Dutch Venus and CoCo in Melbourne Raffle

Venus Williams is a good outside bet for the Australian Open.

Shop around and you may be able to get double-digit odds about whichever one of the 128 players whom you fancy will win the Australian Open women’s singles final in Melbourne.

The combination of the absence of 23-time Grand Slam queen Serena Williams, physical and/or psychological queries with regards to many of the favourites and the inconsistencies of those players means that the Australian Open women’s singles is, for the want of a better term, a lottery for punters.

Most bookmakers have bestowed Australian Open women’s singles favouritism upon Simona Halep following her Shenzhen success in the lead up to the Melbourne tournament but her draw is difficult – the first quarter also houses, among others, Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Johanna Konta, Camila Giorgi and the latest heroine, Ashleigh Barty – and her Grand Slam record is terrible for a world number one. Halep has crashed out of four of the last five Australian Open women’s singles competitions in the first round and never has she reached the semi-finals in Melbourne. Also, Halep has made just one of the last 14 Grand Slam finals.

One is willing to lay all of the Australian Open women’s singles players in the first quarter and, with the second quarter featuring the likes of Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova and Madison Keys, the top half does not hold as much betting appeal as the bottom one.

The two Australian Open women’s singles players in whom one is interested from a punting perspective are Venus Williams at  +2800   and CoCo Vandeweghe at +2200 . Williams is 37 years old but no-one played better than her in the four major tournaments last year, reaching two finals and one semi-final. Williams qualified for the 2017 Australian Open women’s singles championship decider in which she lost to her sister, Serena. Williams has won seven Grand Slam titles so her big-match temperament is beyond reproach and one cannot say that about almost all of her foes, including third-quarter cohabitants Elina Svitolina, Julia Goerges, Belinda Bencic and Daria Gavrilova. Williams represents excellent value.

It took Williams to end Vandeweghe’s involvement in last year’s Australian Open women’s singles at the semi-final stage, the latter winning the first set 7-6 before losing the subsequent sets 2-6 and 3-6. Vandeweghe is a player who appears to thrive under pressure and she will not want for confidence with Australia’s former Wimbledon champion, Pat Cash, as her coach. Vandeweghe is in the fourth quarter of the Australian Open women’s singles draw along with, among others, Grand Slam maiden Caroline Wozniacki and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. Vandeweghe eliminated Wozniacki from the 2017 Wimbledon women’s singles in straight sets so Cash’s pep talk to the American should she run into the Dane over the next couple of weeks will be straightforward.

In all honesty, Australian Open women’s singles punters could make plausible cases for upwards of one-sixth of the field so it does not make sense to get stuck into any of the favourites. Dutch Williams and Vandeweghe and you will get combined odds greater than backing, say, Halep, Svitolina, Pliskova or Wozniacki on their own. You should always expect the unexpected in women’s tennis so keep your stakes low on this event and invest more heavily on the men’s event.

Dutch Williams and Vandeweghe to win the Australian Open
15th – 29th January 2018
Odds:  +1083

australian open
CoCo Vandeweghe
Venus Williams

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