Australian Open: Four overpriced stars worth backing Down Under

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The 2017 Australian Open is almost upon us, and that means we get a first look at how the year ahead might shape up. It also allows a chance for any outsiders to try and catch the favourites cold in the early weeks of the season.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic share top billing in the men’s event, with Serena Williams once again the women’s favourite.

But behind those three await a host of players looking to upset the established order.

And there’s plenty of value to be had, particularly in the WTA where the last five Slams have crowned four different winners.

So ahead of the first Slam of the season, Ladbrokes News has picked out the big-price outsiders who could come good Down Under.

Stan Wawrinka

At 11/1, you can’t miss out on a man who has three Slam titles to his name and has proven he can beat both Murray and Djokovic.

Stan Wawrinka arrives in Australia having won September’s US Open, and is the 2014 Australian Open champion too.

If anyone is to beat the dominant duo, it’s this man.

Milos Raonic

Having just tuned 26, Milos Raonic should be entering his peak years, and enjoyed his best season yet last year to reach the Wimbledon final.

The Canadian was a semi-finalist in Australia 12 months ago, and with that SW19 experience to call on, should be in a better position than ever to land that first Slam title.

At 16/1, Raonic could be a shrewd punt.

Karolina Pliskova

Having reached her first Slam final in September’s US Open, Karolina Pliskova could be one to watch in 2016.

The 24-year-old defeated Serena in the semis at Flushing Meadows, and defeated world number one Angelique Kerber in August too.

The Czech should hold no fear then, of landing a first Slam success, and looks good value at 12/1.

Dominika Cibulkova

Dominika Cibulkova was the runner-up in Australia three years ago, and enjoyed a fine 2016 campaign.

No player reached more finals on last year’s WTA Tour than the 27-year-old, who could well be an Each-Way shout at 25/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.