Tennis Betting Advice - May 2021

Women's Grand Slams: big prices, and first-time winners...

Tuesday 25th May 2021

In Ones to Watch today:

  • Pegula on the radar…
  • Women’s Grand Slams: big prices, and first-time winners…
  • Ready for Roland Garros this weekend… 

On the radar…

Jessica Pegula has been a regular in Ones to Watch this season. While fellow American – and Australian Open runner-up – Jennifer Brady has been deservedly piling up the plaudits. Pegula has been quietly improving, slight off the radar for many…

That might change if she can start reaching some finals. So far this year, we’ve backed Pegula in three big tournaments. At odds of 100/1 (Australian Open – quarter final), 18/1 (WTA 1000 Dubai – quarter final), and 25/1 (WTA 1000 Miami – 4th round).

  • Since the starts of February, Pegula has competed in 6 tournaments, and reached the quarter finals or better in 4 of them

This week, the 27-year-old went off as a 4/1 favourite for a smaller event, WTA 250 Strasbourg. That’s just the latest example of a Ones to Watch name coming in drastically on the odds, after featuring for us at triple-figures. See also Casper Ruud and Paula Badosa, as discussed in yesterday’s article, The difference between players and prices.

Of course, Pegula’s lowly 4/1 price this week was largely due to the scale and status of the Strasbourg tournament. With the French Open just days away, the final clay-court ‘warm-up’ event hasn’t attracted many of the big names.

February’s quarter-final run in Melbourne was Jessica’s best ever performance at a Grand Slam. Now inside the world’s Top 30, I’m keen to see how the French Open draw comes out for her this weekend…

In the current, ante post market, Pegula is 100/1 with Unibet and 50/1 in general. She’s not going in the book for me today, but I am definitely keeping an eye on Jessica Pegula as dark-horse potential for next week’s Grand Slam in Paris.

Women’s Grand Slams: big prices, and first-time winners…

Rafael Nadal has won the men’s French Open title 13 times out of 16. He’s the odds-on 5/6 (1.83) favourite to break his own Roland Garros record next month.

The women’s event, however, is a different story altogether…

Simona Halep has got to the final twice in the last four years, but she’s out injured this time.

Since Justine Henin’s dominance in the mid-noughties (four French Open wins in five years from 2003 – 2007), the women’s clay-court Major has been a wide-open affair…

  • The last 13 French Open titles have been won by 11 different women

Since 2007, the only double winners in Paris have been Serena Williams (2013 & 2015), and Maria Sharapova (2012 & 2014). The last five champions have all been women getting their hands on the Suzanne-Lenglen cup for the first time:

2016 – Garbine Muguruza @ 16/1
2017 – Jelena Ostapenko @ 100/1
2018 – Simona Halep @ 6/1
2019 – Ashleigh Barty @ 22/1
2020 – Iga Swiatek @ 100/1

This ‘first-time champion’ trend is not exclusive to the French Open. I’ve gone back over the last 22 women’s Grand Slams (GS) overall, and the pattern continues: with big prices and newcomers cropping up time and time again…

Here are my findings:

  • 12 of the last 22 women’s Grand Slams have seen a player reach the final for the first time
  • 15 of the last 44 finalists were playing in their first GS final
  • 3 of the last 5 have produced a maiden Grand Slam winner (Swiatek, Kenin, Andreescu)
  • And 5 of last 7 have seen first-time finalists

Here’s that list of finalists and prices in full, with the first-timers marked on in brackets:

Women’s Grand Slam finals:

Australian Open 2021
Winner: Naomi Osaka 11/2
Runner-up: Jennifer Brady 33/1 (first GS final)

French Open 2020
Winner: Iga Swiatek 100/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Sofia Kenin 50/1

US Open 2020
Winner: Naomi Osaka 11/2
Runner-up: Victoria Azarenka 22/1

Australian Open 2020
Winner: Sofia Kenin 50/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Garbine Muguruza 40/1

US Open 2019
Winner: Bianca Andreescu 14/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Serena Williams 5/1

Wimbledon 2019
Winner: Simona Halep 18/1
Runner-up: Serena Williams 8/1

French Open 2019
Winner: Ashleigh Barty 22/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Marketa Vondrousova 40/1 (first GS final)

Australian Open 2019
Winner: Naomi Osaka 14/1
Runner-up: Petra Kvitova 18/1

US Open 2018
Winner: Naomi Osaka 50/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Serena Williams 6/1

Wimbledon 2018
Winner: Angelique Kerber 12/1
Runner-up: Serena Williams 6/1

French Open 2018
Winner: Simona Halep 6/1
Runner-up: Sloane Stephens 50/1

Australian Open 2018
Winner: Caroline Wozniacki 10/1
Runner-up: Simona Halep 8/1

US Open 2017
Winner: Sloane Stephens 40/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Madison Keys 16/1 (first GS final)

Wimbledon 2017
Winner: Garbine Muguruza 10/1
Runner-up: Venus Williams 16/1

French Open 2017
Winner: Jelena Ostapenko 100/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Simona Halep 4/1

Australian Open 2017
Winner: Serena Williams 3/1
Runner-up: Venus Williams 100/1

US Open 2016
Winner: Angelique Kerber 10/1
Runner-up: Karolina Pliskova 33/1 (first GS final)

Wimbledon 2016
Winner: Serena Williams 13/8
Runner-up: Angelique Kerber 25/1

French Open 2016
Winner: Garbine Muguruza 16/1
Runner-up: Serena Williams 11/4

Australian Open 2016
Winner: Angelique Kerber 50/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Serena Williams 3/1

US Open 2015
Winner: Flavia Pennetta 200/1 (first GS final)
Runner-up: Roberta Vinci 500/1 (first GS final)

Wimbledon 2015
Winner: Serena Williams 2/1
Runner-up: Garbine Muguruza 80/1 (first GS final)

Ready for Roland Garros this weekend…

Recent history is clear: first-time finalists and big-price winners are frequent occurrences at the French Open, and at women’s Grand Slams in general.

You & I will be looking for the big-odds contenders in Paris over the next two weeks.

The French Open draw will be made on Thursday evening, with the 1st round matches starting from Sunday. I’ll be studying the draw over the weekend, and releasing my first Outright Winner selections in your Day 1 email on Sunday morning. The countdown is on…

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch