Serena Williams has gone three years without winning a grand slam singles title and can end that slump when she opens play Monday in the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. The 39-year-old Williams will try to end the longest major championship drought of her career dating to the Australian Open in 2017, when she defeated her sister Venus to win her seventh singles title in Melbourne. Winner of 23 grand slam titles, Williams needs one more to tie the all-time mark held by Margaret Court.
William Hill Sportsbook lists Williams and Aryna Sabalenka as the co-third choices in the latest 2021 Australia Open odds at +900. Naomi Osaka (+500), the 2019 Australian Open champion, and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty (+650) are the top two picks on the tennis odds board. Before making any 2021 Australian Open picks or predictions, check out the expert tennis picks and analysis from SportsLine's Gavin Mair.
A renowned women's tennis handicapper, he hit a daily double of sorts in the last grand slam at the French Open. Mair picked Iga Swiatek to win (-163) and win in straight sets (+140), and he was right on both counts.
He also called unseeded Jelena Ostapenko (80-1) winning the 2017 French Open, Naomi Osaka (32-1) winning the 2018 U.S. Open and Bianca Andreescu (20-1) winning the 2019 U.S. Open.
Now, Mair has scrutinized the latest Australian Open 2021 odds and released his coveted best bets to win it all. He's sharing all his picks and analysis at SportsLine.
Top 2021 Australian Open women's predictions
One shocker: Mair is fading betting favorite and No. 3 seed Osaka. Mair rightly points out that the No. 3 seed from Japan is facing a loaded bottom half of the draw that features nine grand slam winners. Osaka's quarter of the draw has six major champions, including Bianca Andreescu and Angelique Kerber.
Osaka is on a three-year run of winning a grand slam event, capturing the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2019. She enters the 2021 Australian Open on a 14-match winning streak, advancing to this week's semifinals of the Gippsland trophy before withdrawing due to injury. Mair notes that she could face stern matchups in the first four rounds.
"Usually as a top seed at a major tournament, you expect an easy draw in the early couple of rounds, but the draw was not kind to the Japanese powerhouse," Mair told SportsLine. "Her first four matches are forecast to be against high-level opposition, several of whom can be found in the dark-horse category to win the tournament."
Mair sees better values on the board and he isn't including Osaka in any of his 2021 Australian Open bets.
How to make 2021 Australian Open women's picks
Mair has locked in his best bets, and they include a pair of long shots who would bring huge returns. He's especially high on one player at +1400 who "looks like a value proposition to add to your futures portfolio." You need to see his picks and analysis before considering any 2021 Australian Open bets.
So who wins the Australian Open 2021? And which long shots could take the crown? Visit SportsLine now to see Gavin Mair's bets for the 2021 Australian Open, all from the tennis expert who has called long shot winners of three grand slam women's titles since 2017.