Australian Open Women's Betting: Value bets from the post Serena market

Eugenie Bouchard looks like good value at 38.0

With the Aussie Open now at the quarter-final stage, the women's draw looks wide open following the exits of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. With a keen eye on value, Gary Boswell makes an argument for backing the three longest price players...

"Pennetta plays that high forehand side smash from the lobbed back ball with deadly accuracy and was impressive in her last-16 match up against Angelique Kerber. She plays Na Li next and, given how closely matched they are, the Italian is tremendous value at 4.84/1 to win the game."

I couldn't have predicted that it would be Ana Ivanovic who knocked out Serena Williams in Melbourne, but I figured somebody would, and so we have a nice open last eight if you don't subscribe to the view that Victoria Azarenka is now nailed on to make it three in a row.

The Belarussian is an understandable 2.245/4 favourite in the outright market and she does look to have an outstanding chance of making the final now with plus back records against all those remaining in the bottom half of the draw. But she doesn't like the heat and is eminently beatable so I won't be getting involved at those prices.

A possible fly in the ointment for Azarenka is Dominika Cibulkova who beat her convincingly last time they played in the 2012 French Open. That was on clay of course and Azarenka is a different kettle of fish on the hard court.

Even so, Cibulkova was very impressive in getting past Maria Sharapova and she is the quarter-final value bet at around 2.56/4 to see off Simona Halep. Her outright price of 34.033/1 is also distinct value, for a trade at least.

Not so much so, however, as the 60.059/1 you can get on Flavia Pennetta to go all the way. The Italian has long been on my list to win a hard court slam - in the same way that Marion Bartoli was to win Wimbledon - and I'm starting to think this could be her year.

Along with Na Li, she represents the biggest threat to Azarenka now as both excel on the surface and both also have a very combatant head-to-head record with the Belarussian.

Pennetta plays that high forehand side smash from the lobbed back ball with deadly accuracy and was impressive in her last-16 match up against Angelique Kerber. She plays Na Li next and, given how closely matched they are, the Italian is tremendous value at 4.84/1 to win the game. 

Another big price that appeals from a trading perspective is the 38.037/1 about Eugenie Bouchard, who hasn't had to beat much yet but is undoubtedly the rising young star on the circuit.

She plays Serena conqueror Ana Ivanovic next and can be fancied for that, at a good price of 3.39/4. Bouchard beat the Serbian at Wimbledon last year and also took a set off Serena in their 2013 match up. She is the future of the game and this could well be her breakthrough tournament. 

Recommended Bets

Quarter-finals:

Back Dominika Cibulkovat to beat Simona Halep at 2.56/4
Back Flavia Pennetta to beat Na Li at 4.84/1
Back Eugenie Bouchard to beat Ana Ivanovic at 3.39/4

Back-to-lay outright bets:

Back Dominika Cibulkova at 34.033/1
Back Eugenie Bouchard at 38.037/1
Back Flavia Pennetta at 60.059/1

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