MARK Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) takes a look at the Women's Australian Open Final for us. But what's he backing?
Serena Williams v Angelique Kerber | Saturday 08:30 | Eurosport
Serena Williams goes into her seventh Australian Open final looking to maintain her 100% final record here and draw level with Steffi Graf's 22 Slam titles.
She's best priced just 1/6 and given the cumulative prices of her seven matches is only 21/20, it makes an absolute mockery of the 7/2 pre-tournament odds.
I'm gutted not to have backed arguably the greatest women's player ever at such huge odds but as mentioned at the time, she had played just once match since September in which she retired injured just weeks before here so it would have been hard to justify a proper bet.
However, she has played one of her best tournaments in recent memory. She's yet to drop a set, had none of her in-game meltdowns/crisis of confidence and been absolutely formidable.
Angelique Kerber arrives in her first Grand Slam Final having efficiently disposed of her opponents. Despite having to save match point in the 1st round, she has dropped just one set and impressively overturned a 0-6 head-to-head record in defeating the tournaments second favourite Viktoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals.
However, she's been rather fortunate with the draw having only had to face world number 47, 49, 55, 61 and 64 outside of Vika with big threats in her half of Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams, Karolina Pliskova, Madison Keys and Ekaterina Makarova all falling early.
The head-to-head between these two stands at 5-1 in Serena's favour with Kerber's only victory in 2012 on the quick courts of Cincinnati. Serena's wins have all been in straight sets and on average by 6.4 games.
With the form she's displaying I'm expecting another impressive victory. Her serve has been immaculate picking up tonnes of free points, winning 83% of her 1st serves (139 of 167) firing down 46 aces.
Other than perhaps Azarenka for stages, there isn't anyone in the game that can deal with Serena's power and shot making ability and Kerber's second serve and weaker backhand side looks vulnerable in this matchup.
Unsurprisingly the bet for me is Serena -5.5 games at 5/6. This bet has won comfortably in five of her six matches here winning on average by 7.8 games.
Serena Williams v Angelique Kerber – Serena Williams -5.5 Games (5/6 Boylesports)
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