With the final warm-up tournament, the Connecticut Open, drawing to a conclusion, our tennis expert Dan Weston analyses the main contenders for glory at the forthcoming women’s singles event at the US Open. Read on to find out more about WTA US Open betting.
In the two WTA Grand Slams during Serena Williams’ tour absence, there have been no less than four different finalists. And, with another open tournament anticipated, it would take someone brave to back against another new name adding themselves to the mix at the upcoming US Open.
Certainly, the open feel of the event is aptly demonstrated by Pinnacle’s current odds for the title winner, with just 12 players priced below 20.00 in the outright US Open betting and only a further eleven priced sub 100.00. Learn more about how to bet on tennis if you want to know the basics of tennis betting.
WTA US Open betting: The favourites
Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is the very marginal 5.67* favourite, a touch shorter than Karolina Pliskova at 5.74*, with court speeds anticipated to be close to the WTA hard court mean. That said, only Flavia Pennetta (2015) won here in the last 10 years without particularly solid service numbers: this trend gives bettors something to analyse prior to the event.
Bettors must assess Maria Sharapova's level early in the event to calculate whether her 18.99* odds represent value.
It could be argued that Muguruza’s favouritism is unfounded - the world number three has a good but not outstanding record on hard courts this year. She also has a combined service points won/return points won percentage of 104.2%. With 11 WTA players possessing better data, it would be reasonable to assert that her record on hard courts is unspectacular.
However, her recent form has been far superior to the first half of her year. She followed success at SW19 by reaching one semi-final, one quarter-final and then blitzing Simona Halep in the final at Cincinnati. Bettors will therefore need to work out whether the Spaniard can continue winning and whether she can maintain her break point overperformance on return.
Pliskova (107.4% combined) has better data but a worse Grand Slam record, reaching world number one status without triumphing at a major. Her solitary final appearance came at this venue last year when she was defeated by Angelique Kerber in three sets, but it is far from inconceivable that she goes one better at Flushing Meadows this time.
A plethora of other contenders
While Muguruza and Pliskova are the only players priced in the single digits, there are a plethora of others between 10.00 and 20.00.
Maria Sharapova (108.2% combined) has good 2017 all-surface data (her hard court sample is too small to make a judgement) but hasn’t participated in the warm-up events and is unseeded. She could thus draw a top player in the early rounds, meaning bettors must assess her level early in the event to calculate whether her 18.99* odds represent value.
Only Flavia Pennetta (2015) won here in the last 10 years without particularly solid service numbers: this trend gives bettors something to analyse prior to the event.
Earlier this year, I assessed whether Sharapova is a value bet following her return from a lengthy ban. With the Russian not playing too much tennis since then, you can revisit that assessment here.
The player with the best 12-month hard court combined data is Johanna Konta (109.4%), with the Brit especially strong on serve - her 64.0% service points won in the last 12 months is the best of all the contenders priced under 100.00. At a current 11.32*, she is definitely a huge threat at the forefront of the market.
Elina Svitolina, at 12.23*, also has strong data (106.3%) combined – along with solid form. The Ukrainian is now ranked in the top four following her victory at Toronto and she must undoubtedly be respected.
WTA US Open betting: Outsiders to consider
Others priced below 20.00 include defending champion Angelique Kerber, whose 12-month hard court data has dropped to 104.7% after a mediocre year. Failure to repeat her 2016 showing will result in a huge ranking drop for the German. Meanwhile, Simona Halep, the perennial Grand Slam bridesmaid, has solid stats (105.6% combined) but plenty of mental baggage following several final defeats.
Elsewhere, the big-serving duo of Madison Keys (106.1%) and Coco Vandeweghe (101.6%) are also priced sub-20 by the market and given these statistics, plus Keys’ victory over her rival in the final at Stanford, Keys may be the stronger of the two Americans. This year, her record on hard courts is one of the best on tour and she is priced at 12.45*.
Simona Halep is carrying plenty of mental baggage but Madison Keys has one of the best hard-court records on tour.
Veterans Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams complete the list within this price range but it’s difficult to foresee either making a huge impact in the coming fortnight. Venus, now 37 years of age, has declining serve numbers (just 57.3% service points won in the last 12 months on hard courts).
Kvitova’s data since her return, meanwhile, offers little confidence that she can compete at the top level - she’s running at just 97.8% combined on hard courts this year and an improved (but far from elite) 104.3% across all surfaces.
WTA US Open odds: The rest of the field
Youngsters Jelena Ostapenko and Sloane Stephens are priced just over the 20.00 mark and 2017 has treated this duo somewhat differently. Shock French Open winner Ostapenko is running at just 99.7% combined on hard courts in the last 12 months, while Stephens missed the first half of the year following injury but has done reasonably well on her return.
However, closer analysis of Stephens’ data shows that she has performed grossly above expectation on break points on return. This is surely unsustainable, suggesting she will almost certainly mean revert in the near future. On this basis, the market looks to be over-reacting to her recent impressive results.
Outsiders over the 50.00 mark include Agnieszka Radwanska, whose price of 67.91* is indicative of a big slump this year. Several other players available at bigger prices include Svetlana Kuznetsova (104.9%), who can be backed at 64.79*, and Ashleigh Barty, with the unseeded Australian currently priced at 120.04*. Barty’s problem is similar to Sharapova in that she will be unseeded.
Overall, I expect a very competitive event, with it being incredibly difficult to predict a winner. Numerous players certainly have a decent chance and a player winning their first Grand Slam title or making their first final is entirely plausible.