Tennis Betting Advice - March 2020

Sunday Night Club – indoor form the key...

Sunday 1st March 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Ones to Watch in Lyon...
  • 10/1 & 33/1 picks…
  • Play starts 10am...

The right approach...

At the prices we go for, we’re not going to get a winner every week.

The tournament Outright Winner records are consistently peppered with big-odds results, though.

That’s why we hunt at the larger end of the prices every time...

Last week in Acapulco was a good example. We took the right approach.

The women’s event in Mexico was won by Britain’s Heather Watson at 16/1, who beat a 17-year-old Canadian qualifier in the finals, 100/1 rank outsider Leylah Fernandez.

The pre-tournament, WTA Acapulco favourites were nowhere to be seen. The 5/1 top seed Sloane Stephens lost in the 1st round. And none of the top five in the betting got near enough to the final to warrant their single-figure quotes.

Our 40/1 Acapulco pick Tamara Zidansek got as far as the quarter finals. At those kinds of outsider odds, players getting to quarter finals and beyond will give us more than enough chances of a ‘big one’ as the season unfolds.

As it is, we’ve made a very good start to 2020. The biggest ‘big one’ so far has been our 50/1 pick Sofia Kenin winning the Australian Open.

Since that breakthrough triumph catapulted the 21-year-old American into the Top 10 and the bigtime, Kenin has lost in the 1st round on both of her WTA Tour appearances. This coming week, ‘Sonya’ goes off as the favourite in Lyon, at just 11/4 (3.75).

We turn our attention once again to the pursuit of the bigger prices, questing for value from young and/ or underrated players…

March Mayhem, here we come...

March has arrived. Later this month, we’ll be kept entertained by the annual ‘Sunshine Double’ on the North American hard courts, with back-to-back big tournaments featuring both the men and women in action at Indian Wells and then the Miami Open.

I’m calling that double-header ‘March Mayhem,’ because both Indian Wells & Miami have eye-catching track records for big-odds tournament winners and finalists.

There’s also an interesting March formline that I’ve noticed from those events, linked to some big payouts at the Grand Slams. More on that line of enquiry in the next few weeks.

Ones to Watch this week...

Back to matters at hand this Sunday night, two relatively minor (International-grade) women’s events take place this week: WTA Monterrey in Mexico (hard court) and WTA Lyon in France (indoor hard court).

Men & women are also in action at Indian Wells this week in the form of lower-tier ‘Challenger Series’ events, which act as something of a warm-up for the main ATP & WTA tournaments which follow on over the next fortnight.

Indoor form the key...

Lyon is a new stop on the WTA Tour. I like indoor events, as they often give us the chance to focus on a select group of players that have particularly noteworthy career form at indoor hard court venues…

The go-to traits for these playing conditions are a player that hits the ball hard and flat, with a strong serve.

Looking at the Lyon draw, the first name that jumps out for me here as matching that criteria is Alison van Uytvanck. The 25-year-old Belgian stands a rangey 5’8” and has a very good indoor record:

Van Uytvanck has won five career titles on the full-level WTA Tour. Four of them have come at indoor hard court events.

For her career overall, including lower-tier ITF tournaments, Van Uytvanck has won 16 Singles titles, and 10 of them have come indoors. That’s about as good a record as you could hope to find.

In terms of matches, the Belgian right-hander’s career win-loss figure on indoor hard courts is 115-47. That’s a 71% match win rate. Again, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better.

At odds of between 7/1 and 10/1 this week, this isn’t one of our huge-odds selections. But with the favourite Kenin appearing to be suffering from a (temporary) post-Grand Slam slump, Van Uytvanck is a perfectly acceptable pick here. Last year, Alison won two International-grade tournaments, both times starting the week at a top-price 7/1.

For bigger prices - especially with Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook offering 33/1 - French 23-year-old Oceane Dodin catches the eye indoors, too. And she’s streaking in these playing conditions right now...

Dodin has played 13 matches so far this year. A dozen of them have been at indoor events, where she’s won 10 out of 12…

That early 2020 form includes a run to the WTA St Petersburg quarter finals, where our 25/1 friend Elena Rybakina squeezed past the Frenchwoman, 6-7, 7-5, 6-2. Followed by a five-match winning run this past week, with Dodin lifting the trophy at the lower-tier ITF Macon event, also played indoors and in France.

On the overall form, Dodin ticks the boxes, too. Oceane has won one full WTA title, which came indoors at WTA Quebec. And four of her seven ITF trophies have come at indoor hard court venues. Dodin’s career match-win record figure stands at 130-58, for a 69% indoor win rate.

If you can get the standout 33/1 with Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook (who now seem to have decided to offer Each Way tennis bets again, after a brief hiatus) - then take it. If not, 18/1 and 16/1 in general is fine too, considering the form and playing conditions.

Ones to Watch:

Outright Winner picks – Each Way

WTA Lyon:

  • Alison Van Uytvanck is 10/1 (11.00) with Skybet, 9/1 (10.00) Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook, 15/2 (8.50) Ladbrokes & Coral, 7/1 (8.00) William Hill, NetBet & 10Bet
  • Oceane Dodin is 33/1 (34.00) with Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook, 18/1 (19.00) NetBet & 10Bet, 16/1 (17.00) Bet365, William Hill

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

Read more about my recommended bookies for Outright Winner bets here.

Waiting on Monterrey…

With play starting in Lyon from 10am Monday (UK time), it makes sense to get our picks down first for there.

In Monterrey, the 1st round matches will begin from 4pm on Monday. The draw in Mexico has a few potential storylines that could be worth following…

Grand Slam veterans and mothers Victoria Azarenka and Kim Clijsters return to action.

Last week’s Acapulco winner Heather Watson stays in Mexico. Watson won Monterrey in 2016. She could face fellow Brit, Johanna Konta in the 2nd round. We’ll give it 12 hours or so to see if Watson stays in the Monterrey draw, or decides to pull out after last week’s exertions.

There are already a few withdrawals swirling about on the draw-sheet, so we’ll give Monterrey a bit more time to settle before making any moves there.

I’ll be back Monday lunchtime with an update on that, either way.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch