giles Simon, even if the former world number six’s best years are behind him.

The hopes of the host nation lie with Nick Kyrgios, who has only once made it past the fourth round and that was when he was a teenager in 2015.

A 40/1 chance pre-tournament, the 25-year-old remains an outsider after a largely inactive 2020 but he could be one of the value plays of the fortnight.