2019 WTA Australian Open Odds, Betting Preview: Serena Williams Favored in Melbourne


Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Serena Williams

Jan 13, 2019, 01:00 AM EST
  • WTA Australian Open betting action will get underway on Sunday night (EST) in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Serena Williams (4-1) enters the tournament as the betting favorite, but I have my eyes on some other futures.
  • Stuckey also chimes in with his two primary futures in addition to two long shots worth considering.

Staying up through the night and fighting sleep the next day at work, there aren’t many betting events for an American tennis gambler than the Australian Open.

With the new year comes fresh players and, at the time of writing, all players inside the top 50 are in the draw.

Most draws for Grand Slams come out pretty uneven, and give players major advantages over others, but this one was pretty even.

Women’s Grand Slams have been wide open for the past two-plus years since Serena Williams fell off her peak play. And this year is no different — although Serena, who has more Australian Open titles (7) than the entire field combined (5) enters the tournament as the betting favorite at 4-1.

I believe up to 16 players can win this title and that’s making a few cuts that may be a bit ambitious. There’s plenty of value all over the draw.

Here’s our cheat sheet for the 32 women’s seeds.

Former Australian Open Champions

In 2019 Draw

  • Serena Williams (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017)
  • Victoria Azarenka (2012, 2013)
  • Maria Sharapova (2008)
  • Angelique Kerber (2016)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (2018)

Recent Australian Open Semifinalists

Since 2016

  • Serena Williams (2016, 2017)
  • Angelique Kerber (2016, 2018)
  • Johanna Konta (2016)
  • Venus Williams (2017)
  • Simona Halep (2018)
  • Elise Mertens (2018)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (2018)

*Semifinalists Aga Radwanska (2016), CoCo Vandeweghe (2017) and Mirjana-Lucic Baroni are not in this year’s field

Unseeded Past Quarterfinalists

Among 2019 unseeded players

  • Venus Williams (1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2017)
  • Victoria Azarenka (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
  • Ekaterina Makarova (2015)
  • Genie Bouchard (2014)

Notable Hard Court Titles Since US Open

  • Caroline Wozniacki (Beijing — October)
  • Dayana Yastremska (Hong Kong — October)
  • Aryna Sabalenka (Wuhan – September, Shenzhen — January)
  • Elina Svitolina (WTA Finals — October)
  • Ashleigh Barty (WTA Elite Trophy — November)
  • Karolina Pliskova (Brisbane — January)
  • Julia Goerges (Auckland — January)
  • Sofia Kenin (Hobart — January)
  • Petra Kvitova (Sydney — January)

Seeds With Injury Concerns

  • Simona Halep (25-1) — Dealing with back injury from last fall.
  • Caroline Wozniacki (28-1) — Wrist issues (rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Garbine Muguruza (30-1) — Pulled out of Sydney last week with a gastroenteritis issue.
  • Maria Sharapova (66-1) — Retired vs Sabalenka in Shenzhen with a thigh issue.

Futures Lounge

I’ve targeted one player here since mid-summer last year. Unfortunately, the generous 40-1 odds that were offered then are long gone, and Aryna Sabalenka is now the third-favorite to win at +1200.

Sabalenka is one of the most talented and powerful players on Tour. Though only playing once in the main draw in Melbourne (and losing last year to Ashleigh Barty in three sets), the quicker courts suit her game perfectly. Plus, she’s only 20 and her game has greatly improved since last year at this time.

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