Williams to take Sharapova set stars in Australian Open accumulator

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Heather Watson is sure to perform better than when only winning two games against Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon last year, but we have left this game out of our day five Australian Open accumulator.

What is included is a focus on undoubtedly the biggest clash of the third round in the women’s draw as Maria Sharapova faces Venus Williams, with this one of five selections combining for a 17/1 payout.

Sharapova has been in irresistible form thus far, becoming the first player since Wendy Turnbull in 1985 to win consecutive Grand Slam matches without dropping a game.

This run is almost certain to end against Williams, who can compete blow-for-blow from the baseline and is arguably a better mover than Sharapova.

Williams marginally leads the head-to-head record between the pair and has been playing well enough in Melbourne to at least take one set in the match.

Also in the women’s draw, Marion Bartoli is not the force of old at the moment, but it cannot be overlooked that she has only lost a combined four games in her two career victories over Ekaterina Makarova.

Meanwhile, Jie Zheng can follow up on dumping out Sam Stosur with another slight underdog success over Julia Goerges, who did not have to play particularly well to see off Romina Oprandi in round two.

Zheng is also unbeaten in her two career meetings with the German.

Over with the men and Tomas Berdych can run through Jurgen Melzer in straight sets, as he did in their only showdown in the last five years in Shanghai.

He is also yet to drop a set in reaching the third round here.

The final pick is Nicolas Almagro to beat Jerry Janowicz, who has to be feeling it after a marathon round-two triumph over India’s Somdev Devvarman and may struggle to get the full benefit of his dangerous serve on what is a fairly slow surface.

Australian Open selections
Nicolas Almagro to beat Jerzy Janowicz @ 4/9
Marion Bartoli to beat Ekaterina Makarova @ 8/13
Tomas Berdych to beat Jurgen Melzer 3-0 @ 8/11
Venus Williams to win at least one set v Maria Sharapova @ 1/1
Jie Zheng to beat Julia Goerges @ 6/5

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

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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.