Posted by Barrie on Monday, 25 January 2010

Serena Williams On Course to Defend Australian Title

Serena Williams put in another dominant display to see off Sam Stosur in her 4th round match at the Australian Open, winning 6-4 6-2 to book her place in the quarter finals.

The number 1 seed, looking to successfully defend the Australian Open title for the first time in her career has dropped just 15 games in her opening 4 matches so far but will face her toughest opposition to date in Victoria Azarenka in the quarter finals.

World number 7 Azarenka fought from a set and a half down to take 10 straight games against Vera Zvonareva in her 4th round match. The young Belarusian and future star started the match with too many errors and couldn't take the opportunities Zvonareva was throwing at her in the first set.

Victoria Azarenka turned the crowd from mocking her ball-hitting scream to cheering her on as she overpowered and outplayed a crumbling Vera Zvonareva for over a set. She was hitting winners all over the court while her Russian opponent was hitting too many shots off court and struggling on her serve.

Serena Williams has looked confident to this point, but faces an opponent who took the first set off her at the fourth round in this tournament last year before being forced to retire. Williams will like to get on top of Azarenka early in this match and not let her get into her comfort zone. Azarenka is destined to rise to the top of women's tennis, but has yet to make it past the quarter finals of a Grand Slam.

The best odds you can find on Serena Williams to defend her Australian Open title are 6/4 at Paddy Power. If she can crush Victoria Azarenka in their quarter final match it will be difficult to see past her.

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