Tennis Betting Advice - October 2018

WTA Elite Trophy – 8/1 and 10/1 picks…

Monday 29th October 2018

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • WTA Elite Trophy…
  • All to play for…
  • Zhuhai picks…

The final dozen…

We return to the scene of one of our 2017 triumphs this week, with the WTA Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai, China…

This is the ‘second tier’ end-of-season WTA title event, after the highest ranked players were in action in the WTA World Tour Finals in Singapore last week.

Elina Svitolina was a 10/1 winner in Singapore, beating 8/1 Sloane Stephens in the final. The prices are similarly bunched up for this week’s Zhuhai tournament.

The 12 players taking part are split into four groups, with the group winners going through to the semi finals.

Here are those four groups of players, along with the overall tournament Outright Winner prices (decimal odds in brackets):

Qiang Wang 8/1 (9.00)
Madison Keys 10/1 (11.00)
Daria Kasatkina 8/1 (9.00)

Shuai Zhang 25/1 (26.00)
Anastasija Sevastova 10/1 (11.00)
Garbine Muguruza 7/1 (8.00)

Caroline Garcia 8/1 (9.00)
Ashleigh Barty 10/1 (11.00)
Aryna Sabalenka 6/1 (7.00)

Julia Goerges 15/2 (8.50)
Anett Kontaveit 14/1 (15.00)
Elise Mertens 16/1 (17.00)

Zhuhai picks – at 8/1 and 10/1…

As the prices above show, the bookies aren’t particularly keen on any one player. Sabalenka is the slight favourite – 6/1 at best and 5/1 in general – on the back of a breakthrough summer run and impressive end to the hard court season. The workload may have taken its toll as she faded a little in her last two events of the Asian Swing this autumn. It could well be that we get better prices and scenarios to back this exciting young player next season – and beyond.

Muguruza, Keys, Mertens and Kontaveit have all had various injury niggles recently.

Garcia and Barty are top class when on song, but seem to suffer the nervous wobbles in crunch matches a bit too often for me.

Almost a year ago to the day we backed Goerges at 7/1 for the trophy. She’s available at a similar price again this week – and arrives in similar circumstances, on the back of a tournament win (WTA Luxembourg) in her most recent event. Last season she arrived after winning Moscow. However, defending a title of this size is a high pressure task – no-one’s done it yet at this tournament – and Goerges hasn’t quite been as reliable as last season.

Kasatkina is top seed here, as the new No.10 in the world rankings (the tournament is made up of 11 players ranked Top 20 who didn’t play in Singapore, plus one wildcard). Kasatkina was a 22/1 winner for us in Moscow last time out; the follow-up run might be too much to ask of the youngster here – although confidence should be at an all-time high. Again, we’ll get better prices for this talented young player in different events to come.

The outsider is China’s Shuai Zhang at 25/1. Ranked No.36 in the world, Zhang is here as the recipient of a wildcard for this ‘home’ event.

That leaves us with two names…

Qiang Wang was the standout player of the WTA Tour’s recent Asian Swing. She’s now the Chinese No.1, and since the end of July her hard-court form in this part of the world reads: Final – Won (Nanchang), Final – Won* (Asian Games – *non-WTA event), Semi Final (Hiroshima), Final Won (Guangzhou), Semi Final (Wuhan), Semi Final (Beijing), Final – Runner-up (Hong Kong).

That’s an awesome set of results which add up to an incredibly impressive won 29 lost 4 match record from those tournaments combined. Clearly, Wang plays her best tennis in Asia. Extending that form further back, all 23 of her appearances in pro career finals at all levels have come in tournaments played in this part of the globe. The 26-year-old Wang arrives here at a career-high of No.22 in the rankings.

My other selection is Anastasija Sevastova. The 28-year-old Latvian is also enjoying an excellent season, up to a career-best No.11 in the world. She made the semi final here in Zhuhai last year, only beaten by eventual champ Goerges. In 2018 Sevastova’s achievements include three finals – winning in Bucharest (clay) and finishing runner-up in both Mallorca (grass) and most recently, Beijing (hard). As those three runs demonstrate, Sevastova has the skills & game to deliver on any surface. She’s full of angles, drop-shots and craft – and is a real fighter on court.

At 10/1, she’s not quite priced in with the favourites on day one. Yet Sevastova is the second-highest ranked player on show, won her group to reach the semis here last season – and arrives in Zhuhai with excellent hard-court form including a semi final indoors in Moscow last time out, the Beijing final (runner-up) and a big run to the US Open semi finals this summer.

Wang and Sevastova are my two WTA Ones to Watch this week. Considering the prices, and with the bookies offering reduced 1/3rd the odds Each Way for reaching the final (as opposed to the standard 1/2 odds place terms), I’m going for these picks as Win Only (1 pt) stakes.

WTA Zhuhai – WTA Elite Trophy

Outright Winner:

BET: Qiang Wang @ 8/1
BOOKIES: 8/1 (9.00) Betfred, 15/2 (8.50) Bet365, William Hill, Coral

BET: Anastasija Sevastova @ 10/1
BOOKIES: 10/1 (11.00) Betfred, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, William Hill, Bet365

Latest odds here

Play starts on Tuesday from 6am. Bookies will temporarily suspend their Outright/ Tournament Winner markets during the day’s play. You can watch the WTA Elite Trophy live on BT Sport.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch