The Australian Open 2015 Women’s Champion is…
Those hot women tennis combatants are back! 128 of the world’s finest women tennis players will give it a go in the deep of Melbourne’s Australian summer. As usual, world number one, American Serena Williams, will be the player to beat and as history has demonstrated, that is no easy task. Serena is always especially tough in Grand Slams but if the field will catch her, the first major of the year just might be the best opportunity.
Although seeking an amazing 19th Grand Slam title, Serena Williams (5.0 at William Hill - Signup and get £20 Bonus) is not the prohibitive favorite that Novak Djokovic is in the Men’s Draw. But, make no mistake about it, Serena will come to play and remains the force to beat. Last year’s champion, retired Li Na, is conspicuously absent, leaving perennial runner-up Maria Sharapova (2 – 5/1) as a formidable challenger. But, the sterner test may come from rising, way past budding, star Simona Halep (3 – 7/1) in a sport looking for new star power. Halep was impressive last year and can knock off any of the top players. This just may be Simona’s event and year.
Then, there is big hitting lefty Petra Kvitova (4 – 10/1). Petra’s conditioning may hold the ley to her fortunes. When playing conditions favor the fleet, svelte payers, Petra can get lost in a hurry. Never to be overlooked, resurgent 8 seed, Princess Caroline Wozniacki (8 – 14/1) of Denmark should make a run. Caroline’s marathon mentality is unafraid of the big, bad wolf against whom she had measures of success last year. Do not count the princess out!
Seeded sixth, Aggie Radwanska (6 – 20/1) was running on fumes at times last year and holds her seed from 2013 successes. Oddsmakers give Aggie the same chance as gorgeous Serb, Ana Ivanovic (5 – 20/1), who seems to have conquered her wayward toss, but one never knows! If Ana can hold her seed, she would meet Halep in the quarters. Ana should consider it a good tournament to get that far because she will not move on.
Crowd favorite, Aussie Samantha Stosur (20 – 80/1), has more game than some of the higher seeds and should ride the wave, so to speak. She would have to get through Kvitova and Radwanska to reach the semis but it could be worse. Look for the crowd to give Samantha a helping hand.
To reach the semis, Sharapova will have her hands full with either Angelique Kerber (9 – 50/1 ) or seventh seed, the hard hitting and mighty attractive Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard (7 – 14/1).
Trying to bounce back from last year’s meltdown, Victoria Azarenka, a/k/a talented grunter and groaner, gets a vote of confidence from the oddsmakers at 16/1. Her path is marred with landmines as she meets American Sloane Stephens (66/1) in what should be the best match, and dream TV match, in the first round.
I do not see Serena walking through this field. In fact, the top bracket looks to be the toughest. I like Halep in the finals and to emerge as the tour’s top player in 2015.