18th Jan 2018 | Australian Open

Women's Australian Open Winner Tip

The last woman to win this Grand Slam title besides Serena, who is absent. The German is showing all the signs of being back to her all-conquering 2016 form.

The women’s Australian Open winner was supposedly anyone’s guess as soon as Serena withdrew and a number of other contenders have already crashed out in the first few days.

But still available at best odds of 8/1 with Skybet is 2016 champion Angelique Kerber. If it wasn’t for a hideous 2016 she would already be the short-price favourite - and she will be regardless if she beats Sharapova in the next round. So we really need to move now to get the decent price.

It’s hard to know exactly what went wrong for the German last year but significantly she changed coach in November and has been in resurgent form in 2018, currently holding an 11-0 win/loss record having won the Sydney International coming into this.

If Kerber is back to her 2016 vintage, which the signs suggest, then the tournament is hers to lose. Back then she actually won 2 Grand Slams, also reaching the final of Wimbledon and world number one status.

Sharapova is the only other former winner in the field but that was way back in 2008. The Russian is still effectively working her way back from her drugs ban and she represents a bigger punt than her opponent on Saturday.

Odds correct at time of publishing: 08:43 18th Jan, 2018 but subject to change