Having won more games on hard courts in 2013 than in any other year of her career, Serena Williams enters the WTA Championships in Istanbul in the finest of form.
Given that whenever she enters a tournament in any sort of form it usually spells bad news for her opposition, the rest of the field in the Turkish capital will surely be wary of the American, who has won 40 of her 43 matches on the hard stuff this year and 28 of her last 29.
Facing Angelique Kerber in the first of the round robin matches in the Red Group, Williams is as short as 1/10 to see off the German, and just 3/10 to win in straight sets.
Those odds might not appeal too much, but the 8/13 on Serena winning the tournament for a second successive year should be snapped up before it disappears.
The world No. 1’s closest challenger Victoria Azarenka – who is 4/6 to win a White Group containing Na Li, Jelena Jankovic and Sara Errani – is 4/1 to go one better than her 2011 showing and win the tournament, but the Belarusian has lost her last three matches heading to Turkey, including defeats to both Williams sisters.
Venus isn’t in attendance here, but if she is tuning in then she is likely to see her sibling dominate a Red Group that unsurprisingly contains three players that she can boast healthy winning records against.
Serena is as short as 1/5 to win her round robin section, which as well as Kerber also contains Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska.
In 11 matches against both Kvitova and Radwanska, the 17-time Grand Slam winner has been victorious in all 11, yet another reason why the 8/13 on her winning this tournament won’t last.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication