AUS OPEN WOMEN’S PREVIEW
Simona Halep ($9)
Dominant year by Halep finishing 2017 as the world number 1, but is still without a Grand Slam major. Her lead-up has been first class winning in China, but her Australian Open record has some serious question marks and is probably the reason why she isn’t at shorter odds. Halep hasn’t progressed to the second round at the Australian Open since 2015, we’re unsure whether she has the ability to win seven straight games in Melbourne.
Potential Path: Aiava, Bouchard, Kvitova, Barty, Pliskova, Sharapova, Svitolina
Elina Svitolina ($8)
Only dropping one set in her Brisbane International win, the 23-year-old Ukrainian has the plenty in her favour going into Melbourne. Won more titles than any other woman on tour in 2017, but the big obstacle is how she performs in majors. Only made one Quarter Final last year, where she capitulated against Halep in one of the biggest chokes in recent tennis history. Hopefully she’s put this past her and can make a serious run at a Grand Slam major.
Potential Path: Qualifier, Siniakova, Peng, Kasatkina, V Williams, Vandeweghe, Pliskova
Maria Sharapova ($12)
Without Serena Williams, the field lacks Grand Slam experience and winners – which means Sharapova is certainly a chance. Won the Australian Open 10 years ago and was a finalist as recent as 2015. Has a very nice draw, with Garbine Muguruza and Caroline Garcia both entering the Australian Open under injury clouds.
Potential Path: Maria, Sevastova, Vekic, Muguruza, Garcia, Pliskova, Svitolina
Karolina Pliskova ($9)
Ultra-consistent, Pliskova has a real opportunity in 2018 with Serena yet to return. Her serve alone can see her feature in the second week, but Pliskova was found unstuck in the backend of majors a number of times last year without reaching a Grand Slam Final. Exits in the Quarters at the Australian Open and US Open, along with a Semi-Final exit at the French indicates that Pliskova has the potential to be a serious threat in Melbourne. The big match-up with be against Halep in the Quarter Final.
Potential Path: Cepede Royg, Haddad Maia, Safarova, Konta, Halep, Sharapova, Svitolina
Coco Vandeweghe ($21)
Two Semi Finals and a Quarter Final for Vandeweghe in 2017 saw her really breakout finishing the year in the top ten. Has certainly got the power game to be a danger at the Australian Open, which played a major part in her Semi Final run last year, and at $21 is great value considering her recent slam form. This being said, she does have a very tricky draw from the get go.
Potential Path: Babos, Suarez-Navarro, Cibulkova, Ostapenko, Wozniacki, Svitolina, Pliskova
Daria Kasatkina ($81)
The 22nd seed is only 20 years old with a heap of upside, could Australia be her breakout? Will have to do it tough with Svitolina waiting for her in the fourth round, but if she can prevail through that who knows.
Potential Path: Qualifier, Brady, Stephens, Svitolina, V Williams, Vandeweghe, Pliskova
Daria Gavrilova ($101)
Having a great Sydney International, Gavrilova generally performs well at the Australian Open in front of the home crowd. With a handy draw, she could once again feature in the fourth round against Venus.
Potential Path: Qualifier, Mertens, Goerges, V Williams, Svitolina, Vandeweghe, Pliskova
Ashleigh Barty ($26)
What a sensational year by Ashleigh Barty, finishing inside the top 20 as Australia’s number one ranked woman. Featured in the third round last year, but is much improved and will look to feature in the second week this time around. Could see the world number 1 Halep in the fourth round.
Potential Path: Sabalenka, Giorgi, Osaka, Halep, Pliskova, Sharapova, Svitolina
Pliskova def Sharapova
Svitolina def Vandeweghe
Svitolina def Pliskova
*Prices subject to change