OTW Extra Email Archive - April 2020
Three future Grand Slam champions...
Wednesday 15th April 2020
In your Ones to Watch EXTRA email today:
A calendar in chaos...
According to the Oddscheckerwebsite, there are no Outright Winner markets currently available for the 2020 Grand Slams.
That would make sense, seeing as the tour is currently on hold and we’re waiting for an official date for the tennis to return, once the coronavirus situation has improved.
However, I spent a bit of time this morning visiting various bookies’ websites. And there are a handful or so of the big firms offering markets on the US Open and French Open 2020.
As it stands, those two Majors are set to take place almost back to back. With just a week between the end of the US Open on 13th September, and the start of the rescheduled French Open on 20th September.
To say those dates need a star by them is something of an understatement…
Aside from the uncertainty coronavirus pandemic, both the ATP & WTA Tour are so far refusing to officially acknowledge the French Open’s new slot in September. The French Open’s self-declared 20th September start date does not appear on the official websites & calendars of either the ATP or the WTA.
Looking for some good to come out of all this, maybe we’ll see some pulling together of the tennis authorities, the men’s & women’s game, and a reduction in the degree of separation between the weekly tours and the four annual Grand Slams.
The Roland Garros move has ruffled a fair few feathers. But one knock-on effect appears to be a strengthening of the relationship between the ATP & WTA Tours. Both are now announcing matching coronavirus updates and social media announcements, for example. As well as a new YouTube TV show appropriately named Tennis United, featuring both male & female players.
In terms of the 2020 calendar, there’s nothing that can be set in stone just yet. But we can be hopeful of top-level, weekly tennis returning this summer, with mid-July being the realistic earliest return date mentioned so far.
And if the Grand Slams do go ahead in New York and Paris at some stage in 2020, then the three players below will be firmly on our Ones to Watch radar at outsider prices. More on that in a moment.
The online adventure...
With the players confined to their homes and gardens, taking Roger Federer’s volley challenge with their partners, or playing video games, I’m starting to dip my toe into the world of Esports and online gaming…
Later this month, we’ll get the chance to see the likes of Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray pick up a controller and compete in the first-ever online edition of the Madrid Open.
Andy Murray doesn’t actually exist as a character in the Madrid Open’s chosen Tennis World Tour game at the moment. It will be interesting to see if the game’s developers add him in. Or if not, which of his fellow pros Andy choses to play as. His mate Nick Kyrgios, perhaps? Or fellow Brit, Kyle Edmund.
I stepped up my tentative research into E-Tennis this morning by watching my first ever live online match. Tennis World Tour gamer ‘Miller’ played as Garbine Muguruza, winning 6-4 in a one-set match against ‘Aphex,’ who played as Kristina Mladenovic.
Betway had in-play markets up for that match, as well as pre-match betting options for the day’s scheduled E-Tennis matches.
I watched this morning’s match on the Twitch website, which live streams online gaming events to millions of viewers worldwide.
It would be easy to rule out Esports like this as a novelty, but this a new genre that looks very much here to stay, with some big prize money and sponsorship involved for competitors. I’ll be continuing to take an interest, and to learn. I’ll keep you posted.
2020 win-loss leaders...
Of course, real-life tennis remains the No.1 focus for your Ones to Watch Extra emails. That’s not changing.
Last time out, we looked at the early progress of the 10 players in our Ones to Watch in 2020 report.
This week I’ve been researching three more players to keep in our notes for when the tennis tours and Grand Slams return later this season, and beyond.
Here are the women’s match win-loss leaders for the year to date...
1. Elena Rybakina = won 21 lost 4 (win rate 84%)
2. Garbine Muguruza = won 16 lost 4 (win rate 80%)
3. Sofia Kenin = won 15 lost 5 (win rate 75%)
The match win-loss form gives an interesting alternative to the overall world rankings. The 2020 form shows who had won the most matches, up to the current halt in play. The world rankings are constructed over a much longer period, since a player went professional.
While Rybakina, Muguzura and Kenin are the top three on 2020 match wins, the rankings have that trio placed at No.17, No.16 and No.4 in the world respectively.
Novak Djokovic is top of the men’s 2020 list, ranked No.1 in the world and with an unblemished, 100% match win-loss record of 18-0. The top of the men’s leaderboard gets more interesting from a ‘Ones to Watch’ point of view, though, when we look at the surface-specific stats…
Filtering the list to only include 2020 matches played on clay, the men’s year-to-date win-loss chart has these two names out in front:
1. Christian Garin = won 10 lost 1 (win rate 91%)
2. Casper Ruud = won 8 lost 2 (win rate 80%)
Garin is ranked No.18 in the world - a career high for the 23-year-old from Chile. The 21-year Norwegian, Ruud has cracked the top 40 this year, currently sitting at No.36.
Rybakina is 20 years of age. The Kazakhstan representative’s world ranking of No.17 is also a career-high.
Three players to follow...
Elena Rybakina, Christian Garin and Casper Ruud have all started 2020 in very promising form. And if you’re winning a lot of matches, then chances are you’re getting to finals…
Here are their tournament wins and appearances in finals, so far this season (Outright Winner odds in brackets):
WTA International - hard court - Shenzhen - Runner-Up (28/1)
WTA International - hard court - Hobart - Won (10/1)
WTA International - indoor hard - St Petersburg - Runner-Up (25/1)
WTA Premier - hard court - Dubai - Runner-Up (22/1)
ATP 250 - clay - Cordoba - Won (11/1)
ATP 500 - clay - Rio de Janeiro - Won (10/1)
ATP 250 - clay - Buenos Aires - Won (28/1)
ATP 250 - clay - Santiago - Runner-Up (9/2)
There are plenty of appealing prices there, including odds of 22/1, 25/1 and 28/1.
In terms of playing surfaces, Rybakina has a good all-court record for her career, but has been excelling in particular on hard courts. With her flat, powerful shots and slapped-down serve doing the damage on the faster surfaces.
As noted above, Garin and Ruud are very much men to follow on clay.
I’ve made a point of listing the type of tournament there, too. On the men’s main tour, the grades start at ATP 250 and go through to 500, 1000 (Masters), and then the Grand Slams. For the women, the WTA scale goes from International, to Premier, Premier 5, Premier Mandatory, and then the Grand Slams.
Rybakina and Garin have already stepped up to reach ATP 500/ WTA Premier event finals this year. Those are good omens for future success.
I’ll be pursuing more tournament-grade research in the weeks to come. The findings could be very interesting, helping us to zoom in on the right players at the right events - and at nice prices, too.
For the future…
Right now, with the 2020 tennis calendar in doubt as it is, I’m not going to be advising any new Grand Slam picks just yet...
But in terms of the attractive end of the odds spectrum, Rybakina at 33/1 for the US Open, and odds of 66/1 & 100/1 for Garin & Ruud at the French Open respectively (Bet365) are good to see. Those are the kind of Ones to Watch prices we’ll be going for, just as soon as the tennis is back up and running.
I’ll be back again soon with more players & pointers for you.
Until then, take care.