Australian Open women’s singles final: Williams to topple Kerber
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 29, 2016
2016 Australian Open
Williams out to match Graf Grand Slam record
Serena Williams once again prepares for a final on the big stage, and she is bidding not only to defend her Australian Open crown for her seventh title Down Under, but also aiming to equal the great Steffi Graf’s Grand Slam record.
The American is just one away from the great Graf’s total of 22 singles trophies and three behind all-time leader Margaret Court, and incidentally faces another German, Angelique Kerber, to achieve that feat.
Coral rate Williams as the odds-on 1/7 favourite for a number of reasons, but mainly because this is her 28-year-old opponent’s first ever Grand Slam appearance. Kerber has reached semis before, but as this is uncharted territory for her, she is a 9/2 outsider.
On top of that, this duo have met six times before, with Williams winning five and each of the last four since 2012. All her victories have come in straight sets, including their only Grand Slam tussle back at the 2007 US Open, and she is still odds-on at 4/9 to triumph 2-0 again.
Kerber to put in better showing
Kerber, though, has had a terrific tournament, with her only serious scare in the first round against Japan’s Misaki Doi after going a set behind. However, she has since defeated many people’s pre-tournament title shout Victoria Azarenka and also broke British hearts by beating Johanna Konta in the semi-finals – both with relative ease.
Therefore, the German is a more tempting 2/1 to take the match to over 2.5 sets for the first time in their total head-to-heads on Rod Laver Arena.
For more niche betting, Williams, who has dropped no sets and just 26 games during her run to the final, is an enticing 4/1 to win the first set 6-3, having done so twice before. She has also claimed the second 6-1 on two occasions, which is priced at 5/1.
Their last duel, and only final meeting, did begin with a tie-break in favour of Williams at the 2014 Stanford Classic, and odds of 4/1 say any set will go the distance once more.
Coral’s top tip: Although this duo have battled out six two-setters from as many matches, with Williams winning five of them, back the American at 3/1 to triumph 2-1 this time around.