Serena v the Field?
Another year, another tournament with Serena Williams (5/2) heading the market for a Grand Slam Championship. It seems incredible but Serena was making her debut at the Premier event in Indian Wells the same week as the No 32 seed here Belinda Bencic was born! It's testament to the longevity and desire of Serena that we arrive in 2015 with her still leading the pack in the Womens game. However its 5 years since Serena made the final here, let alone lifted the trophy, so with players such as Jelena Jankovic (125/1), Caroline Wozniacki (14/1), and unseeded but 2 time champion in Victoria Azarenka (14/1) in her quarter of the draw it's going to be far from easy for the American.
Top seeds in the second quarter are current Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (7/1) and Agnieska Radwanska (20/1), but the really interesting player here is a certain Venus Williams (33/1) who has battled back from a seemingly career ending injury to be seeded 18 this year, and she won her warm up tournament last week in Auckland. Who would bet against a semi-final against her sister?
Bottom half of the draw is headed by number 2 seed Maria Sharapova (4/1), but her record in this tournament only lists one victory (2008) and a couple of well beaten final appearances. Last year's beaten Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard (12/1) should provide the number 2 seeds quarter final opponent, and this young upcoming player looks to have the game to go right to the top of the tree.
This looks a fairly lop-sided draw with the top half providing the real strength, so if you can pick one from the bigger priced runners in the bottom half of the draw you may well get a good run for your money. A couple to consider in this bracket are Sabine Lisicki, she has been to a Grand Slam final before and the big hitting German is available at 80/1. Another German player Julia Goerges (500/1) has reached the last 16 here for the previous 2 years should make the second week, before likely having to face number 5 seed Ana Ivanovic (16/1).
All in all an exciting fortnight of Womens Tennis ahead - join us each day here at William Hill for all the In Play action.