With the news that Laura Robson is set to miss out on the Australian Open through injury, British tennis fans have been left seemingly rudderless when it comes to finding a viable contender to support for the Melbourne crown with Heather Watson a rank outsider at 200/1.
But help may be at hand in the form of one young lady hailing from a far-away country that at least shares one thing with these shores – Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state.
There can be little doubt that Canadian Eugenie Bouchard had a 2014 to remember.
At just 20 years of age, the Montreal-born right-hander established herself in the WTA top 10, rising as high as fifth at one point.
And it all started in Australia, where the youngster defied the odds and her seeming inexperience to reach the semi-finals of the Melbourne major, losing out to eventual 2014 champions Li Na.
She repeated the feat at the French Open, going all the way to the final four before Maria Sharapova fought back from a set down to progress.
Even better was to follow at Wimbledon with Bouchard once again defying the odds to reach the final where she ultimately ran out of steam losing in straight sets to the more experience Petra Kvitova who picked up her second SW19 title in the process.
A fourth round exit at the US Open may have been somewhat disappointing in comparison but it still capped a remarkable year for Bouchard and one that sets her up nicely for another tilt at the Australian title.
Currently 14/1 with Ladbrokes to win Down Under, the Canadian looks a great each-way tip to go at least one match better than last year.
And while Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova represent the familiar favourites for success at 2/1 and 7/1 respectively, we know where our money is going.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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