A new year, a new tennis season. First up on the Grand Slam is the Australian Open, which has been pushed back from its customary mid-January slot to February. How will you fill those hours waiting for the tournament’s delayed beginning?

Well, one entertaining why to pass the time is to visit Betsson online casino. With a range of engaging slots and table games to choose from, alongside exciting daily jackpots and Betsson exclusives to whet the appetite, there’s plenty to keep gaming fans entertained until the tennis rolls around next month.

But what will happen when February 8th does arrive? Who will claim the trophies at this year’s Australian Open? We take a look at the men’s and women’s draws below, to size up the competition and identify the prime candidates for carting off the title.

The men’s draw

Last year’s winner Novak Djokovic is, unsurprisingly, the favourite to reclaim his title this time around. If you’re feeling confident about the Serb’s chances to win his 18th Grand Slam, you can check out the odds at a reputable sports betting site here and place your predictions early. There are plenty of markets to choose from, including other sports and sporting events, as well.

Djokovic’s main competition is – as it has been for many years now – Rafael Nadal. While Roger Federer is still a huge threat despite being 39 years old, the Swiss tennis legend will unfortunately miss the tournament with the same knee injury that has kept him out of action for the last 12 months. That means that Spaniard Nadal will fancy his own chances as the man best placed to dethrone Djokovic next month.

Outside of those two stalwarts, the chasing pack is littered with promising young players. There’s Dominic Thiem, who Djokovic defeated in a thrilling five-setter in last year’s final and who will almost certainly be out for revenge. There are also the talented youngsters Russian Daniil Medvedev and German Alexander Zverev, while the eccentric Nick Kyrgios will be looking to win a major tournament on home soil for the first time.

The women’s draw

Meanwhile, the women’s draw is as unpredictable as ever. Surprisingly, last year’s winner Sofia Kenin is rated as something of an underdog going into the tournament, with the woman she bested in the final (Garbine Muguruza) similarly seen as an outside shout. Both have big tournament pedigrees and so could spring a surprise, but the smart money may lie elsewhere this year.

Fresh from her win at the US Open last year, Naomi Osaka is deemed as one of the favourites to lift the Australian Open this time out. Osaka has won all three Grand Slam finals she has contested to date and is in a rich vein of form, so it would be no surprise to see her lift the coveted trophy at Rod Laver Arena this year.

Other possible winners include the Belarusian youngster Aryna Sabalenka, who won the 2019 US Open; her countrywoman Victoria Azarenka, who hasn’t won a major tournament since 2013; Romanian Simona Halep, who has two Grand Slam titles to her name; and Australian Ashleigh Barty, who claimed her maiden Grand Slam in France in 2019. Of course, wily veteran Serena Williams can never be fully discounted, either, meaning there are plenty of viable candidates for the title come February.