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Friday, 29 January 2016

Australian Open Tennis Day 13 Picks 2016- Women's Final (January 30th)

And so this is it... The two Singles Finals at the Australian Open 2016 have been set and the first of those will be the Women's Final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.

The favourite holds the experience edge by some margin, but the underdog can play with a 'nothing to lose' attitude having surpassed expectations to reach the Final.

I am not really someone who likes the 'nothing to lose' tag for Finals because you have to think Kerber works so hard on the court to make sure she wins a Grand Slam. This might be her best opportunity to ever to do so and that will play a part too, but on to the pick.

Serena Williams - 5.5 games v Angelique Kerber: Serena Williams is unsurprisingly the big favourite to win this Grand Slam title and make it five Grand Slam wins from the last six competed. 2014 seems a long time ago when Serena Williams 'only' won the US Open, but she will be expected to make it 22 career Grand Slams by winning in Australia and having every chance of surpassing Margaret Court's record 24 Single Slams by the end of the season.

The World Number 1 has played with a chip on her shoulder this entire tournament even if she would be loathed to admit that. After losing in the US Open Semi Final last season and then pulling out of the Tour the rest of the way to recover, some questioned whether that was a mental blow from which she would not recover.

The knee issue at the Hopman Cup which forced another withdrawal only clouded her status all the more and Serena Williams came into the tournament at what was most likely her biggest price to win a Grand Slam for at least three years. But Serena has made little work of the draw following a First Round win over Camila Giorgi and the confidence has to be flowing through her ahead of the Final, even if she has admitted having nerves going into these matches in the past.

Williams lost nine games in her First Round match but has lost just seventeen in her next five matches combined and the serve seems to be working effectively. Issues with the sun have affected the ball toss in previous matches, but this is a night session match and it is going to take a monumental effort from Angelique Kerber to keep this one competitive.

I do like what Kerber brings to the court with the power to turn defence into attack very quickly and movement that can frustrate the best players on the Tour. Her first serve has actually been working much better than expected with a few cheap points coming from it and Kerber will need to keep that at a high percentage if she is going to earn the surprise win.

The lefty play might also disrupt Serena Williams a little bit, but Kerber will find it hard to match the power on the other side of the court and it does feel the match is going to be dictated on the American's racquet. Unlike Agnieszka Radwanska, Kerber has beaten Serena Williams in the past which might give her a little more belief in her game and two of their seven previous matches would have seen her cover this number of games.

However, that also means five out of seven has seen Serena cover and I think it is telling that Kerber has never won more than 30% of the return points against the Williams serve. With the way Serena has been serving in this tournament, it is hard to imagine that changing significantly which it would need to if Kerber was to win this match.

I actually think it is a number she will need to improve to simply stay in this one too and I believe Serena Williams is in such magnificent form that I expect her to win this one 62, 64.

MY PICKS: Serena Williams - 5.5 Games @ 1.83 Boyle Sports (2 Units)

Australian Open Update: 30-46, - 32.10 Units (146 Units Staked, - 21.30% Yield)

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