Tennis Betting Advice - June 2021

French Open: Day 9 – and two picks for Nottingham…

Monday 7th June 2021

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • French Open – Day 9…
  • Kostyuk v Swiatek tonight…
  • Ones to Watch in Nottingham – at 10/1 and 20/1…

Good morning and welcome to Day 9 of your French Open 2021 daily service. I’m in your inbox every morning. If you want to get in mine, email me at:  

Wide open…

I say it at pretty much every women’s Grand Slam these days. But it’s true: the draw is wide open…

Serena Williams was dispatched in straight sets by Elena Rybakina yesterday. Going back a couple of days, it looks like I pulled the trigger a round early in opposing Serena. But who can forecast the future? My 100/1 choice Danielle Collins couldn’t take out the 39-year-old former champ. But Rybakina (who was 50/1 the day I flagged up Collins) made no mistake.

That result means there are now just two Top 10 seeded players left in the draw. Last year’s 100/1 winner Iga Swiatek, who is now odds-on to defend her Roland Garros, at just 10/11 (1.91) at best. Wow.

And the 2020 French Open runner-up, Sofia Kenin, who we were also on last time out, latching on to the American’s return to form last autumn, at 40/1. Kenin is putting together another low-key bounce-back here in Paris, in this her first Grand Slam since parting ways with her father as coach. Sonya is now 25/1 in the Outright Winner betting.

If it’s experience that you’re looking for as we head into week two…

Of the 12 women left in the competition, only three have reached Grand Slam finals before: Swiatek, Kenin, and Sloane Stephens. The latter was also a ‘finding form’ pick for us at the French Open, back in 2018. That spring, we jumped on at 25/1 during the tournament, and Stephens went on to reach the final. In this morning’s revised Outright market, Sloane is 20/1 at best to go all the way this week.

As we noted prior to the tournament, the French Open has produced several first-time winners in recent times…

The last five women’s champions here have all been new names on trophy. Nine of the 12 players left in this 2021 draw have never reached a semi final or final at any of the four Majors. In terms of Roland Garros titles, only 20-year-old Swiatek holds that honour.

Last year, of course, when still a teenager, Swiatek was the new name making waves. Could history repeat itself? This evening’s 4th Round Night Match in Paris might tell us something…

Young guns: Kostyuk v Swiatek tonight…

By giving it the 8pm evening slot, organisers are billing Kostyuk v Swiatek as the ‘match of the day.’ These two will be battling it out for the last remaining quarter-final spot, to face either Kenin or Maria Sakkari.

Always aiming to beat the curve, you & I are on Marta Kostyuk as this year’s 100/1 teenager for the French Open. Now, if we could pick one of these out every season, we’d all be millionaires, Rodney. But anticipating a young gun to blaze through the draw is very much what we do at Ones to Watch.

There are similarities to be drawn between both of these young women, of course. Apart from their age. Both are ferocious ball hitters. And possess the magic ingredient seen in many young sportspeople making their name over the years: no fear. That doesn’t mean nerves won’t come into play. But I do expect Kostyuk to challenge Swiatek this evening.

In the last round, Anett Kontaveit managed to push Iga as hard as anyone has on these Paris courts – for the first set, at least (7-6). I rate Kostyuk as more able to hold it together mentally than Kontaveit. As we noted back in April, this 18-year-old fits the bill as a teenager than could provide one of the next big moments in the women’s game.

The bookies make Marta a 6/1 outsider for tonight’s match. That’s to be expected, given Swiatek’s form and current status. Just as we were at the French Open 2020, I’m happy to be on the exciting, new player, at massive Outright odds.

Will a busy schedule catch up with Swiatek at some point? She’s also playing in the Doubles here. Yesterday she had an epic match that lasted over three hours – with Iga and her playing partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands coming from 5-1 down in the final set, and saving a whopping seven match points.

As we’ve already highlighted, Kontaveit managed to push the reigning champ in the first set, and was a break ahead at one stage. Kostyuk hasn’t met anyone of Swiatek’s level yet. But in the first three rounds, the Ukrainian has reeled off some of the same kind of dominant score-lines that we’re used to seeing from the Pole:

6-1, 6-4
6-3, 6-4
6-1, 6-2

As well as our 80/1 & 100/1+ Outright bet on Kostyuk, I want to see some return from a good performance tonight. For me that represents a bet on Marta to win the 1st Set, at 4/1.

Ones to Watch in Nottingham – at 10/1 and 20/1…

Over to WTA Nottingham now for the first grass-court tournament on the tour since summer 2019.

On Sunday, Coco Vandeweghe didn’t manage to get her latest injury comeback fully up and running, beaten 7-6, 6-4 in a close match. Turning our focus now to the Outright Winner market and the Nottingham draw-sheet, here at the two names I like – one in each side of the draw:

Donna Vekic @ 10/1

Vekic had knee surgery at the start of the year, and has played only one match since. That was in the 1st round at the French Open last week. Moving to the grass this week, the 24-year-old Croatian will be more at home here. And especially in Nottingham, where her record reads:

2019 – final – runner-up
2018 – semi final
2017 – final – won

This WTA 250 event, taking place during a Grand Slam, was never going to have the strongest of fields. With form and fitness doubts over the two favourites, 5/1 Johanna Konta and 8/1 Alison Riske, I’m happy to take on the top two this week. Camila Giogi and Danielle Collins have also pulled out, further softening the draw.

Vekic has also entered into the Doubles here; a move that I don’t think she would have made if she wasn’t confident of her fitness levels.

Catherine McNally @ 20/1

Going back to the teenagers, a smaller event like this could be just the scene for a rising star like Catherine ‘Caty’ McNally to reach a debut final in Singles.

Better known so far as Coco Gauff’s Doubles partner (team nickname: McCoco), Caty can play some very good stuff on her own, too. The 19-year-old American looks all upside right now, and that means she’s probably a better player than her formbook record and 20/1 price suggests.

Ones to Watch

Women’s French Open

Marta Kostyuk v Iga Swiatek

  • 1st Set Winner – Kostyuk is 4/1 with Bet365, 7/2 in general

WTA Nottingham – Viking Open

Outright Winner – Each Way

  • Donna Vekic is 10/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Skybet, Ladbrokes, Coral
  • Catherine McNally is 20/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Skybet

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

Play starts in Nottingham at 11am, and bookies will take down the Outright Winner market during the day’s matches.

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with your Day 10 French Open email, with the start of the quarter finals. As well as keeping a close eye on grass-court proceedings in Nottingham, and at the upcoming ATP tournament in Stuttgart.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch