It won’t be long before the 2018 tennis season begins, and we’re thrown in right away with the Australian Open. We’ll obviously have a lot of the matches covered individually, but let's take a look at some future bets on the women’s side before the tournament takes place. Of course, I try to go with some longer odds in hopes of cashing out big considering my money is tied up for a few weeks. At the very least, I can hedge in the later rounds and guarantee a profit. So, let’s not waste any more time.
Here are five WTA players to consider betting on in the 2018 Australian Open.
Serena Williams - Serena Williams says she’s going to play in the Australian Open, an event she’s won two of the last three years and made the final each of the last three years. Nobody is sure what to expect from Serena after missing damn near all of last year due to a pregnancy, having to get back in playing shape and now being 36 years old. But, if Serena put the work in and is feeling good, she’s obviously the favorite to win this thing yet again. Also, when was the last time you could get Serena with +400 odds to win a grand slam? I don’t remember when a price was that high. I’ll take it.
Madison Keys - Madison Keys missed much of last year due to a wrist injury, but she finished the season strong, which included a trip to the US Open final, beating two top-10 players and going 15-5 on hard court. With Keys healthy and showing she’s starting to get over the hump in big matches, she’s a serious threat moving forward in grand slams. I always say Keys controls every match, as she’s either going to overpower her opponent or lose due to a million unforced errors. The match is almost always on her racket. Give me Keys and the +1800 odds, which also includes hedging room.
Maria Sharapova - Maria Sharapova is another player who didn’t play a full season last year, but she went 16-6 since returning from her suspension, won the Tianjin Open and made the fourth round of the US Open. More times than not, Sharapova showed she’s back to being the Sharapova of old, it was just a matter of getting her conditioning back. That shouldn’t be an issue this year, and Sharapova has made at least the quarterfinals in four of her last five appearances in the Australian Open. Give me Sharapova and odds of +1200.
Angelique Kerber - Angelique Kerber was downright awful last season, finishing 21-16 on outdoor hard court and 28-23 overall. Kerber had a ton of bad losses and she’s a player you probably don’t want to back until she returns to form. However, I’ll take a stab with +2000 odds based on the value. Kerber did win the Australian Open back in 2016 and has won 70 percent of her matches in this tournament overall. It’s hard to believe Kerber just fell off the map after her breakout season. Give me those decent sized odds with a chance to hedge in later rounds.
Ashleigh Barty - Ashleigh Barty is the player to watch in 2018, as she beat four top-10 players last season and was an impressive 22-9 on hard court. Barty also made three final appearances and showed she has the power and the confidence to compete with anybody you put in front of her. When Barty is hitting her spots, she’s fun to watch and can bury her opponent rather quickly. The 21-year-old doesn’t have much grand slam success, but if last year was for real, and the fact she’s playing in front of her Australian crowd, odds of +3300 is a steal. Barty is a true dark horse contender who can make a strong run..