Picking a Grand Slam winner is rarely straightforward although the dominance of Serena Williams in recent years has made that task a little simpler. But without the five-time winner of the tournament, the 2018 Australian Open betting market looks wide open. Many of the top online Canadian bookmakers, including William Hill, have made Simona Halep co-favorite alongside Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova. Halep has a poor record in grand slams having reached two finals and failed to win either of them and many punters will be keen to overlook the Romanian for this event. Svitolina had a brilliant 2017 and has started 2018 in a similar fashion, wrapping up the Brisbane International and will arrive here in high spirits. She beat world number four Karolina Pliskova en-route to that success although the Czech player did progress to the quarter-finals of this event last year and boasted a 35-10 winning record on the hard courts during 2017. Bigger Price Possibilities Maria Sharapova is back and the 30-year-old will be aiming to pick up her second Australian Open title. There has been plenty of furore about the fact that the controversial Russia was asked to carry the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy at the draw ceremony and the 2008 winner will be keen to just concentrate on matters on-court. Angelique Kerber is always a decent prospect in Grand Slam events and could be dangerous once again. The German is joint fifth-favorite alongside Garbine Muguruza who fluctuated between imperious and underwhelming over the past twelve months and is probably a better clay-courter. Caroline Wozniacki appears to be finally living up to her potential and is a double figure price for this tournament whilst Brit Johanna Konta and the in-form Julia Goerges are highly likely to tempt punters at decent prices.