By Isla Knightley | | 12 mins
Indian Wells Odds: Rafael Nadal Favored After Djokovic Withdrawal
Get up to $1,100 in First Bet Insurance - Promo Code: BOOKIESCZR
Another tournament. Another Novak Djokovic saga? Former World No.1 Novak Djokovic is stealing headlines and causing havoc at the tennis betting exchange once again, although inadvertently this time as tournament organizers initially decided to add the Serbian into the main draw of the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells this week.
This unexpected decision was made despite prevailing uncertainty about Djokovic’s eligibility to participate in the BNP Paribas Open due to strict COVID-19 travel restrictions to the United States. Djokovic, one of the world’s most prominent tennis stars and popular athletes, was deported unceremoniously from Australia in January after officials ruled he posed a “danger to society” because of his unvaccinated status. The fear was that he would be an unintentional mascot for the anti-vax movement Down Under.
Tournament organizers at first released a statement regarding Djokovic’s inclusion in the draw. “We are currently in communication with his team,” said the statement. “However, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] approval to enter the country. We will provide updates in the future as we learn more.”
However, Djokovic took to Twitter on Wednesday evening to announce his withdrawal from the tournament, as well as the upcoming Miami Open. Djokovic tweeted: "While I was automatically listed in the @BNPPARIBASOPEN and @MiamiOpen draw I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel. The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won't be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments."
Bet365, along with many other top-rated legal sports betting sites, had installed the Serbian as the favorite to win the title at Indian Wells. Djokovic was listed at +187 to win the first Masters Series event of 2022 at bet365.
Rafael Nadal, who comes into the tournament undefeated on the season with three titles to his credit, including a record-setting 21st Grand Slam title, is now the favorite at +275. Newly-minted World No.1 Daniil Medvedev is up next at +300, while Alexander Zverev is priced at +500 and Stefanos Tsitsipas comes in at +800 to win.
2022 ATP Indian Wells Odds
Odds via Bet365 and current as of publication. For more information, check out our Bet365 promo page.
Djokovic Saga Continues To Rumble On
The tennis betting world needed another Djokovic saga like a hole in the head. Why the BNP Paribas organizers would choose to thrust the event into confusion like this beggars belief. But it is what it is.
The BNP Paribas Open gets under way on Wednesday with the women’s field taking to court first. The men’s tournament begins on Thursday.
Following the announcement that Djokovic will not receive a “special” exemption to enter the United States, the tournament will proceed without him, and, dare it to be said, it will be just fine. Last year's semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov will move into Djokovic's place in the draw. A lucky loser from qualifying will take Dimitrov's spot.
Djokovic has played in just one tournament this year, the Dubai Duty-Free Championships, where he was dumped out in the quarterfinals by Jiri Vesely in straight sets. One has to consider that form and lack of match fitness would have been an issue again. After all, the ATP season is in full swing and most players have at least three months of match play under their belts.
Some of the most in-form players include Nadal, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz, Matteo Berrettini, to name a few. It’s no accident either that these aforementioned players represent the top favorites on the tennis odds board with Djokovic out of the picture.
2022 ATP Indian Wells Picks & Predictions
For those looking to place bets on the Indian Wells Masters this week, we have a few to consider. For instance, Nadal to continue his fine form and win a fourth title in a row, or Medvedev to redline his top status, or, even, rising star Carlos Alcaraz to clinch a signature title are all appealing options, not to mention they offer great value on betting apps for your tennis picks.
Top Pick: Rafael Nadal at +275 with bet365
Outside Bet: Carlos Alcaraz at +2800 with bet365