The 2016 ATP season certainly is not over. Thesecond-last Masters Series event of the year will be played out this week. Novak Djokovic, the top seed in that tournament, is already through to the third round.

However, a lot of tennis fans are primarily interested in the Grand Slams. The next major, the 2017 Australian Open, is still a few months off from starting. Betting oddson the hard-court Grand Slam from Melbourne Park are alreadyactive, as they have been since shortly after the conclusion of the 2016 event.

Betting odds for the top-8 favorites

Not surprisingly it is Djokovic, a six-time champion at the Australian Open, who leads the field of contenders. The Serb, despite a bad patch of sub-standard tennis since winning the French Open earlier this season, is an even-odds favorite against the field at this point (source: SkyBet).

The nextfavorites are as follows:

  • Andy Murray 33/10 (source: Betway)
  • Stan Wawrinka 14/1 (source: Betway)
  • Juan Martin del Potro 16/1 (source: Stan James)
  • Roger Federer 16/1 (source:Stan James)
  • Milos Raonic 25/1 (source:BetVictor)
  • Rafael Nadal 25/1 (source:Ladbrokes)
  • Kei Nishikori 28/1 (source:Stan James)

Wawrinka, Federer, and Nadal are the past champions aside fromDjokovic whoare likely to contest the first Grand Slam of the 2017 season.

Currently Federer is recovering from injury, but his return date is for early 2017. In my view, he is questionable as a favorite ahead of either Raonic, Nadal, or Nishikori.

Tomic and Kyrgios on the radar

Aussies that are on the radar for success in Melbourne Park are Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios. The former, who is currently priced at 100/1 with Stan James, still has some work to do before pundits and fans alike start to have confidence in him.

Kyrgios, on the other hand, is doing some damage on tour of late. He's only 40/1 with Betway and looks stronger and stronger with each passing month. Perhaps the Australian Open will be where he breaks through and makes his first Grand Slam semifinal.

Major events ahead of Melbourne Park aren't numerous. Besides Shanghai, there is the Paris Masters later in October. After that there's the 2016 ATP World Tour Finals from London.

Results in the three tournaments combined can certainly change the betting odds. Furthermore, injuries to key players can affect the trends as well.

One thing to note with Djokovic is that he seems to be in a period of decline. That might open the door for Murray to win his first Australian Open. The Scot has made the final on so many occasions without winning that his motivation will have to be high if the World No. 1 doesn't regain his title-winning composure.

The 2017 Australian Open will run from January 16th to 29th from Melbourne.

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