Samantha Stosur’s form has been slightly disappointing heading into her home Grand Slam and looking back through recent history, her seeding also leaves her with a mountain to climb to win the Australian Open.
Stosur has made great strides up the singles ranks in recent years, firstly making the final of the French Open in 2010 when losing to Francesca Schiavone before winning the US Open last year.
However, it is a victory in the Australian Open that would most appeal to Stosur, with Chris O’Neal the last home female to win in Melbourne in 1978.
She heads into the event as one of the favourites despite never previously having made it beyond the fourth round, but based on current form, Stosur may find things difficult to please the home crowd routing for her success.
The pressure of playing at home may have already impacted her play in losing to Iveta Benesova in the second round in Brisbane, while she then fell at the first hurdle in Sydney against nemesis Schiavone again.
As a result, she clearly has not enjoyed the court time she would have hoped before arriving at Melbourne and will need to find a quick remedy to her poor form.
But even if this is achieved, the curse of the number six seed may hinder her chances of Australian Open success.
The last time that this particular seed in the women’s draw reached the final in Melbourne was Mary Joe Fernandez in 1990, while no female has won from this position in the draw since prior to the 1970s.
Therefore, it seems improbable that Stosur will prevail in the Australian Open odds at 12/1.
Instead, punters looking for value away from the favourites could do worse than opt for either of 50/1 duo Schiavone or Jelena Jankovic.