Tennis Betting Advice - August 2021
Dropping like flies...
Tuesday 24th August 2021
In Ones to Watch today:
The withdrawals mount up…
We were right to expect withdrawals and weakened fields this week. The last tournaments before a Grand Slam are always going to be small-fry compared to a Major. And with the US Open starting in New York next Monday, this week’s 250-grade events in Cleveland, Chicago, and Winston-Salem have been struck by a stack of withdrawals and retirements…
Before Tuesday’s play has even started, I make it 14 players that have so far dropped out of this week’s three tournaments – either pulling out before hitting a ball, or retiring injured during a match.
Low rankings – and big chances…
With several Lucky Losers parachuted into the draws as replacements for those that withdrew before taking to the court, we’ve seen several very lowly-ranked players get the chance to compete…
For example, in Winston-Salem, world no.255, Yosuke Watanuki got a Lucky Loser spot. And the 23-year-old from Japan took full advantage, winning his 1st round match against Jaume Munar – ranked no.64 – at underdog odds of 5/2 (3.5).
In Chicago, women’s world no.366, Aldila Sutjiadi was in the main draw. The Indonesian was beaten 2-1 in the 1st round by no.80, Fiona Ferro.
And in Cleveland, the glut of withdrawals resulted in a 1st round match played out by two Lucky Losers. With Great Britain’s 29-year-old world no.434, Tara Moore. Beaten in straight sets by one of the teenager sisters that we spoke about last summer, 16-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic – who is ranked no.376.
The upshot of all those weakened fields is a decent chance – on paper at least – for one of our Outright Winner picks to go deep this week. At the ‘Tennis in the Land’ event in Cleveland, we have a pair of 12/1+ Each Way selections running for us:
The 16/1 and 14/1 with some firms shifted pretty quickly yesterday, but the 12/1 in general held out. Ahead of today’s WTA Cleveland matches, which start at 5pm UK time, Bet365 now have Linette and Sorribes Tormo at 10/1 each.
Wide open in New York…
It’s not just this week’s relatively minor competitions that are being hit by withdrawals. Big names and Grand Slam champions have also already ruled themselves out of contention for the US Open…
Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and reigning US Open champ Dominic Thiem have all ended their 2021 seasons early, due to injury.
In the women’s, there are massive question marks over the fitness of Major winners and star attractions such as Serena Williams (hasn’t played since Wimbledon), and Simona Halep (hasn’t managed more than one match at any of her last three tournaments, including two withdrawals). World no.5, Sofia Kenin also hasn’t played since Wimbledon, with the 2020 Australian Open winner still trying to recover from a foot injury.
When it comes to our Ones to Watch betting approach – backing appealing outsiders at attractive Each Way prices. The somewhat decimated US Open field should play into our hands… with some new ‘favourites’ chopped to shorter than they would otherwise be, in lieu of the biggest names. And presenting underdogs with a very realistic chance of going far in New York over the next fortnight.
As it is, the Big Apple has provided plenty of big-odds moments in recent times. Last year saw 20/1+ runners-up in both the men’s & women’s events, and 2019 saw two first-time Grand Slam finalists. 2018 produced a 50/1 women’s winner, and in 2017, our friend Sloane Stephens took the trophy at 40/1. In 2016, we had 33/1 Karolina Pliskova as an Each Way finalist (runner-up). And 2015 saw an upset of epic proportions, with the women’s US Open final played out by 200/1 Flavia Pennetta beating 500/1 Roberta Vinci.
Did you get your money back on Pavlyuchenkova?
In last week’s WTA Cincinnati preview I named Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova as a 50/1 pick in the Outright Winner market.
As it turned out, Pavlyuchenkova never made it from Montreal in Canada to Cincinnati, Ohio in the USA. The Russian posted on Twitter that there had been a delay with getting a visa to enter the United States.
I’ve got this bet down as Void in my records. Bet365’s rules, for example, state that:
‘Player must play 1 point in the tournament for bets to stand. Bets on any player not taking part in the tournament will be void.’
Other bookmakers with that policy include Skybet, Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook, Betway, and William Hill.
As ever, you should check with your own bookmaker. Thanks to Ones to Watch member David C for the reminder.
I’ll be back soon with more, as we continue our preparations for the US Open.
Enjoy the tennis…