2019 Australian Open - Women's Betting Preview
Can Serena Williams finally reach the magical milestone of 24 Grand Slam victories or will we see another first time winner at Melbourne Park?
The last time Serena Williams was at Melbourne Park she was winning her 7th Australian Open title and her 23rd Grand Slam overall. That victory two years ago left her just one behind our own Margaret Court’s record of 24 and it was a matter of when rather than if that record would be broken.
Perhaps the enormity of the situation has played on the superstar’s mind, having lost her past two Grand Slam final appearances at Wimbledon and the US Open and as an overwhelming favourite on each occasion. She has a chance to ‘defend’ her crown after missing last year’s tournament due to maternity leave and looks good value to do so.
Williams ($5.50) has already tasted success at Melbourne Park for an Open Era record seven times and heads the the wide open field where 11 women are $21 or shorter, compared to four on the Men’s side. Her form in Perth at the Hopman Cup was good enough to suggest the controversies from the end of 2018 aren’t weighing on her and despite her seeding of 16, has a cushy run to the 4th round where she’s likely to meet World No. 1 Simona Halep ($17) who she holds an 8-1 record over.
For Simona Halep to reach another final at Melbourne Park, she will need to reverse a run of form which includes five straight defeats. After her first round exit at the US Open, Halep bowed out in her opening matches in subsequent tournaments in China while losing her first round match in Sydney against Aussie Ash Barty ($17). Her last win on tour was a semi-final in Cincinnati against Aryna Sabalenka back in August. It’s hard to see her making a deep run this year, especially with the prospect of facing Serena Williams in the Round of 16, that’s if she can get past sister Venus in the third.
Angelique Kerber ($8) is on the second line of betting at $8 and is riding a wave of form from last year which saw her win her third Grand Slam title at Wimbledon. The former World No. 1 entered the 2018 season outside the top 20 after not advancing past the fourth round in any Grand Slam in 2017. She had two match points to reach the Australian Open final last year against Halep and will be confident she can repeat her deep run at the tournament this year and looks the main danger to Williams.
2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka ($12) will now have to overcome expectations and pressures of being a top four player in the world, something she didn’t face in her breakout 2018 campaign. The year began with a fourth round appearance in Melbourne, her best ever performance at a Grand Slam before taking all before her in New York where she won the tournament as a 20-year-old, defeating Williams in the final and becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam. 2018 ended with three straight defeats in the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore against fellow top 10 opponents but was able to find some touch in Brisbane with a semi-final showing. She has the x-factor to go deep again but the inexperience and external pressures may be too difficult to overcome.
Ash Barty is Australia’s best hope of Grand Slam success and becoming the first Aussie woman to win their home Grand Slam since Chris O’Neil in 1978. Barty started the season strongly at the Hopman Cup before her current run in Sydney. It will be all about how she deals with the national spotlight, especially if she is to make to the second week in Melbourne for the first time.
Like the Men’s side, we’re happy to be with the favourite in Serena Williams ($5.50) but unlike Djokovic you’re getting some outstanding value. It really is wide open, which is a great sign for Women’s tennis but while Williams is still playing and playing well, she is a class above and it’s hard not to see her making the final.
Quarter 2 looks especially competitive and where we can find some value. Madison Keys ($7.50) reached a semi-final of the Australian Open as a teenager back in 2015 and is one of the women on the cusp of a maiden Grand Slam title. Elise Mertens ($10) reached the final four 12 months ago in her first main draw appearance at Melbourne Park and returns this year as the 12th seed. We’re happy to spec both these women to win the quarter.
Angelique Kerber ($2.65) heads the bottom half of the draw and looks the likely winner of Quarter 4 if she can bring her form from last year. Kiki Bertens ($5.50) and Sloane Stephens ($4.25) will provide some competition but will potentially face each other in the fourth round. Kerber is a past champion and has the game to win it again and we’re confident she is the woman to beat down the bottom of the draw.
Verdict (Best bets)
- - Serena Williams to win the Australian Open
- - Madison Keys Quarter 2 winner
- - Elise Mertens Quarter 2 winners
- - Angelique Kerber Quarter 4 winner
**All odds correct at time of publishing with BetEasy