Bienvenidos a Bogota! For the first time since this event in April 2019 the WTA is returning to South America. It will also be one of our first clay events this season. There is a WTA500 event in Charleston on green clay and this event on the traditional, red clay. Clay is of course slower than hard courts which forces players to rely more on their fitness, but does require a certain base level of power to hit through the dirt. Rallies and points take longer, but matches are about a game shorter on average due to the additional break opportunities and lower service hold rates. I’m excited for clay tennis and will likely watch a lot of this event instead of that other event on green “clay.” Let’s go through the draw, see who might win, and hopefully find value in the outright markets.
*See the glossary at the end for explanation of table headers*
Our #1 seed this week is Saisai Zheng. The numbers above are pretty good, but all of those matches were in 2019, so it’s almost 2 years since she’s played on clay at the WTA level. This will also be her first WTA clay match in South America. If you look at her history on clay, she wins Anning every year, loses in round 1 of the French Open, and has mixed results in the few other events she plays. Looking at this quarter, I’m optimistic about her chances even if it’s cautiously optimistic. She’ll be a strong favorite in her first two matches and then I expect her to face the winner of Tereza Martincova vs. Maria Osorio Serrano. Both should win their first matches and are very comfortable on clay. Martincova generally plays a higher caliber opponent than Serrano, but she rarely leaves Europe while Serrano is playing in her home country. Martincova is 10-1 and Serrano is 25-1 to lift the trophy. I don’t see any value in Martincova’s price and it’s hard to bet Serrano given how big of an underdog she’ll be to the winner of quarter 2. If quarter prices become available, I’ll look to bet Serrano there, but not to win it all this week.
Clara Tauson enters this tournament having lost only 1 of her last 15 matches. Most of her success has come at the ITF level where she won 3 of her last 6 events on clay. She won a few matches in Prague in 2020 and qualified for the French Open where she beat Jennifer Brady in round 1 and lost to Danielle Collins in round 2. Her trajectory is an upward arrow and this quarter is hers to lose. Perhaps Mihaela Buzarnescu can find some of her pre-injury form and shock the youngster. Maybe Jasmine Paolini can bring her best level, outwork Tauson, and maybe even take advantage of a few mistakes. I’m certainly not expecting either of those things to happen, but anything is possible? With her draw in this quarter and the opposition in the 1st quarter, she is rightfully the favorite to win this event at 3.5 to 1. I don’t agree with the number, but the market does have the right name at the top of the list. I won’t be betting on her, but she makes it almost impossible to bet on anyone else in this half of the draw at current prices. You read my thoughts on the 1st quarter and the Paolini is only 18-1 to win even though she has to play Tauson just to win her quarter. I’m going to pass on the top half in the outright market to win the tournament.
This is a pretty messy quarter and I’m confused that the name I like is priced as a big underdog in round 1. I picked Irina Maria Bara to win the 2nd quarter of this draw. Arantxa Rus is favored over Bara in round 1 despite being 2-6 on the year. She had success in 2019 at the ITF level on clay, but that didn’t translate to success at the WTA level in 2020. Unless a qualifier like Lara Arruabarrena takes the spot in this quarter, I expect Bara to be able to beat the rest of this group. She is 0-4 herself this year, but those matches were on hard courts. She’s most comfortable on clay. I bet her a little better than 2-1 in round 1 and I’m going to put some money her to win this event at 50-1. I haven’t seen quarter prices yet, but I’ll play that too if it opens at any of my books.
This is arguably the most talented quarter in the draw, but given it’s position next to the weak 3rd quarter it should be a good place to find some value in the outright market. Sara Sorribes Tormo has played some of the best tennis of her career this season and enters an event on her best surface as the #2 seed. She’s a big favorite in round 1 and I’m not betting on Sara Errani given how poor she’s played this year, but I wonder if that will be tougher for Tormo than expected. Her next opponent will be Anna Karolina Schmiedlova or Aliona Bolsova who are both comfortable and competent on this surface. In the quarterfinals I expect her to face Tamara Zidanesk. That’s the toughest draw of any player in this tournament and she’s 2nd favorite to win at 4.5 to 1. I think that’s a bad number and is giving us a chance to bet on Zidansek. She has 2 winnable matches to work herself in form and may even avoid Tormo in quarterfinals. At 20-1, I’m happy to bet on her to win this event and would bet her to win this quarter if those markets open.
Quarter 1 – Zheng over Serrano
Quarter 2 – Tauson over Paolini
Quarter 3 – Bara over Arango
Quarter 4 – Zidansek over Tormo
Final – Tauson over Zidansek
RECAP OF WAGERS
0.7U – Zidansek at 20-1 or better
0.3U – Bara at 50-1 or better
GLOSSARY OF DATA HEADINGS
Avg Rk – This is the average rank of opponent’s faced over that period.
Avg Spread – This is the average games more(or less) the player wins than their opponent. For example, 1.3 means that player averages 1.3 games per match more than their opponent.
Avg Total – This is the average total games in matches this player has played
Hold% – % of total games won on service
Break% – % of total games won on return