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Williams the Australian Open fav after Flushing Meadows blitz

| 08.09.2014

A fearsome return to her best landed Serena Williams a seat at the table of tennis’ greats, as a 6-3, 6-3 win over Caroline Wozniacki secured her a sixth US Open title and her 18th career Grand Slam.

The 33-year-old now shares the same number of major tournament wins as Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert and is four short of equalling Steffi Graf’s Open era record of 22.

Having failed to pass the fourth round in any of the year’s previous three Slams, along with a worrying performance in the SW19 tournament’s doubles in which she had to be led from the court, a dominant Williams victory in New York looked uncertain.

However, that was exactly what was delivered, as the American went through the entire tournament never dropping more than three games in a set.

With the season’s Slam schedule now complete, Williams will perhaps allow herself a glass or two of something bubbly, before refocusing on her next target; the Australian Open.

Unsurprisingly, and in what now seems a tennis ritual, Venus’ sister has been placed at the head of the betting at 9/4. After such a display of authority, it’s hard to argue that anyone will be able to stop Williams in Melbourne next year, but it’s worth a try.

Two players with a recent affinity for the first Slam of the year are Victoria Azarenka and Li Na.

The Belarusian won the tournament in 2012, before defending her crown the following year. Her 2014 has been disrupted by injury but she’ll be eyeing a solid start to next year’s festivities, with her 6/1 price a sizeable carrot for supporters.

Li Na missed the US Open with a knee injury but is the defending Australian Open champion, having sealed the title with a thumping victory over Dominika Cibulkova.

The 32-year-old has also reached the Australian Open final twice previously and lost, so has particular pedigree. She can be backed to win at 8s.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.