There is little doubt that Serena Williams is a worthy favourite to win the Australian Open, but at 10/11 for victory, punters may not fancy backing her at odds-on.
Williams has not lost in 17 matches, since being beaten by Angelique Kerber in Cincinnati last year prior to the US Open.
She has retained her invincible form into 2013, by steam-rollering her way to the Brisbane International title, dropping just 17 games in the process.
Meanwhile, the fact that her leading competition Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova have had their injury problems in the build up to the Australian Open only heightens Williams’ prospects.
Azarenka blamed a bad pedicure for the infected toe that caused her to miss a semi final with Williams in Brisbane, while Sharapova didn’t even make it this far because of a collarbone complaint.
Both should have sufficiently recovered to play in the opening Grand Slam of the year, but it is hard to see either disposing of Williams if shy of their best.
This is not something that can be said of Agnieszka Radwanska, who has started 2013 in blistering form with victories in all eight of her matches.
She is also yet to drop a set in winning the ASB Classic in Auckland and now reaching the final of the Sydney International, where she picked up a valuable success over Na Li in the last four.
This was significant as she had lost each of her last three showdowns with Li and all four previously to have taken place on hard courts.
Radwanska is 20/1 to win the Australian Open and this must be classed a decent each-way price, especially if she can avoid being in Williams’ half of the draw.
The Pole has lost all of her four career meetings with Williams, but did break new ground when taking her opponent to three sets at Wimbledon.
Furthermore, she proved against Li that she is in the form to snap winless streaks, so she may just be able to achieve something similar against Williams in any case.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date