Tennis Betting Advice - January 2022

Three underdogs for tonight - Summer Set treble at 11/1...

Wednesday 5th January 2022

Rusty isn’t the word…

I said that Aryna Sabalenka might be a bit rusty in her first match of the season. But I didn’t expect her to be that rusty…

The world no.2 registered an ugly total of 18 Double Faults.

After a competitive first set, in which both players had set points, Sabalenka went down 7-6, 6-1 to 21-year-old 3/1+ match underdog, Kaja Juvan.

My 2-1 Set Betting selection didn’t come off this time. But the hit-or-miss way that Sabalenka plays, I recommend keeping the big-hitting 23-year-old in mind for three-set matches this season.

Those double faults really cost the Belarusian. During one game in the second set, Aryna gifted every point that her opponent ‘won,’ courtesy of a double fault. Five DF’s in one game is some going. There were plenty of frustrated looks over to her coaching box.

It was hard to watch by the end. In golfing parlance, I’d be tempted to call it a case of The Yips. But on last night’s evidence, I’d say Sabalenka’s erratic serving was down to technique and a lack of match sharpness, rather than any particular bout of anxiety.

That said, I’ve seen Aryna struggle on the big stage before, in Grand Slams – although in 2021 she did look to be improving in that mental toughness category, overall. Let’s see what she can bring in the 2022 Majors.

  • Last season, Sabalenka served more Double Faults than any other player on the WTA Tour
  • Last night, 18 of the 76 points that Juvan won in the match came via Double Faults by her opponent. That’s a whopping 24% of pts donated to her by Sabalenka, without Juvan having to hit a ball

Land of the giants…

In the men’s game – and at the other end of the serving spectrum – there’s a big-hitting battle in store on Thursday morning.

The all-American clash between Maxime Cressy and Reilly Opelka is one for the ‘hardcore’ tennis fans in Melbourne. Cressy stands 6’6” – and Opelka is 6’11”

It would be reductive to suggest that these exceptionally tall players are just big servers. But there’s no denying that the serve is a big part of their game.

Indeed, Opelka was ranked 2nd on the ATP Tour for percentage of serves to Aces last season.

While in Cressy’s 6/1 underdog win over Pablo Carreno-Busta at the US Open last August, the American thumped down a frankly frightening 44 Aces during an epic five-set tussle.

As I write, the bookies are being slow/ reluctant to price up any serve or set-score related markets for Cressy v Opelka. The match is scheduled for around 9am tomorrow morning (UK time), so there may well be some betting options available between now and then.

Areas to look out for: First Set Tiebreak, or other Tiebreak-related markets (such as the 7-6 Set Correct Score).

  • 3 of Cressy’s last 5 matches have featured a Tiebreak (7-6 Set Score) in the 1st Set
  • 13 of Opelka’s last 20 matches in the 2021 season featured one or more Tiebreak sets – with 7 of those 7-6 scores coming in the 1st Set

Summer Set treble at 11/1…

As I stated yesterday, a large part of our Ones to Watch business involves backing underdogs. Be it in the tournament Outright Winner markets, where we look to follow appealing outsiders at attractive Each Way prices. Or in the daily match lists, where we are always on the hunt for a value Match Winner price, and a potential upset…

This week on the women’s tour I’ve been mainly focused on the WTA 250-grade tournament in Melbourne, christened the ‘Summer Set 2.’ On the Outrights, we’ve got a pair of 33/1+ shots running for us: Jasmine Paolini, and Sorana Cirstea. Both are priced as the slight underdogs to win their 2nd round matches tonight, at Evens+ (2.0+).

Along with those two, another I like as the matchday outsider is Anastasija Sevastova. The 31-year-old Latvian is a bit underrated on hard courts if you ask me. In the 1st round, she served brilliantly in a straight-sets victory over Caroline Garcia. Winning an impressive 81% of her First Serve Points, and giving up just one break point in the entire match. On the WTA Tour, those are very good serving stats.

Tonight’s opponent Ann Li is a young player that I like. The upcoming 21-year-old American starts the new season at a new career high of no.47 in the world. Ann Li was in my thoughts as an Australian Open outside chance twelve months ago, backed as a 350/1 rank outsider before going out in the 3rd round (at the hands of an in-the-mood Sabalenka).

This match will be the youngster’s first encounter with Sevastova. And as well as a dangerous serve, the Latvian also brings a box of tricks that could make life difficult for the favourite: Sevastova has one of the meanest slices on the tour, and possibly the best drop-shot, too. Odds of 13/8 (2.63) look a bit harsh on the former world no.11.

At the prices, I’m putting Paolini, Cirstea, and Sevastova up as singles to win their respective matches tonight/ Thursday morning. For a bigger-odds opportunity, the treble appeals at 11/1, too.


Ones to Watch picks:

WTA Melbourne – Summer Set 2

Match Winner:

  • JASMINE PAOLINI to beat Irina Begu @ 11/10 (2.1) William Hill, Skybet, BetVictor, 21/20 (2.05) Betway, Evens (2.0) Bet365
  • SORANA CIRSTEA to beat Amanda Anisimova @ 6/5 (2.2) Bet365, William Hill, Skybet, BetVictor
  • ANASTASIJA SEVASTOVA to beat Ann Li @ 13/8 (2.63) Bet365, Skybet, BetVictor, 8/5 (2.6) William Hill, 6/4 (2.5) Boylesports, Betway
  • Treble @ 11/1 William Hill, BetVictor, Skybet, Bet365 (10% Acca Bonus)


Play starts at Midnight, UK time. All three matches are being shown live on Amazon Prime Video.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch