Ray Flanagan with Womens Australian Open Picks
Karolina Pliskova has been one of the most consistent players on tour over the past couple of seasons and may get her just rewards with a first Major victory in Melbourne. She poste an excellent tournament last year reaching the semi finals (just losing a classic match with Osaka) and arguably has the pick of the draw this time around (on paper anyway) with a relatively manageable route to the semis again.
She displayed good recent form winning in Brisbane and I expect her to make a solid run for the title.
Of the outsiders perhaps the Swiss Belinda Bencic is worth consideration. In a game dominated by power hitters nowadays, Bencic is a player who offers variety with her ability to mix it up and hit interesting angles. She posted a fine effort at Flushing Meadows last September losing narrowly in the semi final. Although well beaten in her third match of the recent warm up event, that tournament should sharper her and she is worth a small play at big odds.
2 pts ew- Karolina Pliskova- 11-1 bet 365- 1/2 odds 1-2
1 pt ew- Belinda Bencic-33-1 General- 1/2 odds 1-2