Williams’ odds lengthen – foot’s fault?
The WTA tour is pretty quiet at the moment, at least in terms of top stars seeing action. However the market for the 2010 US Open is volatile as the favorite for the tournament, Serena Williams, is hobbling around on crutches after foot surgery.
At this point Williams is expected to contest the final Grand Slam of the calendar year but her odds are drifting while the player whose odds are shortening is Maria Sharapova.
Here’s my take on who the true favorites should be along with the betting price that I think is acceptable:
1. Serena Williams +375 (about 21%); actual betting odds are too short
2. Kim Clijsters +475 (about 17.4%); actual betting odds have minimal value
3. Maria Sharapova +650 (about 13.3%); actual betting odds have some value
4. Caroline Wozniacki +1000 (about 9.1%; actual betting odds have good value
5. Jelena Jankovic +1800 (about 5.3%); actual betting odds are +3300 with Victor Chandler – good value
6. Venus Williams +2200 (about 4.4%); actual betting odds are too short
7. Elena Dementieva +2200 (about 4.4%); odds push
8. Na Li +3000 (about 3.2%); actual betting odds are +8000 with SportingBet and are good value
Total: about 79% (the other 21% is taken up by the field)
The two players that are not included in my true favorites are Victoria Azarenka and Samantha Stosur.
Stosur has never done well at the US Open and her ranking looks like it will sink or float with her performance at the French Open. She has only 2 match wins in her life for singles at Flushing Meadows so expecting her to win 7 matches this year is a bit of a stretcher. Personally I give Stosur less than 1% of the true chances to win the Flushing Meadows event and I think all of the following players have a better chance than Stosur besides the 8 favorites in my list above:
1. Vera Zvonareva
2. Victoria Azarenka
3. Svetlana Kuznetsova
4. Aravane Rezai
5. Nadia Petrova
6. Yanina Wickmayer
7. Petra Kvitova
8. Agnieszka Radwanska
9. Francesca Schiavone
10. Alexandra Dulgheru
Maybe a couple more too.
Victoria Azarenka is the type of player that may be able to turn things on and she is dangerous. But right now she’s a total “shoulda-coulda-woulda” type player as you have to wonder how her year would have gone had she beaten Serena Williams in the Aussie quarters (Azarenka had a huge lead). +3750 would be good to go on Azarenka but her current odds of +2500 are way too short at the moment.
Maybe if she wins a hard court tournament prior to the US Open she could be bet before +2500 shortens too much but stay away from her for the moment.
Top recommendations for value: Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic.
Jankovic and Wozniacki both have had success at the US Open in the past. Jankovic was the runner-up in 2008 (l. to S. Williams) while Wozniacki was the runner-up in 2009 (l. to Clijsters). Their odds can be expected to shorten over the hard court season and that means now is the time to back these two players.
Bettor’s beware: Venus Williams (she’s 30 and her Slam results are dropping off).