Victoria Azarenka v Li Na Odds: Azarenka favourite to retain Australian Open title
Victoria Azarenka and Li Na will battle it out in the women's 2013 Australian Open Final on Saturday morning (BBC Two, 8.30am), with both players gunning to win their second Grand Slam trophy. Defending champion Azarenka goes into the match as the odds on 4/6 favourite with Bet365, while Li can be backed at 6/5 to win the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
Azarenka overcame some late nerves to defeat Serena Williams' conqueror Sloan Stephens in straight sets. The American had shot into the spotlight after defeating her counterpart Williams in three sets but was unable to conjure up another shock upset in the semi-finals as Azarenka was simply too strong. Azarenka has since been criticised for her controversial medical time out, which lasted for nearly 10 minutes.
Second seed Maria Sharapova suffered a surprise defeat in the second last-four clash, with Na recording a very comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory. The Russian, who was favourite for the title, had reached the semis having dropped just nine sets, which was an Australian Open record at this late stage of the tournament. However, Na, the 2011 French Open champion, showed how strong she can be on her day with an array of blistering strokes and will now head into Saturday?s final brimming with confidence.
Na, who was a losing finalist at the Australian Open two years ago, will be gunning to bounce back and win Down Under. In 2011 she got off to a cracking start by taking the first set but Kim Clijsters battled back to win in three. Na managed to recover from the heartbreaking loss to win the French Open that same year and become the first Asian player to win a Grand Slam.
Azarenka thrashed Sharapova in last year's final and can be backed at 13/8 to record another straight sets victory on Saturday. Meanwhile the Belarusian is available at 5/2 to win in three with Bet 365 Bookmakers. Alternatively Na is priced at tempting odds of 4/1 to register a 2-1 win, with the 30-year-old also available at 5/2 to win without dropping a set. It is worth remembering that Na has yet to drop a set this tournament, while Azarenka has lost just the one, which should mean we are in for a cracking, competitive final.
Australian Open Final Betting
4/6 Victoria Azarenka
6/5 Li Na
13/8 Victoria Azarenka 2-0
5/2 Victoria Azarenka 2-1
5/2 Li Na 2-0
4/1 Li Na 2-1
All markets supplied by Bet 365 Bookmakers
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