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Sharapova and Wozniacki grace Rod Laver arena on Monday

| 16.01.2011

Monday presents day one of the first Grand Slam of the season, and the women’s half of the draw sees seven of the pre-tournament favourites in action.

With the women’s draw being so open thanks to stars like Maria Sharapova (14) and Justine Henin (11) being seeded high, punters can expect to see plenty of top quality tennis on the opening day of the Australian Open.

Sharapova will open her challenge on Rod Laver arena against Tamarine Tanasugarn, and the American is 1/9 to win and 4/11 to win by two sets to nil before Caroline Wozniacki takes to the court to face Gisela Dulko.

Wozniacki is the 7/1 third favourite to win the Australian Open but faces a potentially tricky tie against Argentine Dulko in a match she is 1/8 to win.

Dulko’s favoured surface is clay and this is the reason she is as big as 9/2 to beat the world number one, and Wozniacki holds a 2-1 head-to head record over Dulko, inclusdng a win in the 2008 Australian Open.

Dulko has been pretty poor on the hard courts this season and Wozniacki should progress easily – she is 2/5 to win 2-0.

Venus Williams also opens her Australian Open challenge on Monday and is a 16/1 chance to win the tournament – however Venus has never won a tournament in which her sister Serena hasn’t featured in.

Sara Errani is up against Venus and is could provide the first upset at 7/2 to beat Williams following her quarter-final appearance in Hobart three days ago.

Williams is 1/6 to beat Errani but it’s a tough first round match and Errani is the value at 7/1 to win 2-1.

Na Li (1/10 to beat Sofia Arvidsson), Francesca Schiavonne (1/9 to beat Arantxa Parra Santonja) and Victoria Azarenka are also in action in Melbourne on Monday.

A £25 stake on Wozniacki winning the Australian Open would return £200. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.