Aussie queen Azarenka 6-4 to finish year as No. 1
VICTORIA AZARENKA smashed Maria Sharapova 6-3 6-0 on Saturday to claim the Australian Open title - her first major crown - and top spot in the women's rankings.
And the Belarusian, a general 6-1 third-favourite pre-tournament, is now 5-1 joint-favourite in the betting for the next Slam at Roland Garros while Ladbrokes go 6-4 that she finishes the year as the No. 1-ranked player.
Former champion Sharapova had been available at 35-1 with Paddy Power prior to the first Grand Slam event of the year and having reached the final many were expecting the Russian to make her experience tell. But it was clear from the third game onwards that Azarenka was playing the superior tennis.
Coral suffered one of their “worst tennis results of recent times”
according to their spokesman Gary Burton after they offered a 50 per cent bonus to all winning match bets if the final set was won to love.
There has been little movement in the prices for the men’s final on Sunday morning, although Rafael Nadal’s price has been lengthened fractionally and is now a stand-out 6-4 with Betfred.
Hills are cheering for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic having laid Nadal at 8-1 the day before the tournament began.
Those liabilities on Nadal are one reason why the Leeds firm are joint-top price about Djokovic at 4-6 for today’s showdown.
Bet365 are in the opposite camp, having been supporting Djokovic’s opponents throughout the tournament.
Spokesman Steve Freeth explained: “Our ante-post and pre-match position meant we had a seven-figure swing on the Djokovic-Murray match and the result didn’t go our way!
“The sleepless nightshave continued for our tennis traders with Djokovic still in the tournament and we’re now down to just Nadal to get us out of trouble.”