The Williams Sisters have been in the same competition 136 times over the past two decades and this week in Aukland on the opening week of the season it is only the eighth time neither have made the third round.
This opens the door nicely for 3rd seed Caroline Wozniacki at 7/4 to lift another hard court title on her favourite surface. At the start of the week I was happy to bypass this event with Serena involved at 8/11 ante-post but with the Williams sisters out of the equation and rivals to Wozniacki including talented but inexperienced youngsters such as 8th seed Ana Konjuh 9/1, and Niomi Osaka 7/1, where the top half finalist could come from Barbora Strycova 5/1 or Ostapenko 9/1, all have little experience at the business end of WTA main draw semi-finals and finals and Wozniacki looks a solid call to continue her excellent form, where she reached the semi-finals of the US Open in September and looked a top 10 player waiting to happen once again in the final third of last season.
WTA Aukland - Caroline Wozniacki to win Outright @ 7/4 SkyBet, Paddy Power, Betvictor and StanJames.
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