Australian Open preview: Best bets for the Women's singles title
Garbine Muguruza and Elino Svitolina are among the favourites, but the current world No.1 could be your best bet to win the tournament.
A first grand slam will inevitably come for Simona Halep, and this fortnight offers as good an opportunity as ever in another wide-open field.
The world No.1 is already off the mark in 2018, winning both the singles and doubles title in last week’s Shenzhen Open, and looks the outstanding bet at .
Garbine Muguruza, however, is not far behind in the betting at .
The Spaniard has won a slam in each of the last two seasons, dropping just one set on her way to the Wimbledon title in July, but has never got further than the last eight in Melbourne.
She is closely followed by Karolina Pliskova , who reached three slam quarter-finals last season, but only progressed beyond that once.
Elina Svitolina is also up there, but has never progressed beyond the quarter-finals in a grand slam, and never beyond the third round in this competition.
While Halep offers the best value, that the four favourites for the title have managed two Grand Slam titles between them – both belonging to Muguruza – is indicative of how difficult this is to call.
Best of the rest
Back in the world’s top three for the first time since 2012, Caroline Wozniacki’s price of represents fantastic value.
The Dane ended last season brilliantly, winning the WTA Finals in October, and is a former semi-finalist in this event.
Maria Sharapova, a five-time major champion and winner of this event in 2008, is available at – although she will surely find it practically impossible to navigate her way through a draw in which she is unseeded.
At longer odds, CoCo Vandeweghe is worth considering, having reached two grand slam semi-finals – including at this event – last season, knocking out the No.1 seed 12 months ago and at the US Open.
Angelique Kerber, champion in 2016, is available at , while Brit Jo Konta, struggling with injury and form, is out at .
Again, it is telling of the open field in the women’s game that two grand slam winners from 2017, Jelena Ostapenko and Sloane Stephens , are both relative outsiders.