Posted by Barrie on Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Tennis Season Heats Up: Australian Open Preview

The tennis season kicks into action this weekend with the start of the first Grand Slam of the year in Australia.

With the weather the way it is in England at the moment, I wish I was over there! Instead, I'll be watching from home as ever and will be happy to win half of what I did thanks to the tips giving by our Tennis Tipster. Actually, that's a lie – I want to double what I won in this competition last year!

As a biased spectator I will be cheering on Andy Murray as ever, Britain's only realistic hope of producing a winner. He will be expected to make the second week, but few will be expecting him to get much further than the quarter finals. He did only make the 4th round here last year, losing in five sets to Fernando Verdasco. We will look forward to Friday when the main draw is released and make our own personal predictions how far he will go and who will eliminate him.

Last year's runner up Roger Federer is the pre-tournament favourite, with odds slightly shorter than the defending champion, Rafael Nadal. Andy Murray is 6/1 himself, while Nikolay Davydenko is also shorter than I like at 10/1 with his end of last season and start of this season form.

Defending champions Serena Williams is rightfully the favourite on the women's side. If she's at her best (and often she doesn't need to be at her best), no one can beat her. US Open champion Kim Clijsters is second favourite here, while returning Belgian star Justine Henin is making her first Grand Slam appearance in 2 years. Winner here in 2004, I find her odds to be too short at 9/2 third favourite. She did beat both Nadia Petrova and Ana Ivanovic on her way to the final of the Brisbane International last week. 2008 winner Maria Sharapova should not be overlooked at 11/1.

As ever, out Tennis Expert will be giving his Australian Open tennis picks throughout the upcoming fortnight. Be sure to check them out as he makes a living from tennis betting.

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