Tennis Betting Advice - January 2019
One to Watch – Tomljanovic in Thailand…
Sunday 27th January 2019
In your Ones to Watch email today:
Waiting on Russia…
The Australian Open Men’s Final ended up being something of an anti-climax. Novak Djokovic was the favourite, but few will have expected the Serbian to overcome Rafael Nadal in quite such a straightforward manner. I certainly didn’t. Novak won 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
We’re getting straight back on the horse with two women’s events starting on Monday...
I was intending to have a pick for the WTA St Petersburg tournament tonight, but the bookies are being slow in putting up their Outright Winner markets…
The draw has been made, but there are still a few qualification spots to be decided on Monday morning.
I also suspect the bookies are waiting to see if reigning St Petersburg champion Petra Kvitova turns up to defend her title this week, having played 12 matches in a row to reach back-to-back finals in the last three weeks in Sydney (won) and then the Australian Open (runner-up).
Kvitova is in the top half of the draw. In the opposite side, I’m expecting Aryna Sabalenka to be right up there with the tournament favourites. Our One to Watch in 2019 player certainly looks to have a good shot of another final here. Sabalenka was 9/2 (5.50) when winning WTA Shenzhen at the start of January. Let’s see what the bookies offer this week.
There are only three 1st Round main draw matches scheduled for St Petersburg on Monday. The action will really get going in Russia from Tuesday onwards – so we’ll revisit that tournament when the bookies have got their prices up.
One to Watch at 14/1…
Back to Thailand now…
Last night we got on Thailand’s No.1 player Luksika Kumkhum as a 33/1 outsider for the WTA Hua Hin title. All the bookies are now up for that event; 33/1 is available with Bet365 and Skybet, 32/1 with NetBet & 10Bet and 28/1 with Ladbrokes, William Hill & Coral.
Kumkhum is our big price pick in the top half of the Hua Hin draw. Backing a player in the bottom half and also betting Each Way means we can look at the draw as two separate mini tournaments up until the final. Or in other words, back a player from each half and in a week when everything turns to gold, have a win-win final and a double Each Way payout. I’m an optimist, yes. But I’m not a dreamer. We had this situation in Houston last year with our 33/1 and 18/1 picks meeting in the final…
The player I like in the bottom half of this draw is Ajla Tomljanovic. I’ve mentioned the big-hitting Croatian-born Australian a couple of times in recent months. Age 25 and with some tough years of injury trouble behind her, she’s been approaching something like top form for a while now. In 2018, Ajla reached two finals – her first since 2015, which came here in Thailand at the now-defunct Pattaya event.
This week’s tournament is a good chance for Tomljanovic to claim her first WTA trophy. She’s in the weaker half of the draw with 5/1 tournament second-favourite and 2nd seed Caroline Garcia the big name. Garcia has had a ropey start to the season – played 5 lost 3, and going out in the 1st Round of both her WTA events before the Australian Open (where she bowed out in the 3rd Round).
Hard-hitting players like 2018 champ Timea Babos have done well on these Hua Hin hard courts before. Tomljanovic is a big ball-striker herself and can be a danger to anyone in the draw here.
Today’s Ones to Watch pick is:
WTA Hua Hin – Toyota Thailand Open
BET: Ajla Tomljanovic @ 14/1 Each Way
BOOKIES: 14/1 (15.00) Skybet, 12/1 (13.00) Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook
Tomljanovic is first on court at 8am UK time Monday, live on BT Sport.
I’ll be back in the week with an update on the St Petersburg tournament.
Enjoy the tennis…