Australian Open Daily Tips: Sharapova can edge noisiest final

Sean Calvert is turning down the volume for the women's final in Melbourne on Saturday but are there any betting opportunities that are crying out to be snapped up?

Andy Murray's Australian Open came to an end in thrilling fashion on Day 12 in Melbourne, although he managed to down one our bets in the process.

Novak Djokovic wasn't able to close the match out in four as predicted, but he cruised over the -2.5 game handicap mark, so it was one from two yesterday.

What effect the five hour battle will have on Djokovic's fitness in the final remains to be seen, but that's for another day. First it's the women's final.

In what is set to be a noisy clash of two of the game's most notorious shriekers, Maria Sharapova takes on first time Slam finalist, Victoria Azarenka.

The twist in this one is that the winner will gain the world number one ranking, so there's plenty at stake and it'll be a great story for whoever comes out on top.

This is a tough match to call, but the early money has come in for Azarenka who is around 1.774/5 to win her first Slam crown.

But I can't back the Belarusian at that price and instead I'll take a chance that the Sharapova serve can hold out, because if it does I like the Russian's chances.

It should be a final full of big hitting and the winner will be the one who produces fewer unforced errors, which really is a matter of who handles the occasion better and you would think that would be Sharapova.

The head-to-head between these two stands at 3-3, but it's not overly relevant in this one, as this is the first really big match they've contested together and the first for a while with Sharapova fully fit and Azarenka as a genuine Slam contender.

This will be Maria's sixth Slam final and she currently has a 3-2 record, which will obviously stand her in good stead for this, her third Australian Open final.

Each player will be ratcheting the noise up to the maximum as both these determined characters strive for that number one spot and neither will give an inch - the only question mark is how well Vika will cope with her Slam final debut.

Slight favouritism is for Maria, in that her mental strength is beyond question, but I think this will be close and I can see the women's final going to a decider for the third straight year.

The price on that is around 2.226/5 and I think that's probably the best strategy, although I'm tempted by the 2-1 Sharapova win at 4.84/1.

Whatever happens, I'll be watching it on mute as it will surely be the noisiest women's final on record.

Recommended Bet
Back three sets at 2.226/5

Follow Sean on Twitter @seancalvert1

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