Tennis tips: Best bets for the Australian Open women's singles
Adam Drury writes that we have a justified favourite for the Australian Open women's singles, but that it is another open field.
As ever on the women’s side of the draw, there are several players who can do some damage in the next fortnight.
But it is hard to dispute the status of Naomi Osaka as favourite for this event, considering that she has won three of the last five hard court grand slams.
The 23-year-old has also gone well in the Gippsland Trophy warm-up event in the last week, and avoids first seed Ashleigh Barty until the final.
In any case, Barty has not played in a tour event since last February, so could well come into this competition rusty.
Serena Williams , meanwhile, has not won a slam since this event four years ago and still seems to lack the physical capacity to go the distance.
Elise Mertens looks a standout price lower down the field, considering a solid recent run in hard-court majors.
The Belgian has reached the quarter-finals of three of the last six Australian Opens and US Opens combined and reached a successions of quarter-finals in the latter stages of 2020.
A potential quarter-final with Barty is not the worst draw, either.
Bianca Andreescu was absent from all grand slams last season, but won the last one that she competed in – the 2019 US Open – so must be worth a punt, too.
Australian-born Brit Jo Konta has struggled in this event since reaching the semi-finals and quarter-finals in 2016 and 2017, and that is reflected in her price.
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