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Joe Champion's Australian Open Women's Outright Tips

The 2024 WTA Tour season is in its infancy but the campaign quickly ramps up to a white-hot intensity with the first of the four Grand Slams, the Australian Open, which begins at Melbourne Park in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Australian Open Women's Outright Tips

Aryna Sabalenka to win the Australian Open @ 9/2
Jessica Pegula to win the Australian Open @ 14/1
Emma Navarro to win first quarter @ 66/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…

The ATP's 'big three' have dominated the men's Australian Open over the last two decades and now an elite quartet of WTA Tour players are threatening to do the same in the women's game.

Iga Swiatek, the reigning world no.1 and French Open champion, is 9/4 to win the Australian Open title for the first time but the betting suggests she will face fierce competition from defending champion Aryna Sabalenka at 9/2.

Elena Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion and a Melbourne finalist last season, is 9/2 to take the title while the most recent Grand Slam winner, Coco Gauff, is 6/1 to claim back-to-back top-tier titles following her US Open victory.

It's 14/1 bar the new 'big four' but there are a number of potential contenders from further down the list including returning two-time winner Naomi Osaka, teenage prodigy Mirra Andreeva and maybe even Britain's Emma Raducanu.

Aryna Sabalenka to win the Australian Open - 9/2

Sabalenka came of age in Melbourne a year ago, coming from behind to see off Rybakina 4-6 6-3 6-4 in a ding-dong final contest, and there is every chance that the Belarusian will double up over the next fortnight.

While Sabalenka has to cope with defending a Grand Slam for the first time, she wore her champion status like a badge of honour throughout last season, showing up over and over again in the biggest events and reaching the last four of each of the four Slams.

Her once-questionable temperament appears to be under control and it will be a huge surprise if she's not there at the business end to potentially trouble Swiatek, who has landed in a tough section which includes a first-round tie with 2020 champ Sofia Kenin.

Joe Champion's Tip

Rybakina might've got the better of her handily in the recent Brisbane final but there's no doubting that Sabelenka's main focus in pre-season would've been on peaking for the defence of her Australian Open crown.

The Belarusian has a kind draw in Melbourne - she doesn't look likely to face a serious test until the last-16 stage at the earliest - and she's proven herself to be at her most effective on these quick courts.
 

Jessica Pegula to win the Australian Open - 14/1

Rybakina has shortened up too much following a strong start to the season while Gauff could run into Osaka in the last-16 so the next best bet comes in the form of Jessica Pegula, who has a better chance than the odds suggest.

The American enjoyed a superb 2023 campaign, winning titles in Canada and South Korea and, most importantly in this context, earning wins over top-five rivals Swiatek (twice), Gauff (twice), Rybakina and Sabalenka.

There is some perception of the New Yorker as an also-ran who is unable to progress beyond Grand Slam quarter-finals but she should be brimming with self-belief following those exploits against elite rivals.

Joe Champion's Tip

The aggressive, counter-punching Pegula knows she can beat the best and she won't be scared should she meet Rybakina in the semi-finals having seen off the Kazakhstani in three of their four previous clashes.

Emma Navarro to win the first quarter - 66/1

Emma Navarro might not be the most familiar seeded name in the women's draw but the American, a product of the collegiate system which produced 2022 runner-up Danielle Collins, could also spring a huge surprise.

Should Swiatek slip-up, the first quarter looks wide open and Navarro, quietly climbing up the WTA Tour rankings over the last 12 months, is one who may take advantage for quarter-betting purposes.

Joe Champion's Tip

A Grand Slam title is likely to prove beyond Navarro at this stage of her career but the aggressive 22-year-old, who is on the verge of a top-30 debut following a run to the semi-finals in Hobart, is making rapid strides and could go a long way from a section which features a vulnerable Marketa Vondrousova.

Joe Champion's Australian Open Women's Outright Tips

Aryna Sabalenka to win the Australian Open @ 9/2
Jessica Pegula to win the Australian Open @ 14/1
Emma Navarro to win first quarter @ 66/1

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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