We looked at the ATP predictions and dark horses for the 2017 Australian Open, now it’s time to take a look at the women’s side. If you’re a stranger to these articles, it’s important to know I go for some of the longshots to either secure a possible monster payout due to my money being tied up so long, or I like providing hedging room to guarantee a profit later in the tournament.
It’s all about the value.
Either way, here are some players to consider for the 2017 WTA Australian Open.
Serena Williams - You can get Serena Williams with odds of +225, which is a downright steal based on her history and the fact those odds won’t be there again once the tournament starts. Serena has won the Australian Open six times and has made the finals in each of her last two appearances. Yes, Serena has shown clear signs of a possible decline in her career as she’ll be 36 years old in September, and she was dealing with numerous injury issues late last season. However, it’s no secret that Serena is still the best player in the world when in great form and will be the favorite in every match as long as she’s healthy. There’s more parity than past years on the women's side, but your money should still be on Serena, especially if you can get plus money.
Caroline Wozniacki - Caroline Wozniacki went from being a has been in tennis to climbing her way to the top-20 with a semifinal appearance in the US Open and a Hong Kong Tennis Open title. Wozniacki has her confidence back and did beat four top-10 players last season. At just 26 years old, Wozniacki is a serious x-factor this season if she can build on the momentum she had a couple of months ago. As for the Australian Open, Wozniacki hasn’t made the quarterfinals since 2012, but I’m not sure that matters based on her current form. I’ll take Wozniacki and odds of +4000, and it provides room to hedge later if needed.
Johanna Konta - Another player you can get with odds of +4000 is Johanna Konta. While representing Great Britain, Konta still gets a ton of support from the Australian fan base due to the fact she was born in the country, and she did make the semifinals in this tournament last season. Konta is coming off her best year yet in which she became a top-10 player and beat seven top-10 players overall. At 25 years old, Konta is quickly coming into her own and has the aggressive offensive game to beat anybody on any given day. Konta is another strong long shot.
Agnieszka Radwanska - Agnieszka Radwanska has been a real hit or miss in grand slams the last three years, but she has made at least the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in five of the last six years. When in good form, Radwanska is always one of the tougher players in the world to play due to her great defense and shotmaking ability. Radwanska finished last season strong with Connecticut and China Open titles, and she could use that momentum here in hopes of winning her first grand slam title. Whether it happens or not, I still like Radwanska and odds of +3300. Radwanska will be a tough out against anybody in this field.
Simona Halep - One of my favorite tennis players, Simona Halep, will be eager to return to the Australian Open after being bounced in the first round last season. Before that early exit, Halep made back-to-back quarterfinal trips in the AO and has won 62.5 percent of her matches in this tournament overall. Halep has the athleticism and the stamina to outplay her opponents in the Australian heat, and her aggressive offensive game is sure to overwhelm most of this field. Halep has also improved in grand slams overall, reaching at least the quarterfinals in seven of her last 12 appearances. In a top heavy field where things could open up quickly with an upset or two, you have to like Halep and her odds of +900.