Tennis Betting Advice - October 2019

Ones to Watch this week at 16/1 and 20/1…

Sunday 13th October 2019

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • Five indoor tournaments…
  • 16/1 and 20/1 shots this week…
  • Play starts 9am…

Right to oppose the favourites…

Last week’s tournaments saw five out of six finalists at double-figure odds.

We had a close one in Tianjin. Our pick Magda Linette (20/1) had four match points against Heather Watson in the quarter finals. The Brit saved them all, and went on to reach the final (at 40/1).

As anticipated, pre-tournament Tianjin market leaders Sofia Kenin (withdrew injured) and Dayana Yastremska (quarter finals) both failed to deliver on their single-figure prices.

In Shanghai, the top two in the betting – Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer – also both failed to make the finals. Our outsider David Goffin (50/1) blew five set points v Federer. Goffin is the 4/1 favourite to win ‘at home’ in Antwerp, Belgium this week.

The only real ‘form horse’ that delivered last week was man-of-the-moment Daniil Medvedev, who took the title in Shanghai. That’s now a remarkable six finals in a row for the surging Russian. While this streak continues, we won’t see any tasty prices for the star man from our One to Watch in 2019 list.

There was a great story in Linz. Teenager Cori Gauff lost in qualifying – but benefitted from an injury withdrawal which gifted her a place in the main draw as a Lucky Loser. The 15-year-old took full advantage, going all the way to take the trophy and with it, the first senior WTA title of her young and very promising career.

The bookies didn’t risk adding the highly-rated Gauff into their revised Outright Winner prices last week. The 50/1 I’ve recorded below comes from the cumulative odds of the American winning each match in the main draw, round by round.

Here are last week’s full tournament results and prices:

WTA Tianjin
Winner: R.Peterson (16/1)
Runner-up: H.Watson (40/1) 

WTA Linz
Winner: C.Gauff (50/1)
Runner-up: J.Ostapenko (25/1)  

ATP Shanghai
Winner: D.Medvedev (13/2)
Runner-up: A.Zverev (14/1)  

Five indoor tournaments…

This week we have no fewer than five tournaments taking place in Europe, all at indoor hard-court venues as the autumn weather kicks in:

WTA Luxembourg
WTA Moscow
ATP Stockholm
ATP Antwerp
ATP Moscow

There’s plenty of scope for going after big prices in this week’s events. Especially in the two women’s tournaments, which are what we’re concentrating on today…

Last year, we had 22/1 Daria Kasatkina as a successful One to Watch pick in Moscow. The 22-year-old Russian has made the final two years running, and is a top price 25/1 to defend her title. That price is down to two factors – a drop-off in form in 2019, and a very tough 1st round opponent in the 19-year-old Ukrainian, Dayana Yastremska (14/1).

In the last four seasons, Luxembourg has seen finalists at outsider odds of 50/1, 25/1, 20/1 (twice), 100/1 and 33/1.

With the draws, form and prices in mind, here are the players that catch my eye as outsiders with potential this week…

Ones to Watch at 16/1 and 20/1…

Four of the last five WTA Moscow winners – and five of the last eight finalists – have been Russian. With Kasatkina in the bottom half of the draw and having a tough-looking route from day one, it could pay to look instead the other half where Ekaterina Alexandrova is another home player that could deliver here…

As well as being Russian, the 24-year-old also ticks the boxes on form and on the playing surface. Alexandrova made the semi finals indoors at Linz last week, and has hit a career-high of No.35 in the world this month.

With a big serve and a flat forehand – classic Russian traits – Ekaterina’s game is suited to indoor hard-courts. Three of her last four finals at all levels have come in those conditions. And her career match record indoors is an impressive won 120 lost 47, for a 72% match win rate. That’s the kind of formbook stat that makes you sit up and take notice.

On paper, Alexandrova has a decent run through the early rounds here, with a qualifier up first followed by one of two younger and lower-ranked Russians. Odds of around 20/1 appeal.

Sticking with the Russian theme, we can’t ignore the Moscow record of the veteran, Svetlana Kuznetsova

The 34-year-old’s history here is superb. Kuznetsova last appeared at this event in 2016. Her record between 2016 and 2013 was: winner, winner, quarter final, semi final. And before that, throw in a further four quarter finals and another semi final.

Time and fitness are not so much on Svetlana’s side these days. But the current World No.55 (peaked at No.2) has shown what she can still do this season. Last month, Kuznetsova came through qualifying to win four matches and reach the 4th round in Wuhan. And in August, she made the Cincinnati final as a 250/1 rank outsider.

Like Alexandrova, Kuznetova is also available at around 20/1. Don’t rule out those two meeting in an all-Russian quarter final this week.

In the top half of the WTA Luxembourg draw we could make a case for a number of players. Not least Cori Gauff (16/1), along with last week’s beaten finalist Jelena Ostapenko (16/1), Elise Mertens (4/1 favourite) and recent Tashkent champion Alison Van Uytvanck (12/1).

Of those, I just can’t rule out Cori Gauff. I’ve been wary of bandwagon-jumpers with this youngster this summer. She’s still only 15 years old, after all. But hype aside, the American really is looking very much the real deal.

As with Medvedev in the men’s, a streaking player can be one to follow week after week when in the zone. With the end of the season approaching and therefore, less pressure regarding the limited number of WTA tournaments that a player of this young age is permitted to enter, this low-key event could benefit greatly from the Coco phenomenon.

And the chips look to have fallen nicely again for Gauff this week. After last week’s Lucky Loser entry, her place here in the Luxembourg main draw comes courtesy of Maria Sharapova withdrawing with a shoulder injury.

Odds of 16/1, 14/1 and 12/1 are enough for me to pick out the teenager as One to Watch this week.

  • Make sure you go with a bookie that voids Outright Winner bets in the event of a withdrawal before the 1st round though – just in case Gauff pulls out after last week’s heroics in Linz. All the bookies I’ve listed below tick that box. More on that topic here

In the bottom half of the Luxembourg draw, the names are less well known and one to shine could be Elena Rybakina

The 20-year-old from Kazakhstan is up to a career-best of No.43 in the world, and has shown promising form lately with runs to the quarter finals or better in three of her last four tournaments. That includes finishing runner-up in Nanchang last month, as a 12/1 shot.

2019 has certainly been a breakthrough year for Rybakina. She’s won a maiden WTA title – triumphing at 25/1 in Bucharest – as well as a further quarter final and semi on the main tour. Plus, four finals on the lower-tier ITF Tour, including two tournament wins at indoor hard-court events. There could be more to come before the season is done. Odds of 16/1 and 14/1 make Elena a One to Watch selection here.

Ones to Watch this week:

  • Ekaterina Alexandrova is 22/1 with Skybet, 20/1 Bet365, 18/1 Ladbrokes, Coral, NetBet, 10Bet
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova is 25/1 with Skybet, 22/1 Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 20/1 Bet365, NetBet, 10Bet

Latest WTA Moscow odds here

  • Cori Gauff is 16/1 with Coral, Ladbrokes, 14/1 Bet365, 12/1 Skybet
  • Elena Rybakina is 16/1 with Bet365, Boylesports, NetBet, 10Bet, 14/1 Skybet, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook

Latest WTA Luxembourg odds here

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

Monday’s play starts from 9.00am (UK time). Bookies suspend their Outright Winner markets during the day’s matches.

I’ll be back midweek with more on this week’s tournaments.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch