Australian Open 2019 women's tips - Angelique Kerber on course for second title at Melbourne Park

Andrew Hendrie 9 Jan 2019
  • Tips for the 2019 Australian Open women's title
  • Back Angelique Kerber for the title
Angelique Kerber (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

The 2019 Australian Open is almost here and we’ve selected our best bet for the women’s title out of the top 10 bookies favourites.

Serena Williams


With so much depth on the WTA Tour at the moment, it comes as somewhat of a surprise to me that Serena is the overwhelming favourite to win an eighth Australian Open title. Unbeaten at Melbourne Park since losing the 2016 final to Angelique Kerber, Serena is chasing history in 2019, attempting to overtake Margaret Court and become the all-time record-holder of most singles majors won. The American certainly can’t be discounted - and she probably deserves favouritism considering she has made the last two slams finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open - but she only beat one top 10 player combined to do so, and there’s a lot of strong players capable of beating her these days.

Angelique Kerber


My personal pick for the title at this stage, the 2016 Australian Open champion has rebounded magnificently from her nightmare 2017 season and has firmly re-established herself as a genuine force of women’s tennis, returning to No. 2 in the world last year on the back of winning her third major at Wimbledon. Kerber was brilliant once again to launch her 2019 season at the Hopman Cup, winning all four singles matches, and at the time of writing, she’s trying to defend her title in Sydney. She’s a proven champion in Melbourne and is one of the form players in the world - expect Kerber to be very much in the conversation come the business end of the tournament.

Naomi Osaka


Anything could happen where Osaka is concerned - I wouldn’t be surprised at a first round exit or a run all the way to the title. The Japanese star was the undisputed breakout player of 2018, winning the U.S. Open and Indian Wells titles and comes into the tournament at a career-high ranking of No. 4 after reaching the Brisbane semi-finals last week. Osaka handled the pressure of being a major champion well after New York, performing well in Asia to close out the season, but I still get the feeling she’s going to be prone to some early defeats in big tournaments this year. Not a player I’d be confident backing at those odds.

Aryna Sabalenka


I’ve been predicting Sabalenka’s rise to the top of women’s tennis for the last few years now, and it happened with a bullet in 2018 as the 20-year-old won her first two WTA titles and conquered a string of top 10 players to finish the season inside the top 15. Sabalenka hasn’t wasted any time in adding to her achievements in 2019, winning her first title of the season last week in Shenzhen before an understandable opening round loss in Sydney after a quick turnaround. Armed with an explosive power game, Sabalenka is capable of beating anyone in the draw - and if she can survive the early rounds, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if she went all the way.

Simona Halep


No, it’s not a typo that the current World No. 1 is the fifth favourite for the Australian Open title. There’s a lot of question marks surrounding Halep as she arrives in Melbourne, including her back injury that forced her to miss the WTA Finals last season and the fact she’s without a coach following the departure of Darren Cahill for family reasons. Halep hasn’t won a match since August at the time of writing and didn’t play in the first week of the season. All things considered, it would be a big ask for the Romanian to replicate her run to the final 12 months ago.

Elina Svitolina


Svitolina ended 2018 on the highest of highs, registering five top 10 wins to capture the biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals Singapore. However, the Ukrainian has never played her best tennis at the slams, where she’s prone to big hitters in the early rounds, while she hasn’t always death with the pressure well. But, in saying that, Svitolina has an almost perfect balance of defence and attack when she’s playing well, and she’s proven in other tournaments that she can beat anyone. I think she’s a decent bet if she can work her way into the second week, but a lot will depend on the draw.

Sloane Stephens


Another one of those players, that when at top form, can potentially blitz a draw and defeat anyone in their path. Stephens has won a major title at the U.S. Open and finished runner-up at the French Open in the last two seasons, and I expect the American to make another big impact at a slam during some stage of 2019. But will that be at the Australian Open? Maybe. Stephens is one of those players that is always prone to early losses against lesser players in the first few rounds, but if she can make it to the second week, then look out…

Garbine Muguruza


It was a terrible year for Muguruza in 2018 as she dropped from the top three to outside the top 15, but the Spaniard will always remain one of the most dangerous players in any tournament she enters - and it’s for this reason, we can’t rule her out in Melbourne. Muguruza’s forehand let her down throughout 2018, with her best significant result a semi-final showing at Roland Garros. Muguruza has proven in the past she can come from nowhere to win slam titles, but pulling out of Sydney with illness isn’t the ideal preparation for the Australian Open - a tournament she’s never been past the quarter-finals of.

Petra Kvitova


Having failed to make it past the third round at the Australian Open since a semi-final run in 2012 - and with her poor record at the slams in 2018, it’s hard to see Kvitova going all the way and winning her third major title and first outside of Wimbledon. Putting it bluntly, Kvitova just can’t be trusted to produce her best tennis at the slams right now, with the Czech suffering two first and two third round exits across the four majors in 2018. A second loss in Brisbane to open the season also isn’t too promising. Would love to be proven wrong, but - depending on the draw of course - Kvitova is one of the top seeds who is on upset alert in the first week.

Caroline Wozniacki


Amazingly, the defending champion is barely on anybody’s radar when it comes to the 2019 Australian Open - and that’s probably for good reason. Wozniacki, bar a couple of tournaments here and there, wasn’t much of a factor for the rest of 2018 after winning her first major in Melbourne, while she’s also been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain, stiffness and problems with mobility. Arriving in Melbourne on the back of a second round defeat in Auckland, it would be an enormous shock if Wozniacki successfully defended her title.

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Australian Open 2019 women's tips - Angelique Kerber on course for second title at Melbourne Park

The 2019 Australian Open is almost here and we’ve selected our best bet for the women’s title out of the top 10 bookies favourites.

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