The Quick Hits
- Novak Djokovic to win 10th Australian Open
- Women’s draw wide open, with Pegula and Sabalenka the joint-favourites
- Shelton guaranteed to finish the tournament inside top 50
Week two of the Australian Open is here. Eight players remain on either side of the draw, having survived, battled and scrapped their way through numerous upsets, comebacks and late-night finishes.
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is gone. Last year’s men’s finalist Daniil Medvedev is out.
But what of those who remain? Who will go all the way?
We fired up the supercomputer and asked it to predict the remainder of the tournament. Let’s dive into its forecasts…
Women’s Singles Draw
While the spectre of Novak Djokovic looms large on the men’s side of draw, the women’s draw is wide open.
With Iga Swiatek’s loss in the fourth round, the women’s draw now has two big favourites to win the title: Jessica Pegula (19.8%) and Aryna Sabalenka (19.2%). These two players would face off in the final, where they’d be competing for their first Grand Slam title.
Despite making the quarter-finals of three of the four grand slams last year, Pegula never made it past that stage. In fact, she’s never won a grand slam quarter-final in her career. Our model estimates that she has over a 62% chance of making it to the last four and over a 35% chance of making the finals.
The road to the final will not be easy. The No.1 American would have to beat two previous grand slam champions: first, former No.1 and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and then the winner of Elena Rybakina and Jeļena Ostapenko, both of whom have a grand slam title under their belt.
On the other side of the draw, Sabalenka has to get past Donna Vekić and the winner of Magda Linette vs. Karolína Plíšková. The No. 5 in the world has a 34% likelihood of getting to the finals, which would be her best result to date at a slam.
Sabalenka has won all her previous three grand slam career quarter-finals: she could become the sixth female player in the Open Era to win all her first four major quarter-finals after Ann Jones, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Elena Dementieva and Naomi Osaka.
Men’s Singles Draw
The men’s quarter-finals are marked by the dominant 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic and by three-American tennis players.
Djokovic, the favourite to win the Australian Open title (32.9%) has yet to play a five-set match. If Djokovic does go all the way, not only will he win his 10th Australian Open crown, but he’ll have won 28 consecutive matches at the Australian Open: surpassing Andre Agassi as the player with the most main draws wins in a row in this tournament in the Open Era (Agassi had 26 between 2000 and 2004).
His opponent in the quarter-finals, Andrey Rublev, could well be his toughest match so far, but the Serb is still favored to win that match with over a 68% likelihood.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the second favourite to win the title (19.4%) and the most likely player to get to the semi-finals (70%). A blockbuster final against Novak could well be on the cards.
In addition to our two big favourites, there are three young Americans remaining: Sebastian Korda, Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton. We are guaranteed an American semi-finalist, and potentially a second if Korda beats Khachanov.
Korda, the 21-year-old American, beat last year’s finalist Medvedev on his way to the quarter-final and has now a 54% likelihood of getting to the semis.
Our model can also simulate the predicted rankings of our eight remaining players – here’s where it thinks the rankings points will go after the dust settles:
On the women’s draw, most players are guaranteed to go up in the rankings by the end of the tournament. The two favourites to win the Australian Open will not only be fighting for their first grand slam but also for the No. 2 spot in the rankings. Pegula has a 46.6% likelihood of finish as world No. 2 while Sabalenka has a 28.3% likelihood.
No. 46 Linette and No. 60 Vekic, the two unseeded players in the quarter-finals, are guaranteed to be climb into the top 30 and 40, by the end of the Australian Open.
On the men’s draw, the quest for the #1 spot remains between Djokovic and Tsitsipas.
The Serb has a 94.4% likelihood of going up in the rankings and a 33.3% probability of being the new No. 1 in the world at the end of the tournament. The most likely outcome for Tsitsipas is that he maintains his currently ranking of 4 in the world.
Shelton, the 20-year-old American who started the Australian Open as the world No. 92, is guaranteed to be ranked among the top 50, and has a 10.9% likelihood of being ranked top 30. The two other Americans, Korda and Paul are certain to be inside the top 30 and could potentially be among the 10 best with a 12% and 11.8% probability, respectively.
Oh, and don’t forget, these probabilities update live after every match. Check them out throughout the remainder of the tournament here.