Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka rise further as the top favorites to clinch the 2020 Australian Open championship now that Bianca Andreescu withdrew her participation.
According to popular betting website bet365, Williams has the biggest chance of winning the opening Grand Slam tournament of the tennis calendar. Her odds to win are at 5.50. If she wins, it would give her a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.
Osaka, on the other hand, is second with 8.00 odds. The Japanese-American is coming into the tournament as the defending champion.
According to the betting website, other contenders for the Melbourne Park tournament’s championship are world no. 1 Ashleigh Barty, 2019 Wimbledon champ Simona Halep, and former U.S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova.
Bianca Andreescu’s withdrawal
Bianca Andreescu dashed her fans’ hopes with her decision to pull out from the 2020 Australian Open.
Andreescu announced the pullout on her official Instagram account. According to her, she was advised by her doctors to refrain from participating in the Australian Open. This is so that she can continue healing from the knee injury she got from the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China in November.
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Hi everyone, just wanted to give you a little update on my knee rehab after I got injured at the WTA finals in Shenzhen. My rehab is going well, I feel better and stronger every day but after discussing it with my team and following the recommendation of the doctors, the Australian Open is unfortunately too soon in my rehab process and I sadly will not be able to play in it this year. It was a very tough decision to make as I love to play in Melbourne but I have to respect the recuperation plan for my knee and body. I can’t wait to come back to Aus next year xx What’s coming is better than what is gone 🙏🏽 Bianca
She admitted that it was tough for her to settle with withdrawing because she was looking forward to playing. But she did promise that she will be participating in the tournament next year.
This serves as the second time that Andreescu had to retreat from a tournament this month. Earlier, she had to withdraw from Auckland’s ASB Classic as well.
Serena Williams wins 2020 ASB Classic
As the 2020 Australian Open inches closer, Serena Williams gains serious momentum after winning the 2020 ASB Classic in New Zealand.
She beat out fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-4 in the final round of the tournament. On her way to the finals, she also fought off challenges from young players like Amanda Anisimova and Christina McHale.
The New Zealand win serves as Williams’ first WTA title since 2017. It also makes her one of the few mothers to have won a tournament in the WTA Tour.
At 38, the tennis icon is the third oldest woman to achieve a WTA title win in tennis history. She is behind Billie Jean King (then 39 years old) and Kimiko Date-Krumm (38). Additionally, she is the first person to win a professional tennis tournament in four separate decades.
Naomi Osaka loses in Brisbane International semis
Unlike Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka was not able to win the Australian Open precursor event, Brisbane International. Osaka lost to Pliskova 6-7 7-6 6-2 in the hotly-anticipated match in Brisbane’s Pat Rafter Arena. Pliskova eventually won the tournament after defeating Madison Keys in the final.
Bianca Vanessa Andreescu’s ranking and performance in 2020
Ranked world no.6, the Canadian played her last match on the 30th of October when she had to retire when playing against Karolina Pliskova in the round robin and the scoreline was 6-3 .
Naomi Osaka’s ranking and performance in 2020
Now the world no.4, Osaka played her last match on the 11th of January when she was defeated by Karolina Pliskova 6-710 7-63 6-2 in the semifinal in Brisbane.
Naomi Osaka’s most significant performance of the present year was reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane.
Bianca Vanessa Andreescu and Naomi Osaka played each other 1 time. The head to head is 1-0 for Osaka.
The last time that they fought against each other, Naomi Osaka won 5-7 6-3 6-4 in the quarter in Beijing (China Open) in October 2019.
In the following video you can watch the key moments of their match.
Serena Williams’s ranking and performance in 2020
Ranked no.10, Serena played her last match on the 12th of January when she overcame Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-4 in the final in Auckland to win her 72nd career title.
Presently, this year Serena Williams has a 5-0 win-loss record. Serena Williams has won 1 title in Auckland.