Australian Open women’s singles semis: Konta collides with Kerber
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | January 27, 2016
2016 Australian Open
- Women’s singles semi-finals
- Thursday, January 28th
- Play scheduled to start: 01:00 GMT
- Melbourne Park, Melbourne
- Live on Eurosport 1 and 2
Konta up to career high ranking after Melbourne exploits
Aussie-born Great Britain representative Johanna Konta may be Coral’s 14/1 outsider to win the Grand Slam in the country of her birth, but a straight sets quarter-final victory over Chinese qualifier Shuai Zhang has moved her into the WTA’s top 30.
Up next for Konta at the Australian Open is Germany’s number seven seed and 5/1 tournament chance Angelique Kerber, who looks back to her 2011-12 vintage best after dumping two-time champion Victoria Azarenka out.
Both women will be brimming with confidence, and the winner of that semi will face either reigning champion Serena Williams (odds-on at 4/11 to retain) or fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska (7/1 shot).
First-time clash with Kerber
Losing a first round first set tiebreak apart, this tournament has been plain sailing for Kerber, and her higher ranking means she starts as odds-on 1/3 match favourite to end Konta’s sensational run.
To highlight her achievement, no British woman has made a Grand Slam semi since 1984 and it was 1977 when Sue Barker graced the final four in Melbourne.
Konta has claimed scalps en route to the business end of this tournament, most notably WTA number eights past and present in Ekaterina Makarova and Venus Williams, so going to the well one more time cannot be ruled out.
At 2/1 to reach the 2016 final, Konta is not without merit. Kerber has matched her best-ever Grand Slam displays at the 2011 US Open and Wimbledon the following year.
Konta is a nifty 9/2 price to come through in three sets, while her seeded opponent is an 11/4 alternative to record a 2-1 victory in their first-ever encounter.
Williams to roll over Radwanska
If history is any indicator, then Serena is facing a very straightforward semi against Poland’s top tennis pro Radwanska, who has only beaten her during the Hopman Cup team event.
The head-to-head record in WTA World Tour and Grand Slam matches is 8-0 to Williams, so it’s no wonder she starts as an overwhelming odds-on 1/7 match favourite.
All of the last five meetings have been on hard surfaces and Serena has routed Radwanska in straight sets every time. It is thus very difficult to see any other outcome, with Williams better value at 4/9 to win 2-0.
Radwanska has rarely been troubled en route to this semi-final fixture, but is a considerable 9/2 outsider to contest Grand Slam glory. The best the Pole can hope for is to win a set, and it’s 2/1 that the total number played is over 2.5.
Coral’s top tip: Patriotic punters have been rewarded by siding with Konta, so stick with her and take a tasty 2/1 on her reaching the Australian Open final.