The 2020 Australian Open is right around the corner and while the men’s side of things seems like it’s Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or bust, the women’s side is much more wide open. We know that Serena Williams has been consistent in grand slams recently but she’s mostly just making deep runs; she hasn’t won a grand slam since 2017. She’s the favorite Down Under but is she the right bet in this spot or is there value with someone else?
The favorites for the 2020 Australian Open include Williams (+400 at PointsBet), Naomi Osaka (+650), Ashleigh Barty (+750), Simona Halep (+1000), Karolina Pliskova (+1100) and Aryna Sabalenka (+1400). Those are the only players on the board that are inside of 15/1.
The first three are the front runners but it’s hard to trust any of them. As mentioned, Williams makes deep runs but who knows if she can finally seal the deal? As for Barty, she’s the No. 1 seed but she hasn’t been past the quarters Down Under since 2013. She’s just 11-6 all-time at the Australian Open. That’s hard to trust. As for Osaka, she’s the defending champ but who knows what we’ll get from her? She started 2019 with a bang, then experienced a lull midseason and then seemingly found her game again once her dad took over as coach.
In terms of current form, Williams just beat up on a bunch of cupcakes en route to the ASB Classic win, Barty lost in the first round at the Brisbane International but bounced back and is in the final at the Adelaide International while Osaka lost in the semis to Pliskova at Brisbane.
Looking further down the list, Halep is a wild card as she made it to the fourth round last year and the finals in 2018, but she lost in the first round in 2016 and 2017. This is not her best surface or grand slam. With Sabalenka, she’s never made it past the fourth round at any grand slam, so I’m not on board here. As for Pliskova, she made it to the semis last year and the quarters in the two years prior. She’s probably the best bet from the longer shots.
What’s The Best Bet?
PointsBet has a good variety of props on the board, so I’ll go with Williams to reach the final (instead of winning the entire tournament) at +225. Then I’ll also take a shot with Pliskova to win her quarter at +300. She’ll have to go through Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Marketa Vondrousova, which seems manageable.
The Long Shots
2019 was a bit of an aberration as we saw two repeat grand slam champions. Typically, on the women’s side, it’s a complete crapshoot as all sorts of new winners are breaking through. If I had to pick someone from the longer shots, I’d take a flier on Belinda Bencic at +3300.
The last time we saw Bencic at a grand slam, she was playing in the semifinals at the 2019 U.S. Open. She was 22-7 on the hard courts last season – clearly, her best surface – and the 22-year-old is a player on the rise. I wouldn’t be surprised if she pulled this out.
If you’re looking for an even longer shot, consider Danielle Collins at +3500. She was a semifinalist at the Aussie Open last year and she comes in with a ton of momentum. She upset Svitolina, Sofia Kenin, Yulia Putintseva and Bencic in Australian Open warmup tournaments. She could be primed for a deep run.