Even though she is unseeded at the Australian Open, Sabine Lisicki would have liked something easier than facing a former world number one in the opening round in Melbourne.
However, punters wanting a run for their money at a big price could do far worse than side with Lisicki at a monster 125/1 in the Australian Open betting.
Many of the biggest names in women’s tennis are struggling for form or have injuries and there seems little obvious competition to Serena Williams, who herself is a tremendous price for victory at 10/11.
Maria Sharapova has played little of late because of a collarbone problem, Petra Kvitova has lost seven of her last 10 matches and Angelique Kerber has a general dreadful record when facing the big guns.
Lisicki has one of the best serves on the WTA circuit and this makes her a major threat, regardless of the fact that she tends to produce her best on grass.
The draw could have been kinder to the German as she will open up against Caroline Wozniacki.
But the girlfriend of Rory McIlroy has lost two of her three matches thus far in 2013 and appears to be struggling for consistency and confidence in her forehand.
An opener against big-hitting Lisicki is unlikely to provide the necessary opportunity to build up these areas.
Lisicki would also have to potentially run through current world number one Victoria Azarenka and Williams just to reach the final, but is capable of posing problems on a given day.
She certainly should not be treble the price of Sam Stosur, who usually bottles it when playing at home, losing six of her last seven matches in Australia, and Venus Williams, who remains far short of her best despite a recent run of hard-fought victories at the Hopman Cup.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date