Na Li will be favourite to win her second tennis grand slam on Saturday as she faces unfancied Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, who will be appearing in her first major final at the Australian Open. The Chinese player, one of her country’s biggest sport stars and who has one of the biggest support base on the tour, will be playing in her third Australian Open final, and will be confident of bringing up her fist victory at the event after disappointment in her two previous final appearances, losing to Kim Clijsters in 2011 and Victoria Azarenka last year.
Australian Open Final – Women Odds
Cibulkova (9/4) made history by becoming the first woman from Slovakia to reach a major final, and overcame a string of top seeds to reach the showpiece. Her victory against fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the semis followed wins against Simona Halep (11th seed) and Maria Sharapova, the third seed and one of the favourites for the event. Pretty good going for the 20th seed, and she will be looking to add the name of Na to that list of scalps on her way to her first major win.
Na (4/11), 32 next month but still playing some of the best tennis of her career had a marginally easier route to the final, avoiding tournament favourite Serena Williams, and meeting tournament surprise Eugenie Bouchard, who beat the woman who vanquished Williams, Ana Ivanovic, in the semis, beating her in three sets. Prior to that, straight set wins against Ekaterina Makarova and Italian Flavia Pennetta set her on her way in what turned out to be the marginally easier side of the draw.
This is the first time that these two women will meet in a major tournament, with the Chinese woman having prevailed in each of the four occasions that they have met in other WTA competitions. One of the smaller women on the tour, Cibulkova has managed to get the better of opponents this tournament with her ground play, and will have to be at her best again on Saturday against Na, who on her day is extremely difficult to beat.
Na will be the favourite, with a 2-0 set victory at 10/11 looking inviting. A 2-1 victory is at 5/2, whereas Cibulkova winning by a set pays out at 11/2. A straight sets win for the Slovakian is going for the comparatively short 4/1.
Go to the last tournament’s official website for the latest news on the final.