New outfit can spur Sharapova to sizzling Australian Open success

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Maria Sharapova knows what it takes to win the Australian Open and will be hoping that unveiling a new outfit for the Grand Slam will help her progress to the latter stages of the tournament.

Sharapova launched the Nike dress as part of a new fashion range and will be wearing it as she attempts to win her fourth career Grand Slam and is 16/1 in the Australian Open betting odds.

The world number 18 has previously taken the Melbourne title when beating Ana Ivanovic in the final in 2008, where she failed to drop a set in the whole tournament.

Meanwhile, Sharapova has a decent overall record in the Australian Open as she is also a previous beaten finalist and has made two semi-final appearances.

The Russian seems to be up for the challenge to win the tournament this year as she travelled early for the first time to take part in the ASB Classic in Auckland.

This year represents the first time that the Australian Open is not the first tournament of the year for Sharapova and she took the chance to get some match practice under her belt with victories over Alberta Brianti and Renata Voracova.

However, she was then eliminated by the relatively unknown Greta Arn, who continued her surprise tournament run by winning the Auckland event and is now 150/1 in the Australian Open odds.

Sharapova also unveiled a new outfit for the Australian Open last year with disastrous results and will be hopeful that this is not emulated again.

Not only was the costume criticised in the media, it was only worn once as she was dumped out of the tournament in the opening round by Maria Kirilenko.

A £25 bet on Justine Henin winning the Australian Open could see a return of £125. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.