Juan Martin del Potro is currently the 4th favorite to win the 2017 Australian Open, according to the Betting odds with BetVictor sportsbook. That firm have him at 14/1 in the outright winner's market, however the recent gossip with JMD is that he's not fully decided on whether or not he will play. The 2009 US Open champion has recently been quoted by numerous sources, including the New Zealand Herald, on December 21st. "If I'm being smart," del Potro has said, "I know that I have 15 days of practice left for Australia and for my first tournament [ASB Classic], and that's a goal I'm not going to make."

Del Potro seems likely to miss ASB Classic

The ASB Classic refers to a minor ATP tournament from the South Pacific that takes place ahead of the Australian Open.

It's a combined men's and women's event with the main draw for the men's event to take place on January 7th. Currently del Potro is listed among the men's singles players for the event, although he is very clear in his comments that he doesn't think he will be ready for the tournament. The 2017 Australian Open starts on January 16th so if Delpo is sure he won't be ready for an event just ahead of it, he sure looks shaky for Melbourne Park as well. If you took 14/1 on del Potro, heaven forbid that he plays his first-round match and then withdraws. Accordingly, the Argentine has be considered a case of "bettors beware."

Kei Nishikori a betting alternative

At this point, those that are interested in the longshots probably have to go with Kei Nishikori.

The Japanese player is 25/1 with numerous firms, including bet365. Furthermore, there's no hint of injury with him at the moment as he was involved in the International Premier Tennis League earlier this month.

The last thing we saw with Nishikori in a major was at the 2016 US Open where he lost to the eventual champion. However, Nishikori did have more in the tank in the late going of a quarterfinal match at that Grand Slam than Andy Murray.

Nishikori beating Murray was an interesting result and perhaps a hint for tennis predictions that he, Nishikori, might be getting to his full potential. If he is then the hard-court surface is where one would expect him to turn in his best results.