Konta Clipped For Australian Open Glory Ahead Of Williams Clash

With Andy Murray, Dan Evans and co. falling by the wayside at the Australian Open, Johanna Konta is carrying British hopes in Melbourne as she prepares for a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with Serena Williams on Wednesday...

Jo-Ko To The Fore

Konta reached the semi-finals in what was her first ever appearance in the main draw of the Australian Open twelve months ago and she has been in superb touch during 2017. The Sydney-born star won her second WTA title in Sydney in preparation for the opening major of the year and she is on a fine run that has seen her win nine matches and eighteen sets in a row ahead of her quarter-final clash with Williams.

It will be the first time that the 25-year-old has ever played Williams but she is treated with respect by bookmakers, with Paddy Power going 13/8 on her chances in the match.

Wednesday 25th January - Johanna Konta v Serena Williams Odds:

There is no doubt that Konta faces an almighty task but it would be dangerous to underestimate her as she has been slashed from a pre-tournament 25/1 to 5/1 in the outright betting.

Williams Is Favourite

It is Williams who remains the favourite (7/4 with Sky Bet) and the 35-year-old has reached at least the semi-finals of each of the last nine major tournaments (five titles, two runner-up efforts and two semi's). Six of her 22 career Grand Slam titles have come in Melbourne and she is undoubtedly the lady to beat.

The winner of the last-eight tie between Konta and Williams will meet the winner of the other quarter-final in the bottom-half of the draw between Karolina Pliskova and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

The US Open runner-up, Pliskova, won a Brisbane title earlier this month and is firm favourite to beat Lucic-Baroni, who is appearing in a quarter-final of a major tournament for the first time since the 1999 Wimbledon Championships - a run of 33 tournaments.

The Top-Half Of The Draw

Meanwhile, in the top-half of the draw, defending champion Angelique Kerber was stunned in the fourth round by Coco Vandeweghe, who is making only her second appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final. She lost her previous last-eight tie at Wimbledon in 2015 and she next meets the French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.

The victor will meet the winner of the quarter-final between Venus Williams and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Williams was a runner-up in Melbourne in 2003 but has never gone beyond the quarter-finals since, with SkyBet.com going 20/1 for her to claim an unlikely title.

2017 Ladies' Australian Open Odds

Posted: Monday, 23rd January 2017
Author: Chris Knight

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