OTW Extra Email Archive - April 2017
Going for a 66/1 outsider in Charleston...
Monday 3rd April 2017
In your Ones to Watch email today:
Konta and Wozniacki come good in Miami...
Johanna Konta won the biggest title of her career to date last week – lifting the Miami Open trophy at odds of 16/1.
Konta beat Caroline Wozniacki in the final. The Dane was also a pre-tournament 16/1 shot...
I’ve got mixed feelings about that result, seeing as in the other big ‘Masters’ (Premier Mandatory event) in March, Indian Wells – the tournament directly before Miami – I had both Konta (@ 14/1) and Wozniacki (@ 20/1) as my Ones to Watch picks.
On one note, it shows we’re doing something right with the players making our short-lists. We do, after all, call them ‘ones to watch.’
On the other hand, it’s frustrating to see a player you’ve flagged up miss out on the Each Way money or big win one week – then go on to reach a final the very next time out.
But that’s betting. That’s sport. And that’s tennis.
The other silver-lining point (as I’ve said before, I’m ever the optimist), is to take some pleasure in the knowledge that in both Indian Wells and Miami, we didn’t succumb to ‘back the favourites’ syndrome. In both tournaments, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova were the bookies’ market leaders, both at around 5/1 each in those two events. Neither player managed to deliver in either Indian Wells or Miami.
This week the Men’s tour is on hold for international duty in the shape of the Davis Cup. In the Women’s, we have WTA events in Monterrey, Mexico and Charleston, USA...
Karolina Pliskova isn’t competing this week, while World No.1 Angelique Kerber is a short 5/2 (3.50) favourite to win in Monterrey. Kerber is now 11 tournaments and counting without a trophy win, since lifting the US Open at the end of last summer.
I’m interested in the tournament in South Carolina...
Going for a 66/1 outsider in Charleston...
Event: WTA Charleston, Volvo Car Open
Surface: Clay court
Date: 3rd – 9th April
Clay court events in North America are rare to come by, and don’t play the same as the traditional muddy orange & brown courts you see in Europe and South America. The ‘green clay’ at Charleston isn’t as far from playing on a hard court as some might at first think, and the fact that the recent roll-call of Charleston winners includes hard court players like Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber backs this up.
American hard-hitter Madison Keys is the 6/1 second favourite and in the top half of the draw, with Miami Open champ Konta in the bottom half and a 9/2 (5.50) favourite.
That Konta price is far from the double figures we saw in Miami and Indian Wells, and I’m happy to look instead to the top half and take on Keys, who isn’t long back from an injury layoff that wiped out the start of her season.
Keys hasn’t reached a final since August last year, and I prefer to follow an upcoming player at long-shot prices this week...
American 23-year-old Lauren Davis is that player for me. She hit a career-high ranking of #34 in the world last month – and has improved on two WTA finals last year, by winning her first senior level WTA trophy at the start of 2017 (Auckland, hard court, @ 33/1).
Davis’ overall form line shows a good progression and the hint or promise of more to come. She won three matches in Indian Wells before losing to eventual semi finalist Kristina Mladenovic... reached the quarter finals in Dubai and Doha, back-to-back... won the title in Auckland... and before that at the end of 2016, reached a lower-tier $100k final... and before that, made the semi finals in the full WTA Luxembourg event.
The improving American could come up against Elena Vesnina (25/1) and Jelena Ostapenko (40/1) early on here – and Davis has posted wins over both those players already this season. Ostapenko has failed to win more than three matches in a row all season so far, while 100/1 Indian Wells winner Vesnina still hasn’t come back down to earth since that career-best win, and fell at the first hurdle in Miami.
If the path was to go as planned, Wozniacki (7/1) is the likely candidate to meet Lauren in the quarter finals. As mentioned above, Wozniacki is in-form – and has reached the final in three of her last four events. She beat Davis earlier this year, in their only previous meeting.
If you wanted to back two players from the same section, Wozniacki isn’t a bad Each Way pick considering her 2017 record to date. However, the fact that Wozniacki has lost each of those three finals does put me off a bit, as does – like with Konta – the single-figure price.
Davis can be backed at 66/1 or 50/1 here. That’s a much more appealing Each Way price. She’s a dangerous outsider, a player moving up the rankings and has a bit of form on her side.
One to Watch:
Outright Winner – Each Way terms: 1/2 odds 1-2 places
I’ll be back next week with more Ones to Watch, when the Men’s ATP Tour returns.
Enjoy the tennis...