The favourites

Serena Williams is the clear favourite to win this title, but she doesn’t look a particularly good bet to do so.

The 23-time major winner has not proved herself capable of going the distance since giving birth in September 2017, losing in the final of four of the seven slams she has competed in.

That means that some value must exist elsewhere.

Home favourite Ashleigh Barty appeals at .

The 24-year-old reached her first major quarter-final at this event last year, and has since won the French Open, so she has plenty of experience in the latter stages of big events.

A solid run to the semi-finals of the Adelaide International last week should mean that she is nicely warmed up, though she does face the two favourites for the title, Williams and Naomi Osaka, in her half of the draw.

Since winning Wimbledon, Simona Halep has had a quiet time.

She was knocked out in the second round of the US Open and didn’t go far in any of her final three events of 2019, so should be avoided.

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Best of the rest

Second seed Karolina Pliskova is the other in-form player to keep an eye on.

The 27-year-old is remarkably consistent at this event, reaching the last eight in each of the last three years and the semi-finals 12 months ago.

She has already won the Brisbane International this year, beating Osaka and Madison Keys in the process, and avoids several big-hitters in the bottom half of the draw.

Britain’s Jo Konta looks a decent price, given her recent record in slams.

This tournament is traditionally her favourite of the majors. Having been raised predominately in Australia, she reached the semi-finals and quarter-finals in 2016 and 2017.

She also reached the last eight of all of the last three slams in 2019, but is hamstrung by being pitted against Williams, Osaka and Barty in her half of the draw here.


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