Tennis Betting Advice - March 2023
Will Raducanu's wrist hold up? 'Injury bet' info for tonight...
Thursday 9th March 2023
Emma Raducanu hasn’t played a competitive tennis match since 18th January. She’s due back on court today at Indian Wells…
The 2021 US Open champion’s form and fitness has been stop-start for some time now. Pretty much ever since she pulled off that 100/1 Grand Slam shock in New York, to be honest.
So far this year, the 20-year-old Brit has played four matches in total. Failing to get past the 2nd round in both tournament attempts, WTA Auckland and the Australian Open, both in January.
And with one injury retirement next to her name from those four outings so far in the 2023 season. To go alongside three in-match retirements since the start of May last year. I don’t like saying it – but Emma is getting a reputation as being ‘injury prone’…
Will Raducanu’s wrist hold up?
Pulling out during a match is never what anyone wants. The player wants to compete, but doesn’t want to risk making an injury worse (or suffering an absolute beating on the scoreboard)…
The opponent gets to go through to the next round with a pay-cheque in their pocket, but celebrations and sense of achievement are muted…
While the fans and tournament organisers are left feeling short-changed.
From a betting point of view, in-match tennis retirements can cause a few complications. Depending on which bookmaker you bet with – and whether or not it was your player that pulled out ill or injured, or your pick that got handed the ‘free’ victory.
As I’ve stated many times before in this column, unless otherwise stated, my Ones to Watch Match Winner advice is always to bet with bookies that will void your bet if a player retires. That way, we know we’ll never lose our stake. And the main drive behind 99% of my match picks is that I am backing one player to win, not the other to lose or drop out sick or wounded…
You can read more about why I recommend the bookies that I do, here.
‘Injury bet’ info for tonight…
Today is one of those rare occasions in which I am approaching a match from the stance that one player may well not last the duration, due to injury issues. And that player is Emma Raducanu…
I do feel a bit for Emma, as if she pulls out of Indian Wells today with her stated wrist problem (having also recently had tonsillitis) – either before the match as a Withdrawal and Walkover, or during the contest as a Retirement – I can see the headlines now. Former US Open champ withdraws again…, Raducanu’s woes continue…, etc.
Danka Kovinic v Emma Raducanu
WTA Indian Wells
Match scheduled approx. 8.30pm, UK time
Live on Amazon Prime Video
The facts of the matter are, having pulled out of a scheduled exhibition Doubles match with Cameron Norrie on the eve of the Indian Wells 1st round this week. Emma Raducanu clearly hasn’t arrived in California with all guns blazing.
The headline quote from today’s BBC Sport article puts the info out there for everyone to see, straight from the player herself:
"I think we always play through pain and it's just a matter of how much can you take - I'm looking forward to hopefully being out there tomorrow."
That word ‘hopefully’ stands out, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t sound good.
If Emma does take to the court against 28-year-old Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, then she’ll be up against an opponent who beat her the last time they met. The head-to-head is 1-0 to Kovinic, after a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win at the Australian Open last year.
Kovinic is currently ranked no.62 in the world, with a career-high of no.46. Raducanu hit the Top 10 after her US Open success, but is now sitting at no.77 in the rankings.
We probably can’t put too much weight in the rankings figures for today’s match, though. Really, as is the gist of this write-up, this one is largely about how fit or not Raducanu is.
Experience of watching Emma before tells me that she will likely give it a go – but may not last the course. While some players are quick to pull the plug before stepping out on court. And others (Rafael Nadal springs to mind) would rather limp around and suffer a defeat than throw in the towel at any stage.
On to the betting then, and it’s a slightly murky question of which bookie, and which market to go with…
The simplest option may well be to back Kovinic To Win a Set. A bet that will pay out if the pre-match underdog gets a set on the board, regardless of whether Raducanu lasts the whole match. That option is 4/6 (1.67) with Bet365, for example. With Bet365’s Tennis Rules stating that:
‘Player To Win (Sets Markets) Including In-Play:
In the event of a disqualification or retirement all bets will be void, unless settlement of the bet has already been determined.’
Eg. If Kovinic won a set, then the bet would indeed be already ‘determined,’ should Raducanu then pull out.
For bigger odds, and considering Kovinic has beaten Emma before. A straight-up Match Winner bet on the upset would be the call at odds of 7/4 (2.75). A price that has started to come down, from 11/5 (3.2) and 2/1 (3.0) this morning. Which is understandable considering the widely-reported injury situation around the British player.
If you’re going for the Match Winner bet on Kovinic, then it’s certainly a case of checking the rules with the bookie that you use…
For example, Skybet is a good place to go, as they will pay out on Kovinic as the winner, if Raducanu retires at any point in the match:
You're betting on: who will win the match
Sky Bet will refund all losing match result bets, if the player you have bet on has retired due to injury at any point during the match. Bets on the player who is deemed to be the winner under tournament rules as a result of the retirement will still stand.’
Whereas as a ‘bet void’ rule bookie like Bet365 would void all Match Winner bets, if Raducanu retired during the match – refunding all stakes on both players.
In between those two extremes, several firms, including Ladbrokes & Coral and Paddy Power & Betfair Sportsbook/ Exchange. Will void Match Winner bets if a player retires during the 1st Set, and pay out on the winner if the opponent retires after the 1st Set has been completed. For example, if Raducanu lost the 1st Set tonight, 7-5. Then called the trainer, and called it quits. A match bet on Kovinic would pay out. But if the retirement came before the 1st Set ended, say with the score at 6-5, then bets would be void.
As I say, it can get a bit complicated.
All told, I’d say the best option is to back Kovinic to win the match with Skybet. After that, it’s up to you in terms of your bookie and their Match Winner rules. With the ‘1st Set’ rule bookies being the next-best option. Or, Kovinic To Win a Set as an alternative to the Match Winner market.
Ones to Watch picks:
WTA Indian Wells – BNP Paribas Open
See above for info regarding other bookmakers.
The match is scheduled for around 8.30pm, UK time. You can watch live on Amazon Prime Video, or live streaming with the likes of Bet365.
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Enjoy the tennis…