Who will win the 2013 Australian Open - The team's verdict

Serena Williams of the USA plays a forehand ahead of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 7, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Our tennis writers reveal who they think will win the first Grand Slam tournament of 2013 at Melbourne Park.  

Watch and bet on every match at the 2013 Australian Open live at bet365>livestreaming>tennis.

Wimbledon may garner all of the headlines in the UK but the Australian Open is probably the most eagerly anticipated tennis tournament in towers. Not only does the event mark the official start of the new season but it also tends to provide some of the most memorable moments in recent memory.

It was in Melbourne in 2011 that Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray to start his incredible run of tournament victories and the Serb followed up with two of the greatest matches in the history of the game, beating Murray in the semi final before winning the longest Grand Slam final ever against Rafael Nadal. The Serb is looking to become the first man ever to win the Australian Open in three successive seasons while Serena Williams, who dominated the women's game in 2012, is a hot favourite for the women's title. 

Both are strongly fancied by our writers, who have each revealed who they think will be lifting the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup this year. Our full tips are listed below:

David Cox @livetennis

Men's Winner - Andy Murray
I'm tempted to say Djokovic but no man in the Open Era has ever won the Australian Open three times in a row so he's attempting to do something very special this year. I think I'm going to back Andy Murray. He saves his best for the slams these days and he's spent the off season practising more aggressive play with Lendl. I think that'll give him the edge in the latter stages.

Women's Winner - Serena Williams
Can't look beyond Serena Williams. You don't normally see her play well in the warm up events but she obliterated the field in Brisbane. She lost motivation for a couple of years but I think she's realised she has a shot at perhaps going down as the greatest women's player of all time. She needs to get to 20 slams to do that, which is within her grasp but the next 2 years are crucial for her.

Neil Roarty @neilroarty

Men's Winner - Andy Murray
The whole world wants to be with Djokovic but I'm going against the Serb this year. I don't know whether it's an issue of fitness, motivation or something else but he isn't the player he was 12 months ago. He hasn't won any of the last three Grand Slams and I think the pendulum is moving to Murray, who warmed up for this by retaining his Brisbane title. The Scot should have beaten Djokovic here last year but maybe lacked a little belief, which won't be a problem after his Olympic and US Open triumphs in 2012. Pinnacle are now almost 3/1 on Murray and that is huge considering how evenly he and Djokovic are matched.

Women's Winner - Serena Williams
Nothing original here but that's not an issue. I said before the US Open that I thought Serena was the bet of the season at a shade over evens and nothing has changed, bizarrely not even the price (42/41, Pinnacle). Victoria Azarenka still can't beat Serena and it could be argued that her defeat from 5-3 in the final set at Flushing Meadows was more damaging than any of the 9 previous and it was interesting that the Belarusian was dispatched in straight sets in Istanbul. Serena did the same to Maria Sharapova in the final in Turkey making it nine in a row against the world number two. Only injury or a breakdown will stop her from lifting the trophy in Melbourne.

Raymond Doyle @RaymondDoyle1

Men's Winner - Novak Djokovic  
Sorry to be boring but I'm backing Novak Djokovic. He has an incredible record in Melbourne and is looking to do something no player has managed in the Open Era and win a third consecutive Australian Open. I just hope the final is half as good as last years!

Women's Winner - Maria Sharapova
Going to go for a shock here and not say Serena Williams. I'll give me vote to Maria Sharapova for a bit of value (8/1 with bet365). A former champion who on her day can beat the best!

Steven Webb 

Men's Winner - Novak Djokovic
Djokovic is my (not very outlandish) pick. He looks motivated, determined, and I don't think he wants to let another Grand Slam go by without getting his name on the winner's trophy. Federer will have to find vintage form to beat him, but I don't see Djokovic slipping up to Murray in a second straight major.

Women's Winner - Serena Williams
Who can stop Serena? She is in the form of her life, and knows that she has a shot at becoming the undisputed all-time-great if she can add more Grand Slams to her resume. There's always a chance she could come out flat during an early round match, but I think she's learned a lot from the French Open last year, and will be fully focused right from the beginning of the Australian Open.

Ian Horne

Men's Winner - Novak Djokovic
It may seem like a boring choice but I'm going with Novak Djokovic. After defending his title against Rafael Nadal in arguably the greatest match of all-time last year, Nole won't be willing to let go of his title without a fight. Rafa won't be here this time, so it's mostly up to Andy Murray and Roger Federer to dethrone the Serb. Those two showed at the US Open and Wimbledon respectively that Nole won't necessarily have everything his own way, but Djokovic still appears to be the pick of the three.

Women's Winner - Serena Williams
Serena Williams has to be the favourite. Her WTA dominance been unrivalled since Wimbledon and there isn't a single player who seems capable of frequently beating her. Right now she seems hungry for slam glory and shows no signs of slowing down just yet. Bear in mind that defending champ Victoria Azarenka holds a 1-11 match record against her.

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Who will win the 2013 Australian Open - The team's verdict

Our tennis writers reveal who they think will win the first Grand Slam tournament of 2013 at Melbourne Park.  

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