Australian Open women’s singles round 2: Radwanska meets Bouchard
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | January 19, 2016
2016 Australian Open
- Women’s singles round two
- Wednesday, January 20th
- Play scheduled to start: 00:00 GMT
- Melbourne Park, Melbourne
- Live on Eurosport 1 and 2
Radwanska and Bouchard battle as several seeds drop out
There have already been plenty of shock early exits at the 2016 Australian Open in the women’s singles, with world number two Simona Halep joining Sara Errani, Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Stosur, Sloane Stephens, Andrea Petkovic and Venus Williams all bowing out at the first hurdle.
It only serves to increase the chances of defending champion Serena Williams winning for the sixth time in Melbourne, and she is now 9/4 (from 5/2) with Coral to add yet another Grand Slam to her massive haul of major honours.
The tie of the second round in the top half of the women’s draw is undoubtedly a battle between Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard and fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, with the Pole a 16/1 shot to take this title.
Maria Sharapova (9/1 outright), Petra Kvitova (14/1) and Swiss teenage sensation Belinda Bencic (20/1) will all also be in action on day three of the Australian Open.
Serena should ease past Su-Wei
With the one remaining Williams sister seemingly set for further Grand Slam glory, an encounter with doubles specialist Hsiei Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei should be straightforward for Serena.
It’s a first-ever meeting between the two, but Williams is an overwhelming odds-on 1/33 match favourite to send Su-Wei home. That becomes a better price of 1/7 if you side with Serena for victory in straight sets.
A hundred places in the WTA world rankings separate fifth seed Sharapova from her second round opponent, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.
Doing well to knock out the Russian’s compatriot Evgeniya Rodina, Sasnovich should see her progress checked by 1/20 match favourite Sharapova, who is better at 1/5 to win 2-0.
Future stars Babos and Bencic collide
While much is expected of Bencic, her next assignment is against another bright young thing in Hungary’s Timea Babos. This could be the first of many meetings between the two.
Precocious talent Bencic starts as a strong odds-on 1/4 match favourite, but Babos is a terrific 3/1 chance to stop the Swiss starlet from shining at the Australian Open.
Babos battled back from a set down to defeat Great Britain’s Heather Watson, and similar qualities to dig deep could stand her in good stead against Bencic, who is far from the finished product.
An attractive 11/4 price says Bencic will come through and win 2-1, however, and there is no doubting the massive talent that Swiss tennis have on their hands here.
Radwanska and Kvitova should progress
Last season saw 2014 Wimbledon finalist Bouchard flop horribly, with first round exits at the French Open and grass Grand Slam. She now meets Radwanska, who has also been a runner-up at the All-England Club, but the Polish player is a firm favourite for victory at 2/9.
That is because Bouchard fell in straight sets to Radwanska in their only previous meeting at the Madrid Masters. A repeat of that for Radwanska is an 8/13 chance here.
Sixth seed Kvitova, meanwhile, faces Melbourne resident Daria Gavrilova, and has beaten her in three sets before. Backing a repeat of this at 8/11 is better than the 2/7 on offer for the dual Wimbledon winner from the Czech Republic for victory in this match.
Coral’s top tip: Bencic is awesome at 11/4 to beat Babos 2-1.