With defending Australian Open winner Serena Williams sitting out this year’s version of the first grand slam event of the year as she tries to regain her form after having her first child last year, the field is quite literally wide open at the 2018 Aussie Open.
With that thought in mind, tennis betting enthusiasts everywhere could definitely use a bit of expert assistance in identifying just which players could hoist this year’s Aussie Open hardware. Thanks to some expert analysis on the favorite, my ‘smart’ pick and top longshot selection to do just that, you’re going to have a good idea of who to place your tennis betting bucks on at the first major of the year.
2018 Australian Open WTA Odds & Picks
- Simona Halep +750
- Karolina Pliskova +800
- Elina Svitolina +900
- Garbine Muguruza +900
- Maria Sharapova +1100
- Angelique Kerber +1200
- Caroline Wozniacki +1250
- Petra Kvitova +1800
- Madison Keys +2000
- Johanna Konta +2000
- Coco Vandeweghe +2500
- Venus Williams +2500
The Favorite: Simona Halep +750
Sure, the new, World No. 1 didn’t win a major in 2017 and she didn’t win the end of year WTA Finals trophy, but the 26-year-old Romanian superstar did go 45-17 last year while winning one title at Madrid while reaching the Finals at the French Open and quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Halep is also off to a good start in 2018, having won her first tournament of the year, in Shenzhen. As previously noted, Halep doesn’t have Serena to deal with, but she does have a couple of potentially difficult matchups in her quarter of the draw in the forms of two-time slam winner Petra Kvitova in the third round and either World No. 6 Karolina Pliskova or World No. 9 Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals.
The Smart Pick: Caroline Wozniacki +1250
‘Sunshine’ Wozniacki is No. 2 in the world for the first time since 2011 and she’s also coming off the biggest title of her career by winning the WTA Finals in Singapore. Once again, there’s also the fact that the consistent 27-year-old ‘human backboard’ doesn’t have to worry about Serena Williams and she’s got a pretty sweet draw overall. Woz also reached the final at Auckland before losing to Julia Goerges to start this year off, so she’s entering the Aussie open with some confidence. The three highest seeds in her quarter are Kiki Bertens, Magdalena Rybarikova, and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, so there’s that as well.
The Longshot: Venus Williams +2500
The World No. 5 and legendary Venus Williams has a very difficult opening round match (why?) as she faces former Top 10 player and current World No. 77 Belinda Bencic, but Williams has gone 4-0 vs. the Swiss, and has yet to drop a set to her). ‘V’ could also face World No. 33 Ekaterina Makarova in the third round, who she lost to Down Under in 2014 and the red-hot World No. 12 Julia Goerges in the fourth round. Hell, after all that, she could face World No. 4 Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals, but after watching the ageless 37-year-old reach the Aussie Open finals opposite sister Serena last year while also reaching the finals at Wimbledon and semis at the U.S. Open, I’m thinking the value she’s offering as a +2500 pick is pretty damned staggering.