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With Upsets of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty Now Favored to Win Australian Open Women’s Singles

Serena Williams catsuit
Serena Williams in her full body "catsuit" that is somehow at the center of this tennis controversy. (Photo by MAO/Panoramic/Icon Sportswire)
  • World #1 Ashleigh Barty is the +300 chalk to win the women’s singles title at the Australian Open
  • Serena Williams, who opened as the +400 favorite, was ousted by Qiang Wang in third-round play
  • Defending champ Naomi Osaka was defeated by American Coco Gauff in her third-round match

Favored Serena Williams is packing her bags. Defending champ Naomi Osaka is also going home.

Williams fell to China’s Qiang Wang in third-round play. She’d who opened as +400 Aussie Open favorite.

Osaka was taken out by American teen sensation Coco Gauff in straight sets in their third-round match.

2020 Australian Open Women’s Singles Odds

Player Odds
Ashleigh Barty +300
Karolina Pliskova +550
Petra Kvitova +650
Simona Halep +650
Coco Gauff +1200
Belinda Bencic +1800
Elina Svitolina +1800
Sofia Kenin +2000
Elise Mertens +2200
Qiang Wang +2200
Angelique Kerber +3300
Garbine Muguruza +3300
Kiki Bertens +3300
Maria Sakkari +4000
Anett Kontaveit +5000
Donna Vekic +5000

Odds taken Jan. 24

As a result, the books have established Ashleigh Barty, #1 in the WTA rankings, as the +300 favorite to win the women’s singles title.

Williams Waiting On Record Win

Williams was trying to gain her 24th Grand Slam title. She’d tie Margaret Court for the all-time record in women’s singles competition.

Wang, the #27 seed, dropped eighth-seeded Williams 6-4, 6-7(2-7), 7-5. Williams committed 56 unforced errors in the match.

Williams held high hopes of success at Melbourne following he win last week in Auckland but it was not to be. It’s the first time in seven Grand Slam events that Williams hasn’t reached the final four. The last time she didn’t get past the third round of the Australian Open was in 2006.

Wang improved to +2200 in her odds of winning the title. She was afforded odds of +12500 heading into the match to win the tournament.

Gauff Stuns Osaka

Gauff slayed herself another giant with her 6-4, 6-3 bouncing of Osaka. She topped Venus Williams in the first round last year at Wimbledon,

There were three former Australian Open champs in Gauff’s quarter. Osaka, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki who all made third-round exits.

Gauff’s odds of winning improved to +1200 from +3300.

Can Barty End Aussie Drought?

The world #1, Barty is carrying the hopes of a nation. It’s been 41-years since an Australian woman won the country’s open tennis competition.

Not since Chris O’Neil beat American Betsy Nagelsen in 1978 has an Australian woman captured the Australian Open women’s singles title. Wendy Turnbull, who lost to Hana Mandlikova in 1980, was the last Aussie woman to reach the final.

Top-seeded Barty dropped Elena Rybakina 6-3, 6-2 in third-round play. She gets 18th-seeded American Alison Riske in fourth-round action on Saturday.

Hometown hero Barty reached the quarterfinals last year. That’s her best showing at an Australian Open.

Other Contenders

The last two losing finalists, Petra Kvitova (2019) and Simona Halep are both solid value plays at +650. With a relatively clear path to win her quarter, Gauff shouldn’t be discounted as a longshot bet.

Karolina Pliskova (+600) reached the semifinals here last year. That performance followed successive quarterfinal appearances. She’s been in one final, two semis and four quarters without winning a Grand Slam event.

Has her time finally arrived?

Pick: Karolina Pliskova (+550)

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