Tennis Betting Advice - January 2020

Week One picks – including a 33/1 shot…

Sunday 5th January 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Great start for the Australians…
  • Ones to Watch this week…
  • Outright Winner picks at 16/1, 20/1 and 33/1…

Great start for the Australians…

We started our 2020 betting activity by getting behind host nation Australia for the ATP Cup.

Things couldn’t really have gone much better for our 7/1 shots in the opening two Group-stage ties, with Lleyton Hewitt’s side beating Germany and then Canada, both by the 3-0 score – winning both Singles matches and then the Doubles on each occasion.

Those two wins mean the Australians are the first team to qualify for the quarter finals. They face Greece in their final Group F match. The bookies now make the men in yellow a general 4/1 to go all the way, and 5/1 at best.

One of our Ones to Watch in 2019 players, Alex De Minaur, has been the top performer for the home team so far. ‘Demon’ has beaten two higher-ranked, well-fancied youngsters – coming from from a set down in both matches, to beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev and then Canada’s Denis Shapovalov.

Ones to Watch in the first week of the season…

In each of the last two years, one of our annual Ones to Watch listed players has made it to a final in the very first week of the season.

In 2018, Katerina Siniakova (22/1) came runner-up at WTA Shenzhen. Then 12 months ago, Daniil Medvedev finished runner-up at ATP Brisbane (14/1).

With our new batch of Ones to Watch in 2020 fresh at hand, it would be logical, then, to follow two or three of our newly-listed players to hit the ground running in the first tournaments of the new season. Especially when we can snap up some appealing odds…

Old v new in Auckland…

At WTA Auckland (hard court, WTA International grade event), the returning Serena Williams is the obvious headline name and favourite in the Outright Winner market. The 38-year-old living legend is around 2/1 in general.

As ever with Serena over the years, if she turns up match-fit and healthy and plays her best tennis, then she’ll take some stopping. But ‘years’ is the key word there. And Williams hasn’t actually won a Singles trophy of any description for almost two years now. That was the Australian Open (when pregnant) in 2017. Earlier that January, Serena went out in the 2nd round in what was to date her only appearance here at WTA Auckland.

In the same half of the Auckland draw and at the extreme other end of the age spectrum, our 15-year-old One to Watch in 2020 pick Cori Gauff is also sure to draw plenty of attention this week…

As I discussed in our pre-season report, ‘Coco’ can only play a limited number of tournaments between now and her 16th birthday in March. This is one of them. She’s already shown how good she is. How good she can be (and when) remains to be seen.

Expectations are high and it doesn’t always work out straight away for a teenager new on the tour. But going into a brand new season this week, I can’t resist putting up Coco at 16/1 with Skybet or 12/1 in general. She’s won one WTA title already – and more will surely follow.

Two challengers in Brisbane…

WTA Brisbane (hard court, WTA Premier grade event) is the biggest women’s event of the week.

As such, the draw is packed with top names at single-figure quotes, including World No.1 Ashleigh Barty at a top price 7/2 (4.50), World No.3 Naomi Osaka at 5/1 and World No.3 Karolina Pliskova at 7/1.

Barty will have the home crowd cheering her every move. The Aussie favourite has pledged to donate her winnings this week to the bushfires campaign. Pliskova has won this title in two of the last three years. Former champ Elina Svitolina is also in the mix, at 8/1 at best.

I like our two Ones to Watch in 2020 representatives here…

Sofia Kenin (20/1) and Karolina Muchova (33/1 and 25/1) are in the bottom half of the Brisbane draw. If things go well, they could meet in the semi finals. Before that, Kenin would likely need to beat Osaka. Muchova would probably need to take out Pliskova. Both Kenin and Muchova have beaten those higher-ranked opponents before…

Big-server in Shenzhen…

At WTA Shenzhen (hard court, WTA International grade event), there are two solid looking favourites in Belinda Bencic at 4/1 and reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka at 10/3 (4.33).

But for a better price, the big-serving Ekaterina Alexandrova is already through to the 2nd round (winning 81% of 1st Serve Points in her straight-sets 1st round win) and can be backed at 16/1 with Betfred and 11/1 in general.

The 25-year-old Russian is at a career-high No.35 in the world, and has now won 11 of her last 13 WTA matches on hard courts, including a trophy win at the lower-tier WTA $125k event in Limoges at the very end of the 2019 campaign.

Wait and see in Doha…

On the men’s tour, the ATP Doha market is yet to mature (hard court, ATP 250 grade event). Play doesn’t start until Monday lunchtime and as I write, not many bookies have got their Outright Winner prices up.

This year’s event in Qatar features less big names than usual, with the likes of Novak Djokovic and last year’s winner Roberto Bautista-Agut busy at the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia this week, competing for Serbia and Spain respectively.

We may return to the Doha market in the next few days.

But for now, we’re kicking off our 2020 campaign with four players to follow in the Outright Winner markets in week one of the WTA season. At the outsider prices we go for, my preference is always very much to back our players Each Way.

Ones to Watch:

Outright Winner picks – Each Way

WTA Auckland:

  • Cori Gauff is 16/1 Skybet, 12/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill, Boylesports, NetBet, 10Bet

WTA Brisbane:

  • Sofia Kenin is 20/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill, Boylesports
  • Karolina Muchova is 33/1 with Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 25/1 Bet365, William Hill, Boylesports, NetBet, 10Bet

WTA Shenzhen:

  • Ekaterina Alexandrova is 16/1 with Betfred, 11/1 with Bet365 and in general

Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places.

Play starts from around 1am (UK time) in Auckland, 3am in Shenzhen and 4am in Brisbane. Bookies suspend their Outright Winner markets during each day’s matches.

We’re just getting started…

It’s the first week of the season. All of 2020 lies in front of us. I’m really looking forward to it and I hope you are, too.

That’s all from me for this evening, on what’s been our first ‘Sunday Night Club’ of the year.

I’ll be back throughout the week with updates from the ATP Cup and all of this week’s tournaments.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch