Alex Christenson’s WTA Charleston Outright Preview

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Welcome to Charleston! The green “clay” is back! I say “clay” because this is not your traditional red, soft clay. The courts in Charleston almost have a hard/clay hybrid feel to them. This lends itself to bigger hitting winners than you’re used to seeing on clay. This gives us a nice change of pace and a good transition tournament from the slow hard courts of Miami to clay season. Let’s breakdown the field, try to figure out who’s going to win, and hopefully find some value in the outright betting markets.

Quarter 1

Ashleigh Barty is on absolute tear. She won the Yarra Valley event, made the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, and defended her title in Miami dropping only 3 sets along the way. She’s the favorite to win this event at 4 to 1 and is 1-1 to win this quarter. Both of those numbers make sense to me, but I have no interest in betting such a short favorite in unfamiliar conditions. She’s played here only twice, losing in round 1 of qualifying in 2013 and losing to Sevastova 3 & 4 in the 3rd round in 2018. She skipped Charleston in 2019 after winning Miami. She’s the deserving favorite, but I think there is better value to be had in this quarter. Elena Rybakina sits at the top of the bottom half and would avoid Barty until the quarterfinal. She likely plays the winner of Belinda Bencic vs. Paula Badosa to get to Barty and I have her as a comfortable favorite win that match. She’s 25-1 to win this event and 8 to 1 to win this quarter. I’ll be wagering on both of those in some capacity.

Quarter 2

If Kiki Bertens is still alive, she has a great chance to find some form in friendly conditions and maybe even make a quarterfinal. I’m not counting on that to happen and picked Veronika Kudermetova to win the top half of this quarter. She’s 40 to 1 to lift the trophy.. Madison Keys is the defending champion from 2019, finished 2nd in 2015, and made the semifinals in 2018. She starts with a bye, a winnable match in round 2, and will likely be the favorite over anyone she faces in round 3. Market Vondrousova is the toughest option. She played well in Miami until she got run over by Sabalenka In the 3rd round. Both Keys and Vondrousova are at lower odds than Kudermetova despite having to play each other before the quarterfinal. Veronika will be an underdog against Keys and probably a small underdog against Vondrousova, but at those numbers we can lock in value at the quarterfinal if we want. I’ll be playing Kudermotva to win the tournament..

Quarter 3

This quarter will be defined by the women at the top and the bottom. Garbiñe Mugurza is in great form this season and has an excellent draw as long as she can avoid Arruabarrena in one of those qualifying spots. Even then, she’ll be easily favored all the way until the quarterfinals. I was very surprised to see that Petra Kvitova has only played here once. Normally, this event is after Indian Wells and Miami which might mean Petra passes to rest. I would think these conditions would be perfect for her power and intelligence. She isn’t the best move on tour, but moves well enough and hits the ball as hard as anyone which should play well on these courts. Muguruza is 4.5 to 1 and Kvitova is 8 to 1 making them the 2nd and 3rd favorites to win this event. I find this hard to accept given that they have to play each other. The two players define the quarter and likely define the bottom half of the draw, but there’s no value at these given their proximity to one another.

Quarter 4

This is the easiest quarter in the draw. Sofia Kenin of 2019 would roll through this quarter, but the Sofia Kenin of this year has been disappointing at best. Elise Mertens is another good candidate to advance through this quarter, but even if she wins the quarter I can’t see her beating whoever wins the 3rd quarter. It’s just a mess and I wish the 3rd quarter had more value because I would love to oppose whoever wins this section, but, alas, we’ll have to stick to the top half of the draw.


Quarter 1 – Rybakina over Barty

Quarter 2 – Keys over Kudermetova

Quarter 3 – Kvitova over Muguruza

Quarter 4 – Kenin over Mertens

Final – Rybakina over Kvitova


0.65U – Rybakina at 25-1 or better

0.4U – Kudermetova at 40-1 or better


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