After two weeks of action in the heat of Melbourne, the 2016 Australian Open has reached its climax. World number one Serena Williams of USA will be up against the seventh seed from Germany Angelique Kerber for the first Grand Slam of the year. In the battle between experience and surprise, who will come out trumps?
Serena is nothing short of a superstar attraction in the Women’s draw. It is safe to say that most of the pre-tournament bets would have been placed on her lifting the title. True to the expectations, she marched into the finals almost unchallenged.
The only real challenge was in the first round where she was a little stretched by Camila Giorgi. Truth be told, it was a performance that was more of an understatement of Serena’s preparation than the capabilities of Giorgi. Beyond that, Serena was never tested properly in the tournament.
Her old rival Maria Sharapova couldn’t even pull a set off Serena. But Serena's best was reserved for the semi-final against Agnieszka Radwanska. As always, she looks good to lift the trophy unless beaten by her own self. Serena loves the big stage, though, and has not lost in Melbourne whenever she has reached a final.
Kerber, meanwhile, has made to her first Grand Slam Final and was aided by a lopsided bottom draw. She also becomes the first German since 1996 to reach the Australian Open final. She has plenty of experience in the circuit and is regarded a highly tenacious player.
Kerber’s route to the finals somehow mirrored that of Serena’s. The German was on the brink of a first round exit against Misaki Doi but pulled all stops to come out of it successfully. From there, she grew from strength to strength brushing aside opponents easily. Her quarters win against Victoria Azarenka would easily be her best performance in a Grand Slam.
The German has experience of winning against Serena having done so at the 2012 WTA Cincinatti, at the peak of Serena’s game. That, however, is a one-off occasion as she couldn’t take even a set off Serena in their remaining five clashes.
Prediction: Serena to win
It is tough to see how Serena can miss out on the title – especially since she adores the big stage and the grand slam finals. Don’t be surprised if she bagels Kerber in one set too. Obviously there isn’t much value on Serena’s win but if Kerber can take a set off her (odds of $4.50 by William Hill) it could be a mini surprise. Consider backing Kerber to surprise with a set.
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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