Australian Open: Look out for these outsiders in the months to come
It may be nearly three months away, but that hasn’t stopped Serena Williams’ position at the head of next year’s Australian Open market solidifying into 2/1.
But with injuries and dips in form commonplace in tennis, backing someone, even if it is Serena, at 2/1 looks a little foolish at this early stage.
Instead we have pinpointed a trio of outsiders that it could be worth following en route to Melbourne. And at big prices, it may be worth backing them now before any trimming of the available odds.
Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Agnieska Radwanska: The last three players the Russian defeated en route to the final last year boasts some pretty well know names.
And with Cibulkova still only 25, and more improvement still possible, there is plenty of reason to believe that this year was far from a flash in the pan.
The world number 13 seems to thrive on a hard court surface, with her last seven WTA final appearances coming on the court, as well as all four of her tournament victories.
She seems to thrive in the big competitions, having reached the quarter finals or better in all four Grand Slams already in her short career.
And with her previous year’s best earnings already doubled in 2014, she still looks on the upgrade.
When Li Na claimed this tournament in January she became the first winner in six years not to come via at least a semi final appearance in another tournament in Australia.
Angelique Kerber has a fine record in the Apia International Sydney, a perfect prep for the main event, having reached at least the semi finals in the last two seasons.
The German may not have got any further than the fourth round in Melbourne, but has shown glimpses of what she is capable of this year.
She may not have lifted a winner’s trophy in 2014, but four runner-up spots could stand her in a good place for a crack at glory in January.
The Pole seems to have been forgotten about in the betting market even though she is extremely consistent in the first Grand Slam of the calendar year.
You have to go back to 2010 for the last time Radwanska failed to reach the quarter finals at the Australian Open and we expect her to at least match that in 2015.
Like Kerber, she has performed well in the Sydney warm up tournament in recent years, and has enjoyed some big moments this season.
A win in the Rogers Cup in Montreal came after the former world number two defeated Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams and Sabine Lisicki on the way.
Expect the reliable 25-year-old to give you a run for your money at big early odds.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing