Baltacha to be sole British survivor on Australian Open day one
The state of women’s tennis in Britain has arguably never been stronger, with four players reaching the first round of the Australian Open.
Laura Robson is the only one of this foursome not in action on the opening day and it seems that only Elena Baltacha of the three to take to the court has a realistic chance of playing in round two.
Elena Baltacha to beat Stephanie Foretz Gacon @ 8/15
Baltacha may have lost both of her previous meetings with experienced French player Foretz Gacon, but the most recent of these was back in 2009.
She is now comfortably the highest placed of the two in the WTA rankings and has recently spoken of having enjoyed a productive few months training.
The prospect of a second-round showdown with Kim Clijsters will give her extra encouragement.
Victoria Azarenka to beat Heather Watson @ 1/33
Watson could arguably not have asked for a tougher first round against the winner of the Sydney International event and Azarenka is a serious contender to win the Australian Open.
The Brit has not been in bad form herself and is capable of making a game of it and there is a slight temptation to take the 11/2 that she can pinch a set in a 2-1 defeat.
Mona Barthel to beat Anna Keothavong @ 3/10
Keothavong has won two of her three previous matches with Barthel, but the German took a giant stride with a tournament victory in Hobert.
Barthel broke Yanina Wickmayer six times in the success despite entering the event as unseeded and if she brings this form to Melbourne, she will prove too much for Keothavong.
Barthel to win the match 2-0 also appeals in the set betting at 5/6.