Australian Open Women's Betting: Azarenka's eyes are on the prize

Azarenka to cruise to semi...
Azarenka to cruise to semi...

With Bouchard and Li securing their places in the semi-finals, Abelson Info look at the bottom half of the draw to see who will be joining them there...

'While Radwanska will have her moments in this one, Azarenka has looked utterly dominant thus far as she has yet to drop a set as she goes in search of a third consecutive title in Melbourne.'

It's over to Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday as she looks to avoid a scenario of all three top seeds failing to reach the last four. The second seed looked comfortable in her victory over Sloane Stephens last time out, and history does favour her ahead of her clash with Agnieszka Radwanska.

The Belarusian ace has beaten her rival in 12 of their previous 15 meetings, and she will be looking to make it an eighth straight win on Wednesday.

For those looking to back Radwanska, her last win over the world number two came back in 2011 in Tokyo, while Azarenka won their Australian Open meeting in 2012 and has won the last five matches in straight sets. While Radwanska will have her moments in this one, Azarenka has looked  utterly dominant thus far as she has yet to drop a set as she goes in search of a third consecutive title in Melbourne.

Taking all of that into consideration, it is no surprise that the defending champion has been installed as a huge favourite to prevail, and so the value lies elsewhere in the set betting and games markets.

In contrast, the other quarter-final on Wednesday isn't so clear cut, as Dominika Cibulkova will look to extend what has been a remarkable week and a half. Third seed Maria Sharapova was her latest victim, as she fought back from a set down to send the Russian star crashing out of the tournament, while it had all been relatively straight forward prior to that for the world number 24.

She puts her success down to a strong pre-season back in December, and appears to be reaping the benefits. She will be keen to avoid repeating Ivanovic's fate who failed to follow up her big performance against Serena Williams.

Cibulkova is full of confidence having made this stage of the Australian Open for the first time in her career, and she could be worthy of an investment.

However, standing in her way is 11th seed Simona Halep, who is also enjoying a solid tournament and was able to overcome Jelena Jankovic in the last round to reach the first Grand Slam quarter-final of her career.

It was a remarkable second half of the 2013 season for the Romanian star, who went from May through to the end of the year with 43 wins from 51 matches as she saw herself rocket up the rankings whilst picking up a few WTA titles along the way.

Cibulkova did however get the better of her at Indian Wells last year in a really tight contest, and considering the level at which both are playing at right now, this should be another close one to call.
Recommended Bets:
Back Azarenka -4.5 Games @ 1.618/13
Back Cibulkova to beat Halep 2-1 @ 5.49/2

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