Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Brisbane competition wide open after Serena surgery

Brisbane, the first major test on the 2013 WTA calendar, could be the most competitive tournament outside a Grand Slam next year after Serena Williams confirmed she would participate despite undergoing minor surgery this December.

Williams was hot favourite to win the $1,000,000 event in Australia that begins on 31 December and acts as a precursor for the first Grand Slam of the year – in Melbourne – three weeks later. However, the 15-time Grand Slam champion, who is also well fancied in the AustralianOpen 2013 Betting, had to undergo surgery on her big toes recently, sparking rumours that she won’t be fully fit for the tournament.

Indeed, despite Williams insisting she will be “fit and ready” for Brisbane, her surgery has blown the field wide open. World number one Victoria Azarenka, number two Maria Sharapova and home favourite Sam Stosur head the bill for the New Year event, while Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova will all be hoping to start their 2013 campaigns with a title.

It will therefore be a tough ask for Williams to not only make the event but win it amid such fierce competition. Fans in the betting world are already predicting a tight race and whoever claims Brisbane will carry great confidence into the Australian Open (Follow the link fortennis betting previews).

For this is what the Brisbane International is all about. It may boast greater prize money than fellow WTA event Sydney but it is still nowhere near the stature of Melbourne. Wining the Australian Open can propel a career into superstardom and with so few build-up tournaments available to generate much-needed form, whoever wins Brisbane has a major advantage over their rivals.

Kvitova won in 2011 and took Wimbledon six months later, while Kim Clijsters and Azarenka have also benefitted from the tournament in recent years. With Williams’ minor injury her competitors will sense an opportunity 

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