The tennis season returns with the 2019 Qatar ExxonMobil Open, with world number one Novak Djokovic priced as the betting favourite in the first event of the new year.
Djokovic is the top name in a strong field as players start to prepare for the first major of the season, the Australian Open, which is just a few weeks away.
That tennis bookmakers have made Djokovic the favourite to triumph in Doha is no surprise given his past success here. Djokovic achieved back-to-back wins here in 2016-2017 and little has changed in his prospects since then.
Gael Monfils took the mantle last year while Djokovic watched from afar with a nagging elbow injury, but Novak is on the mend and once comes to Doha as the man to beat.
Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are all multiple winners of the tournament as well but none of them will be in the field. This leaves the path seemingly clear for Djokovic to start the new year on a high with the first title of 2019.
Djokovic eased his way back into action by beating Kevin Anderson to take the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and another quick triumph could well be on the cards in Qatar here.
2019 Qatar Open Betting Odds
With it being so early in the season, shock results can often surprise punters and bookies, so is there any good value to be found in the current Qatar ExxonMobil Open betting odds? That’ll be our key question in today’s post as we consider the odds and look for value.
|Roberto Bautista Agut||15/1||9/1||10/1|
|Guillermo Garcia Lopez||50/1||90/1||66/1|
Djokovic’s Short Price is Off-Putting
The fact none of Djokovic’s old rivals for the world number one spot have entered the Qatar ExxonMobil Open means it is no surprise he is so far clear at the top of the betting odds.
But a price of 2/5 to win the tournament will not be appealing for a lot of tennis fans who would have been hoping for a better return on their investment in this competition.
Damir Dzumhur was Djokovic’s first opponent and he had the potential to pull off a big upset, but Djokovic sailed through and we have seen his odds shorten to their current price at 2/5.
Either Marton Fucsovics or Marius Copil will be up next for Djokovic and then there is an intriguing quarter-final with Nikoloz Basilashvili, another rising star of 2018.
Many within the game see Basilashvili as a possible Grand Slam champion in the coming years but his price of 49/1 reflects the fact the bookmakers do not expect him to beat Djokovic.
Thiem Still Seeking Consistency in 2019
Austrian star Dominic Thiem is the second seed for the Qatar Open but he was given a tricky draw in the bottom section of the draw.
Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert was up first for Thiem – the world number eight in the rankings – before likely facing Peter Gojowczyk in the second round of the tournament.
Thiem’s talent has never been in doubt but showing his best tennis on a regular basis has been a challenge throughout his career so far.
The Qatar Open offered a chance for Thiem to turn over a new leaf but it is unclear whether he has the mentality to push his game on to the next level over the course of the year. Ultimately, he came up short against Pierre-Hughes, who is now priced at 33/1.
Goffin Tests Injured Elbow, Comes Up Short
Belgian star David Goffin was one of the more interesting options in the Qatar Open betting with an opening price of around 10/1.
Landing in the opposite half of the draw to Djokovic was a boost to Goffin’s chances of winning the tournament remains more focused on making sure he is fully fit and ready to go.
An elbow injury has been troubling Goffin for some time, but was said to be at 100 per cent heading into the first tennis tournament of the 2019 season.
He was in the third quarter of the draw for the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and fell to Ricardas Berankis from Lithuania. Berankis is now priced as high as 50/1 at Unibet.com.
Cecchinato can also be backed at 100/1 with Unibet.com to take the title, massive odds which could well make him one of the more intriguing options on an each-way basis for the Qatar Open crown.
One of the other big names making their return from injury in Doha is Tomas Berdych, who was once ranked as highly as four in the world rankings.
Berdych has been out for about six months with a back injury and it is hard to say whether or not he will ever be able to get back to his best after such a long time off the could. He can be backed at around the 12/1 mark to come out on top at the Qatar Open over the next week.
Qatar ExxonMobil Open Best Bets
Djokovic is hard to oppose despite the fact odds of 2/5 are not going to excite any punters.
But some value could be found in the bottom half of the draw in particular, with Cecchinato’s price of 100/1 seeming to be too good to be true, even at this very early stage of the season.
Swiss star Wawrinka has been plagued by injuries in the last few years but will hope 2019 can be a new start, so at 10/1 it is hard to recommend Khachanov too highly for this one.