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Serena's Title to Lose

Posted 08-30-2012 at 03:58 PM by Philip Oliver
Serena Williams is the hot favourite with people placing tennis bets to claim her fourth US Open title next month.

Her own superb recent form is the main reason for her strong favouritism, but the fallibility of her rivals makes her stand out further. It is safe to assume that she will win a 15th Major at New York if she plays close to her full potential.

We saw the devastating effect of Williams at full throttle at the Olympics, when she dropped just seven games in beating Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova in her final three matches.

The latter pair are expected to be the strongest challengers at Flushing Meadows and the injuries they have suffered since London have made their task even more difficult.
With world number two, Agnieszka Radwankska, struggling for form, it is difficult to say where Williams' biggest threat will come from.

The principal warm-up events for New York, Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Open, were won by Petra Kvitova and Li Na respectively, both of whom were claiming their first title of the season.

They might be top 10 players with a 2011 Major to their name, but neither has shown enough form to suggest a second Slam is imminent, despite them battling it out for US Open series success. Kvitova had not beaten a top 10 player all season until Montreal.

However, few expected ninth seed, Samantha Stosur, to win the US Open last year. The Australian arrived in New York apparently short of form and confidence, but a fine run to the final, memorably culminating with a shock win over Serena, showed players can come from nowhere to upset the US Open tennis betting odds.

Serena was shocked in straight sets by Angelique Kerber in the Cincinnati quarterfinals, further proving that the three-time winner cannot take anything for granted at Flushing Meadows.

The German possesses the best blend of current form - eight wins over top 10 players in 2012 - and past success at the US Open - semi-finalist last year - to mark herself out as the likeliest first-time slam winner. Whether she can emulate Stosur's success from last year depends on the level Williams reaches.
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