Nick Kyrgios on his way to winning the Brisbane International.
Nick Kyrgios on his way to winning the Brisbane International. DARREN ENGLAND

Kyrgios firms for breakthrough slam crown

TENNIS: Nick Kyrgios' impressive victory at the Brisbane International has seen the Australian men's No.1 firm for a breakthrough grand slam title at the Australian Open.

After defeating world No.47 Ryan Harrison in straight sets to claim his first ATP Tour title on home soil on Sunday night Kyrgios has come in from $17 to $13 in the betting to win the men's championship.

The 22-year-old has been one of the best backed to win the title despite being rated the sixth favourite for the Open behind Roger Federer ($2.60 favourite), Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Dimitrov.

"Kyrgios is now the third best backed player to win the tournament, behind only Federer and Nadal, and we expect that support will only get stronger as we approach next Monday,” TAB spokesman Nick Quinn said.

Nick Kyrgios meets with ball kids a day after winning the Brisbane International.
Nick Kyrgios meets with ball kids a day after winning the Brisbane International. JONO SEARLE

Kyrgios was knocked out in the second round of the Australian Open last year in a five-set marathon against Italy's Andreas Seppi.

He has only made it past the third round once - when he made the quarter-finals in 2015 - in six appearances at his home slam.

In one of his most impressive performances in Brisbane, Kyrgios came from behind to defeat world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 6-1 6-4 to reach the final.

He blasted his way to the title on Sunday night despite carrying a knee injury through the week-long tournament.

Karolina Pliskova reaches for a return in her quarter-final match against Kaia Kanepi at the Brisbane International.
Karolina Pliskova reaches for a return in her quarter-final match against Kaia Kanepi at the Brisbane International. DAVE HUNT

On the women's side, world No.4 Karolina Pliskova is the $7 favourite with TAB to win the Australian Open title following defending champion Serena Williams' withdrawal last week.

Williams won't travel to Australia as she continues her return after giving birth to her first child, daughter Alex Olympia.

Pliskova is favourite for the women's title despite losing to Brisbane International champion Elina Svitolina in the semi-final on Friday night.

Svitolina is equal-third favourite alongside two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza.

World No.1 Simona Halep is second favourite to claim her first major.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN ODDS

MEN'S WINNER

$2.60 Roger Federer

$6 Rafael Nadal

$7 Novak Djokovic

$11 Alexander Zverev

$11 Grigor Dimitrov

$13 Nick Kyrgios

$15+ Others Quoted

WOMEN'S WINNER

$7 Karolina Pliskova

$7.50 Simona Halep

$8 Garbine Muguruza

$8 Elina Svitolina

$9 Caroline Wozniacki

$9 Angelique Kerber

$10+ Others Quoted

Odds courtesy of TAB



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