AO 2024: Action Heats up Down Under in Tennis’ First Grand Slam

darren cooper
Darren Cooper


  • The 2024 Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the tennis season with a prize purse of almost $58 million.
  • Novak Djokovic has won a record 10 Australian Open titles, including the title in 2023. Aryna Sabalenka is the defending champion on the women’s side.
  • While seeds have largely held on the men’s draw, the women’s draw is full of unseeded players heading into the final rounds.

Michigan sports fans are going to be up late or up early anyway worried about the Lions in the NFC Championship Game, so might as well tune in to some tennis.

The 2024 Australian Open is entering the final rounds, with the semifinals scheduled for Thursday local time. Remember, with the time difference, you either get up early or stay up late. The women’s final is scheduled for 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the men’s final 2:30 Sunday.

Tennis is one of the most popular sports to bet on at top Michigan Sportsbooks. The reasons why are clear. You can bet on the results of each match, and each set, and each of the best sportsbooks like BetMGM and BetRivers also offer live betting with odds changing during each match.

What Do the Oddsmakers Say? 

Entering the quarterfinal round for both men and women, BetRivers has Novak Djokovic has the favorite to win another AO (AO stands for Australian Open) title at +110 and reigning Wimbledon champ Carlos Alcaraz at +260. Remember, Alcaraz beat Djokovic in an epic five-set final in Wimbledon and they could meet off in the AO final. BetMGM’s odds are similar with Djokovic at +105 and Alcaraz at +250.

On the women’s side, both BetMGM and BetRivers have Sabalenka as the favorite at +150 to win the title, with upstart American Coco Gauff the second choice at +170 (BetMGM) and +180 (BetRivers). The last time we saw Gauff on a big stage, she was winning the U.S. Open in New York.

The Wild Women’s Draw 

The AO is unlike any other major sports event, because its like starting off the season with the Super Bowl. Results are unpredictable because you never know who has fallen off during the off-season break and who has surged.

The top half of the women’s draw in the quarters included No. 12 seed Qinwen Zheng of China and three unseeded players, including Dayana Yastemska who had to win three qualifying matches just to get into the main draw.

Sabalenka had the best year of her career in 2023. She is ranked No. 2 in the world and won the AO and was a finalist in the U.S. Open. Entering the quarters, Gauff had yet to lose a set.

The Same Old Men 

Djokovic is just a machine, still churning out victories and playing at a high level. He’s the top seed and was set to square off against American Taylor Fritz in a Monday night quarterfinal. The Joker is 8-0 all time against Fritz.

Alcaraz is more of a clay/grass court specialist and this is his best performance at the AO. Quarterfinalist Daniil Medvedev is the bad boy on tour - if the Netflix show Break Point can be believed - he’s been in two of the last three AO finals, but has never won.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.