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Jan 13, 2022

Australian Open 2022: WTA Women's Singles preview

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Australian Open 2022: WTA Women's Singles preview

With the tennis tour getting back to its usual scheduling, the Australian Open Women’s Singles event gets started on Monday, January 17. Read on to inform your Australian Open 2022 predictions.

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Australian Open 2022: The changing conditions to have an effect?

With the tennis tour getting back to its usual scheduling, the Australian Open Women’s Singles event gets started on Monday, January 17. 

Prior to last year’s Australian Open, the discussion focused on the impact of Covid-19, with many players having far from ideal build-ups to the event.  While Covid is still a topic of discussion, the focus this year has been on the Men’s tournament with the continuing saga around Novak Djokovic at the forefront of media interest.

The weather forecast in Melbourne over the next week or so is pretty mixed and unlikely to be as warm as it often can be at this time of year.  In fact, there’s some rain forecast for the latter part of next week, so we could well see some interruptions to the second round matches as the tournament develops. 

The conditions on court are likely to be pretty quick. The historical Service Points Won Percentage at Melbourne Park is regularly above the WTA hard court mean at around 56.5%, while the Aces Per Game count is also similarly reflective of quicker conditions.

This should benefit strong servers and the majority of the recent winners (from 2015 onwards) fit into the big-server category, with Naomi Osaka having won two of the last three titles.  Osaka, who reached the semi-final of the Melbourne Summer Set event in week one of the new season, is currently second favourite at 6.920*.  Ahead of the Japanese player in the market is home favourite, Ashleigh Barty (3.880*), who is still yet to win her home Grand Slam, and indeed, still yet to win a hard court Grand Slam. 

In theory at least, Barty’s lack of success in hard court Grand Slams is something of a surprise. The Australian is 2.5% ahead of the next best, Osaka, when looking at 12-month hard court Combined Service/Return Points Won Percentage data.  She also has the highest Service Points Won Percentage of all major contenders in the current pre-tournament market and the conditions, in theory at least, should suit Barty.

Australian Open 2022: The futures market

In the current Futures market, there are 11 players priced below 20.000, and a further 11 priced below 50.000, which certainly illustrates how competitive this tournament is likely to be.  Simona Halep (13.470*) has already had a positive start to her 2022 campaign, winning the Melbourne Summer Set warm-up event, although she didn’t defeat anyone inside the top 30 en route to that title. The Romanian had some knee injury issues towards the end of 2021 and will be keen to recover her lost ranking, having fallen outside the top 10 at the time of writing.

Several top players are into the quarter-finals of this week’s warm-up events, and a strong display culminating in at least a final appearance in those events are likely to see their prices cut. These include Cori Gauff, Barbora Krejcikova, Anett Kontaveit, Ons Jabeur, and Garbine Muguruza, all of whom are priced below 30.000 currently. 

Australian Open 2022: Who are the outside contenders?

Other leading contenders include 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek (13.02*), while British hopes will focus on Emma Raducanu (16.39*), although the shock US Open champion suffered a brutal 6-0 6-1 defeat to Elena Rybakina (21.52*) this week in her first match since recovering from Covid-19.  Raducanu will be hoping to be much more competitive in Melbourne next week and, hopefully for her, the week after as well. 

These are just some of the contenders for the title in Melbourne over the next couple of weeks, but with numerous top players all capable of beating each other, there’s going to be plenty of on-court drama before the first winner of a Grand Slam this year is crowned.

Find the latest Australian Open 2022 odds here.

Odds subject to change

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