Tennis Betting Advice - October 2019

WTA Elite Trophy – Riske underrated at 18/1…

Monday 21st October 2019 

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Ones to Watch in China…
  • WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai…
  • Play starts 7am…

Ones to Watch in China…

It’s business as usual on the men’s tour this week with two ATP tournaments. We looked at the draws and Outright Winner markets for those on Sunday night. My analysis focused on four players at attractive Each Way prices for Basel and Vienna.

On the women’s tour, the end of the year is closing in. This week it’s the second tier & part one of the season-closing championships, with 12 players doing battle on hard-court in Zhuhai, China for the WTA Elite Trophy.

Zhuhai has been a good venue for us. In 2017, we had Julia Goerges as a successful 7/1 One to Watch here. And just last month in the men’s tour event, we were on ATP Zhuhai winner Alex De Minaur at 16/1.

The WTA Elite Trophy eschews the usual tennis tournament knockout format. Instead, the 12 players are split into four groups of three. After a round robin group stage, the four group winners then progress to the semi finals.

Five of the 12 players are priced at single-figure odds. A couple of Ones to Watch 2019 regulars head up the betting. The oddsmakers have Sofia Kenin as slight favourite at 9/2 (5.50), followed by Aryna Sabalenka at 5/1 (6.00).

Kiki Bertens is the highest-ranked player. She’s a 6/1 (7.00) shot. The ever-dangerous but ‘hot or cold’ Madison Keys is 13/2 (7.50). Last week’s WTA Moscow semi-finalist Karolina Muchova is 9/1 (10.00).

The Elite Trophy is made up of the 11 highest-ranked players that haven’t qualified for the flagship WTA Finals in Shenzhen, plus one Wildcard (World No.40 Saisai Zheng of China). With big names like Serena Williams, Johanna Konta and Angelique Kerber out injured, the door has opened up for players like Muchova (ranked No.26), Dayana Yastremska (No.26) and Alison Riske (No.19).

Here are the groups (tournament price in brackets):

Azalea Group
Kiki Bertens (6/1)
Donna Vekic (14/1)
Dayana Yastremska (12/1)

Camellia Group
Sofia Kenin (9/2)
Alison Riske (18/1)
Karolina Muchova (9/1)

Orchid Group
Madison Keys (13/2)
Petra Martic (10/1)
Saisai Zheng (25/1)

Rose Group
Aryna Sabalenka (5/1)
Elise Mertens (11/1)
Maria Sakkari (20/1)

Riske underrated at 18/1…

With bookies betting 1/3 odds Each Way for 1-2 places for this event – with a smaller field and different format to a ‘normal’ tournament, where the industry standard is 1/2 the odds – the players at short figures in the Outright betting hold even less appeal than usual.

And with the groups, prices and form in mind, two players stand out for us at the underdog end of the market.

Five of the eight previous WTA Elite Trophy finalists were aged 25+, including three of the last four and two of the last three winners. That stat helps inform our analysis. As with Goerges in 2017, it could be that the older players recognise this event as one of their best chance to win a significant trophy.

In the Orchid group…

Keys has failed to get past the group stage in her two previous appearances. Zheng is a Wildcard and a crowd-pleasing entry for the Chinese fans. She is also the lowest-ranked player here.

Martic (10/1) has had the best season of her career, reaching two finals and winning one – along with an impressive run to the French Open quarter finals. The Croatian is up to a career-high of No.15 in the world. Since the start of the US Open in August, Petra has won 10 out of 14 matches on hard courts – with three of those four losses coming to Top 10 players (of which there are none competing here in Zhuhai).

And in the Camellia group…

I’m willing to take on the favourite Kenin. As I mentioned earlier this month, the 20-year-old American is currently being priced up as if she’s reached more finals than she has. In other words, there’s little value to be found on Kenin right now – regardless of how good she could turn out to be (and we could be looking at a future Grand Slam winner).

Muchova played in Moscow last week and was a late qualifier here. Her recent surge of results – a semi final and final – keeps the Czech’s price low. Riske (18/1) has had longer to prepare – last match 3rd October in Beijing – and that could help out the 29-year-old American this week.

Like the 28-year-old Martic, Riske is playing her best tennis in this latter stage of her career. She’s up to a career-best No.19 in the world, and won the title at WTA ‘s-Hertongenbosch on grass this summer – beating Bertens in the final. Alison has also made two finals on the hard courts here in China, finishing a 40/1 runner-up to Sabalenka at both Shenzhen in January and Wuhan last month.

Add in a first Grand Slam quarter final at Wimbledon (followed by getting married), and 2019 has been a fantastic year for Riske. She looks underrated in the betting this week.

Ones to Watch – WTA Elite Trophy, Zhuhai:

  • Petra Martic is 10/1 Each Way with Bet365, William Hill, NetBet, 10Bet
  • Alison Riske is 18/1 Each Way with NetBet, 10Bet, 14/1 Bet365, 12/1 William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral

Latest odds here

Each Way terms: 1/3 odds 1-2 places.

Play starts in Zhuhai from 7am Tuesday (UK time). Bookies suspend their Outright Winner markets during each day’s matches.

The tournament is being shown live on BT Sport every day.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch