Tennis Betting Advice - March 2020

Indian Wells off, but we’re looking ahead...

Monday 9th March 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Indian Wells called off...
  • Grand Slam picks in prospect...
  • 100/1 contenders...

Indian Wells called off...

There’s some big tennis news today with the announcement from the USA that organisers have called off Indian Wells.

The first WTA Premier Mandatory and ATP Masters 1000 event of the year won’t take place ‘at this time.’ Whether that means Indian Wells 2020 is cancelled completely, or postponed until later in the year, we don’t know. But with the tennis calendar as packed as it is, the former is looking the most likely.

That decision now opens up the possibility for a domino effect in terms of tournaments being called off. The Miami Open is also scheduled for March, and is another massive event on both the men’s & women’s tours.

Of course, health comes first. And the attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus is behind the Indian Wells announcement.

It’s a worrying time for many reasons. As Nick Kyrgios pointed out in regards to the Australian bushfires in January, some things are way bigger than tennis.

In terms of the tournament calendar, there is no need to get too carried away with a doom-and-gloom scenario just yet. As it stands, we have lost Indian Wells, and that’s all.

The US Open connection...

Today’s announcement does however mean that our immediate plans for this week are no longer applicable. We won’t be having any Ones to Watch action at Indian Wells.

But we’re still going ahead with ‘phase two’ of what I originally had in store for this week...

As I mentioned the other day, there’s an interesting hard-court Grand Slam form line that I’ve noticed over the last couple of years...

In 2018:

  • Naomi Osaka won Indian Wells at 125/1, claiming her first ever WTA title
  • Later that year, a 20-year-old Osaka then won her first Grand Slam, the US Open, at 50/1
  • That was directly followed at the next Major, with Naomi triumphing at the Australian Open 2019, at 14/1

In 2019:

  • Bianca Andreescu won Indian Wells at 100/1, in what was also Andreescu’s first ever WTA main-tour title
  • After that March breakthrough, the 18-year-old was 33/1 for the US Open 2019, eventually going off in New York in August as a 14/1 shot – and duly lifting a first Grand Slam trophy, while still a teenager

Other Indian Wells/ hard-court Grand Slam evidence includes:

  • 2014 WTA Indian Wells winner Flavia Pennetta. At the time, age 32, Indian Wells was just the second WTA hard-court title of the Italian’s career, and the biggest, too
  • The following season, Pennetta was a huge 200/1 winner at the US Open 2015 – which was to be her first & only Grand Slam Singles triumph (Pennetta retired at the end of that season)

And on the men’s tour:

  • Last season’s ATP Indian Wells winner Dominic Thiem. Aged 25, the Austrian was an 80/1 winner at Indian Wells 2019, for the biggest title of his career to date
  • Thiem then went on to reach the Australian Open final in January of this year, finishing runner-up from a starting price of 22/1

After Indian Wells success triggered a breakthrough at the hard-court Grand Slams (US Open/ Australian Open), each of those players went on to reach career-highs in the world rankings:

Osaka No.1
Andreescu No.4
Pennetta No.6
Thiem No.3

Grand Slam picks in prospect...

To me, those trends are significant. Especially in the women’s game, where players have made great leaps forward by winning on the hard courts at the prestigious Indian Wells event – then gone on to deliver at the US Open in particular.

My original tactic this week was going to be to double-up on our Indian Wells picks, backing players in the both the Outright Winner markets for that event, and also for the US Open 2020.

The thinking being, anticipating a player making a big breakthrough in March, and getting the biggest prices for the US Open in August by moving in early.

Last year we would have been on a nice path with that two-pronged attack. We got on Andreesu at Indian Wells, taking odds of 30/1 & 28/1, halfway through the tournament. The Canadian teenager then went on to win big at the US Open, too.

Of course, there now won’t be any Indian Wells 2020 form to test out that theory with at this year’s US Open. But I’ve still got a couple of players that were in my initial notes for this week’s cancelled event.

And if my logic and analysis is in the right ball park, then those names will be worthy of consideration for the Grand Slam tournament in New York at the end of this summer.

I’ll continue on that line of enquiry later in the week. One or two early-bird Grand Slam selections are in prospect.

In the course of that analysis, we may even have the latest contender in our attempt to land a 100/1 shot...

  • As it stands, we already have Andrey Rublev in the book for the men’s US Open 2020. As I write, Bet365 are still standing firm with Rublev at 100/1 Each Way

I’ll be back later in the week with more on that early-bird Grand Slam/ US Open analysis. We’ll also be taking a look at some facts & figures from our Ones to Watch tournament picks so far this season.

We’ll give things a few days to see how things develop regarding the coronavirus and the potential impact on upcoming tournaments, with the Miami Open the next big tennis event scheduled for March. Look out for your next email from me on Thursday.

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch