Tennis Betting Advice - October 2021
WTA Indian Wells - time for Coco at 33/1...
Wednesday 6th October 2021
In Ones to Watch today:
It’s been over 900 days since we were last at Indian Wells…
The night of Sunday, 17th March 2019 was a memorable one for us. Bianca Andreescu prevailed in the final in a three-set classic, beating Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. It was one of the most fiercely-fought matches I’ve ever seen.
The Canadian youngster came in as a 30/1 Ones to Watch winner for us there, backed halfway through the tournament. On day one of the event, Andreescu had been 100/1. Keeping up a recent tradition for massive-odds results here in the Californian desert. With new names on the trophy going on to achieve great things…
Bianca went on to win the US Open that same season. And the 125/1 Indian Wells 2018 women’s champion, Naomi Osaka, went on to reach world no.1 and win multiple Grand Slam titles.
There’s no room for nostalgia here. I’m only interested in new names at big prices this fortnight…
They call this venue Tennis Paradise. Two Sundays from now, it’d be nice to be celebrating with a cocktail, wouldn’t it? At the outsider prices we go for, we don’t get to party every week. But more than ever right now, the women’s game is wide-open for attacking the longer odds.
Indian Wells is back for the first time since before the pandemic took hold. In fact, back in March 2020, it was the first major US sporting event to be cancelled.
Returning in a new October slot for this year. With high-profile names like Osaka, world no.1 Ashleigh Barty, no.2 Aryna Sabalenka, and Serena Williams all missing. And fresh from a US Open that saw two 100/1+ teenagers in the final. Once again, I’m ready to declare that anything can happen…
First up, let’s start with some interesting 2021 formbook figures. Here are the hard-court match-win leaders on the women’s tour this season:
Hard Courts 2021 – Most Match Wins:
Garbine Muguruza 30-9 win-loss record
Elina Svitolina 29-11
Sara Sorribes Tormo 25-9
Clara Tauson 25-5
Barbora Krejcikova 24-8
Marketa Vondrousova 24-10
Maria Sakkari 24-11
Belinda Bencic 24-11
Anett Kontaveit 23-9
Daria Kasatkina 23-9
Aryna Sabalenka 23-9
Jessica Pegula 23-11
Danielle Collins 22-9
Seven of those 13 names are from outside of the current women’s world top 10. And along with teenager Tauson, world no.2 Sabalenka isn’t playing here.
That list of consistent hard-court performers can help inform our bet selections. As ever though, price is key. For example, Sakkari was a 50/1 pick for us at the US Open (semi finals). This week, the Greek – making her debut as a top-10 player – is 14/1.
Collins is 33/1 at best (Betfred, Boylesports), although more like 28/1 & 25/1 in general. The American was a 22/1 Ones to Watch pick in the smaller event in Chicago last week (quarter finals). I watched her matches there, and I have to say that Danielle was losing her serve too often for my liking. Yes, the windy conditions and sun-in-the-eyes can be blamed. But she produced a stack of double faults, and I just feel that I’d want bigger odds for a deep run here.
WTA Indian Wells – Ones to Watch…
One player from that 2021 hard-court form chart that could be underrated in the Indian Wells Outright Winner market is another of our recurring big-price picks from this summer, Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Ranked joint 3rd for hard-court match wins on the year, yet still no-one really talks about the Spaniard as a contender. Odds of 100/1 and 80/1 are worth playing, given the wild nature of the women’s tour right now, and the history of big-odds finalists at this tournament.
It's also important to note here that many tennis aficionados have Indian Wells down as a ‘slow’ hard-court event, with comparisons made to clay – as opposed to the speedy hard courts we saw in New York for the US Open. Sorribes Tormo fits the bill for a grind-it-out contest on a slower court, where it’s hard for an opponent to hit through the ball, especially with the 24-year-old’s superb stamina and defensive skills.
Sara has won over 200 clay-court matches in her career, and has made massive inroads on hard courts this year – helping her climb to a current high of no.35 in the world. At 100/1 and 80/1, Sorribes Tormo gets an ‘outsider’ nod from me.
Time for Coco…
Along with the Spaniard in the top half of the draw, one of our Ones to Watch in 2021 youngsters has to go in the book at 40/1 or 33/1. And that name is Coco Gauff…
The 17-year-old American is already approaching household-name status. And she looks to have the head to hold it all together. She’s definitely hungry to start winning big titles.
I like this confident quote from Cori this week:
"I'm feeling great, liking the conditions here, I like the speed of the court and the grounds here are super nice … I'm super motivated, and I hope that I can go all the way to the finals”
Sooner or later, Gauff is going to reach the final – or win – at a big tournament. Indian Wells has recent history for providing the springboard for major new names at the top of the women’s sport. As discussed, Osaka won here in 2018, and Andreescu lifted the trophy in 2019. Both went on to win Grand Slams.
As with many of our Ones to Watch teenagers, this is a get-the-odds-while-we-still-can moment. Because when Coco strikes gold and lands her first high-profile trophy, we won’t see 33/1 anymore…
It’ll be more like the 7/1 we’re seeing this week for 18-year-old US Open champion, Emma Raducanu (who let’s not forget, was 100/1 ahead of her last tournament).
A similar thing could be said about another Ones to Watch in 2021 youngster, Leylah Fernandez. The Canadian teenager was 200/1+ in New York, finishing a very credible runner-up to Raducanu. The Indian Wells betting has the 19-year-old at 25/1 at best, and 22/1 in general. I’m not ruling out a follow-up streak from Leylah. But instinct tells me those odds have got some hype built into them, albeit not as much as the single-figure train for Raducanu.
In the bottom half of the field, two other names appeal to add to the Outright book on day one of proceedings, at large outsider prices…
Jil Belen Teichmann is another 2021 name that we’ve backed a couple of times at big prices. The Swiss has a great attitude on her, and my feeling is that her talent is underrated. Odds of 50/1 and 40/1 make Jil one to watch as an outsider. Unibet are out on their own at 100/1.
As I’ve said before, Teichmann has the ability to raise her game for higher-ranked opponents, and isn’t afraid to get stuck-in to a big-match situation. A rank-outsider run to the WTA Cincinnati final in August – a WTA 1000-grade event, like this one – shows what Jil is capable of.
Last but not least for today, if ever there was a 100/1 shot that I’m happy to roll the dice with at a North American hard-court event, it’s Sloane Stephens…
I think I’ve referred to Sloane as an ‘enigma’ almost every time I’ve mentioned her in recent years. You never know which Sloane Stephens is going to turn up, one tournament to the next. But we’re on good terms with the American, who won the US Open for us at 40/1 back in 2017, and then reached the French Open 2018 final as an Each Way bet, too.
Stephens has also done well in this section of the tour before. Indian Wells usually takes place in March, forming half of the prestigious ‘Sunshine Double’ alongside the Miami Open. In 2018, Sloane won Miami at 66/1.
Perhaps of most significance is the 28-year-old’s record at home in the States. Stephens has won six senior-level titles in her career (full WTA & Grand Slam level). Four of them have come in the USA, with three on hard courts – US Open in New York, along with Miami, and Washington. Overall, five of Sloane’s six career titles have come on hard courts.
She’s ranked no.73 in the world right now. But Sloane is a former no.3. And as every player in the locker-room knows – Stephens is capable of producing world-beating tennis on any given day.
This tournament runs for the best part of two weeks. I’ll be keeping tabs on the form and matches over the opening days. We may well move again in the Outright market. I’ll always be on the lookout for Match Winner value, too.
Ones to Watch
WTA Indian Wells – BNP Paribas Open
Outright Winner – Each Way
Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places
Note: the best way to back Stephens is at Bet365, by placing two Win Only singles – one at 100/1 in the Outright Winner market, and the other at 80/1 to Reach the Final. That combination beats a same-stakes (eg. 2 pts total) bet at 100/1 Each Way.
Play starts from 7pm, UK time.
The men’s event starts on Thursday. I’ll be back tomorrow with my first picks for ATP Indian Wells.
Enjoy the tennis…