Rory Jiwani has a host of bets ahead of tonight's 1st round of the women's Australian Open.
I cannot remember the last time Serena Williams was big as 10-3 to win a Slam and that price is just too tempting. The world number one says she is feeling great after suffering from inflammation in her knee and that price would surely contract if she looks convincing against Camila Giorgi in the first round. The Italian is talented but she needs to serve fewer double faults and reduce her unforced errors if she is to trouble the very best.
The second quarter looks most interesting betting-wise, with Eugenie Bouchard set to go a long way having rediscovered her touch. After a torrid few months, the Canadian was actually going well in the US Open before a fall in the dressing room led to her withdrawal. She also showed further signs of a revival in Hobart before being derailed by the wind and Alize Cornet in the final. With Agnieszka Radwanska still vulnerable against the best and Petra Kvitova’s fitness uncertain, I’m taking the 17-2 about Bouchard winning the second quarter.
Speaking of Cornet, she faces the woefully out-of-form Bojana Jovanovski in the opening round. This looks set to be one of a number of one-sided affairs and the 14-1 on offer about the Frenchwoman completing a first-set bagel is interesting to say the least. Angelique Kerber can do similar against Misaki Doi having dropped just one game in their previous meeting in Toronto last year although the price means it doesn't make the cut for our expanding shortlist of bets. If you can find double figures about the German winning the first set 6-0, grab it with both hands but remember to play the 6-1 cover.
Oceane Dodin hits the ball as hard as anyone on the tour but there are signs that she is adding consistency to her power game. The Frenchwoman faces Kurumi Nara in the opening round and, with the Japanese struggling in recent months, Dodin can cause something of an upset.