Tennis: Australian Open – Men And Womens Singles Preview

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam title of the year starts on Monday, with two weeks of intense tennis, expected in the searing heat of Melbourne.

Last years victors: Stan Wawrinka and Li Na will be looking to retain the titles they won for the first time in 2014, with Wawrinka winning his first ever Grand Slam title and Na adding to her French Open title from 2011.

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Here we take a quick look at the betting in both sets of singles.

Men’s Singles

World number one, Novak Djokovic is overwhelming favourite to add a fifth Australian crown to his collection at Evens. The Serb has played just one event so far in 2015, reaching the quarter-finals before losing to Ivo Karlovic.

Previous to this, he won the ATP World Finals at the back end of last season, thanks to a walk-over against Roger Federer,

Roger Federer is 13/2 to win the title and has started the year in good form, with victory at the Brisbane International, at the start of his hard court preparation. Despite the Swiss legend supposedly hitting the twilight of his career, he is very much a challenger for the title.

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Rafael Nadal at 11/1 would usually look a good choice at the price offered, but the clay court master has not had much luck of late.

His fitness problems and injuries, which saw him miss three months after Wimbledon and need an appendicitis in November, means he goes into an awkward first round game against Michail Youzhny as a candidate for a shock exit.

Youzhny is 13/2 to beat the Spaniard in the first round and looks worth at least a point or two, considering Nadal’s fitness and the usually intense heat, the Melbourne conditions bring.Outside the big three, Andy Murray (12/1) is likely to meet Federer in the quarter-finals, if he can negotiate the draw, with the big Scot 2/1 to exit at that stage.

Champion Stan Wawrinka at 15/1 and Kei Nishikori at 18/1, could also meet in a quarter-final tie if seeds win as expected.

Elsewhere, Thomas Berdych at 33/1 to win the tournament, could take advantage of the Nadal situation, with a favourable draw giving him a real chance of reaching the semi-finals. A bet on Berdych to win his quarter of the draw is around 5/2 and offers a real chance for punters.

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Womens Singles

Serena Williams at 3/1 is favourite for the title, in what should be a tougher tournament to pick a winner in, with so much class on show. The world number one, won the WTA Finals last October but has had a rough start to the 2015 season, losing several times in the Hopman Cup event.

If she can keep her composure, she should be in the mix but a tough half of the draw, means she needs to be at her very best from the off.

Maria Sharapova is hot on the heels of Williams in the world rankings, she started the new year well, with a win over Ana Ivanovic in the Brisbane International. Her previous shoulder injuries have all but cleared and at 5/1, I would make a stronger case for the Russian than a Williams victory this year, with a decent draw adding to her strong chances.

Simona Halep 10/1 for the title, is a player who certainly could be the dark horse of the tournament. The Romanian had a  superb last three years, improving each year, with the starlet now rated third in the world.

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Form has carried on into 2015, with a victory in the Shenzhen Open and if the twenty-three year old can continue her progress, a Grand Slam title should not be far away, although a recent withdrawal due to gastroenteritis could scupper a bid in Melbourne.

Petra Kvitova, also at 10/1 is looking to redeem herself after a surprise first round defeat in last years event. The two time Wimbledon champion, certainly has the pedigree and is off to a good start in 2015, with a final win and semi-final defeat in her last two events, very much a player in form and worth some attention, despite an awkward draw.

Outside of the above four, Eugenie Bouchard at 18/1 could be worth some action, although it will be a big ask to potentially get past Sharapova and Halep in the later stages, however a 9/2 price to win her quarter of the draw looks a little more realistic.

Also worthy of some extra attention and analysis is Ana Ivanovic, who lost to Sharapova in the Brisbane International final. At 20/1, there is not much expected in the outright markets, but as she is likely to be the main challenge to Simona Halep in the third quarter of the draw, an Ivanovic punt at 3/1 to win said quarter, looks a decent price.

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