Stephens' upset over Williams a huge win for sportsbooks

Sloane Stephens entered her upset over top-ranked Serena Williams as a 14-1 underdog and was as high as 100-1 for in-play betting after dropping the first set to Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals Wednesday.

Stephens would go on to win the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, handing Williams her first loss since August 17. According to Aron Black of online sportsbook, about 95 percent of the pregame action was on Williams, who entered Wednesday as a -3,300 favorite over the 19-year-old American.

“Overall, for both pregame and in-play tickets on the match winner, the result was very good for us,” Black told Covers. “However, there were enough people that got down on Sloane later in match but they were easily offset by the amounts that were sticking with Serena.”

Not only did sportsbooks come away a winner on those match odds but also on the outright tournament futures. Williams entered the Australian Open as a -105 favorite to win and most markets had one-sided money on the 15-time Grand Slam winner.

“Our action for the outright book saw almost 50 percent of the money laid on Serena,” says Black. “She was tipped up in pretty much every place as the one to back pre-tourney.”

Stephens’ upset shakes up the outright odds heading into the women’s semifinal round. Williams’ loss benefits Victoria Azarenka the most. The 2011 Aussie Open champion was +550 heading into the quarterfinals and is now a +110 favorite, set to face Stephens (+1,400) Thursday. Maria Sharapova jumped from +250 in the quarters to +125 heading into her semifinal match with Na Li (+900).

As of Wednesday, the odds for the semifinal matches are Azarenka -800 vs. Stephens +500 and Sharapova -500 vs. Na Li +350.

Odds courtesy of

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