Women’s Grand Slams continue to not only surprise but overwhelm. Krejčíková, Sakkari, Pavlyuchenkova and Zidanšek aren’t necessarily your usual suspects to make a major semifinal. To make things worse, three of our picks to win the quarter reached the quarterfinal. With one more win required and all of Gauff, Rybakina and Badosa starting their quarterfinal as the favorite, a possible profit of 14 units turned into a loss of 4 units. Gauff had five set points to win the first while Rybakina and Badosa both led by a break in the third.
But enough with the crying now, let’s hope for a little more luck at Wimbledon when the players finally compete for a Grand Slam on grass again after almost two years.
Considering the openness of the draw, it’s tough to find value at odds around 20/1 or lower. Within the names of Barty, Serena, Kvitová, Muguruza, Sabalenka, Świątek, Gauff or Andreescu, injury/fitness concerns, lack of form and tough draws are all over the place, so you won’t find any bets on them within the following lines. Several sections of the draw are super competitive and if you take a closer look, some of the women might go from one coin flip match to another. Just because it hasn’t been said often enough, this is a wide open draw once again.
Ashleigh Barty is the top seed and co-favorite together with Serena Williams. Although Wimbledon should suit her style best, it’s still her worst Grand Slam resultwise. The draw is there for her to change that, but at 6/1, I rather stay away with injury concerns looming.
Johanna Konta also probably isn’t at 100% after withdrawing from Eastbourne with a knee injury.
Victoria Azarenka is still looking for her New York form from last year and she’s another one who withdrew last week, suffering from pain after her match against Cornet.
Kiki Bertens recently announced her retirement after struggling with injuries for the last couple of years. You can literally feel that she doesn’t feel comfortable on court anymore.
It’s always a gamble with Bianca Andreescu, but I wouldn’t count on her fitness either, especially not during a Grand Slam. Her form also isn’t the best, so I’ll skip all of the aforementioned seeds.
Barbora Krejčíková won the last two tournaments she participated in and it would only fit the craziness of women’s tennis if the Czech proceeded to win back to back Grand Slams. However, with a 1-4 pro record on grass, no lead-up tournament and no matches on the surface at all since 2017, I just can’t bet her.
Not only are Anett Kontaveit and Daria Kasatkina good friends, no, the two also showed some good form last week, both only losing to Jelena Ostapenko. While I don’t mind Kontaveit’s draw, Kasatkina is projected to play the Latvian in round two already.
Kateřina Siniaková, Marta Kostyuk, Anastasija Sevastova, Clara Tauson, Sorana Cirstea or Ajla Tomljanovic could all go on a run, but let’s just focus on the most dangerous player in this quarter.
Jeļena Ostapenko finally found her form again as she beat Pavlyuchenkova, Jabeur, Kasatkina, Rybakina and Kontaveit on her way to the title in Eastbourne. The Latvian is one of the streakiest players around. She can beat any player on her day, but at the same time lose to almost anyone when she’s off her game. However, we already saw where confidence can take her back in 2017 and after more than four years, maybe it’s time to do it all again on another surface?
Sevastova over Siniaková
Ostapenko over Kontaveit
Ostapenko over Sevastova
Elina Svitolina is seeded third, but I still like to oppose her on grass. Despite her semifinal run here two years ago, it’s still the Ukrainian’s weakest surface, plus, she’ll always find a way to crumble against bigger hitters, by whom she’s surrounded from the very first round.
Paula Badosa was beaten by Svitolina in a third set tiebreak last week, but I still like the Spaniard on the Wimbledon outright market. With all her improvements, she could seek revenge on Svitolina in round three. Badosa won’t have as much time to set up her shots here compared to clay, but grass should still suit her powerful game. If you follow the bet on Badosa, make sure to check the prices carefully. There are always some kinds of anomalies in outright markets, but bet365 really messed things up here with their pricing on Badosa. She’s 15.00 to win the quarter, 67.00 to reach the final and 81.00 to win outright. While I don’t think the Spaniard will be 1.20 in a potential final, I also doubt she’d be higher than 4.00 in a potential semifinal. That being said, Badosa to reach the final should be the best value here.
Karolina Muchova is another player that had a nice run at Wimbledon last time around, reaching the quarterfinal in 2019. She might be one to watch again, but I still doubt she’s 100% fit and beating Zhang and Giorgi (or Teichmann) in rounds one and two wouldn’t even be easy if she was.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova completed the completely unexpected French Open final a few weeks ago, but just like with Krejčíková, I can’t really imagine her repeating that. Grass is the only surface Pavlyuchenkova has a negative record on and she’s lost here in the first round for three straight times.
Belinda Bencic and Coco Gauff on the contrary both won more than 70% of their grass court matches throughout their careers. While with Gauff this is still based on a very small sample size, her much improved first serve should scare a lot of opponents. Bencic reached the final in Berlin and already won Wimbledon as a junior. The only reason that keeps me from betting one of the two is their pricing. They are projected to face each other in the third round before facing the winner of Kerber and Williams. If you have strong opinions on Bencic or Gauff, you might get better odds betting them from match to match.
Already mentioned, Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams are the two missing seeds in this quarter and both won’t be too pleased with that draw. This might be Serena’s last chance to get to 24, but that doesn’t mean she should be the market favorite. Williams and Kerber changed Wimbledon final wins in 2016 and 2018 and I’m looking forward to a potential rematch in round three, even without having a bet on.
But wait, there’s a high-quality qualifier looming right below Kerber. Ana Konjuh is still only 23 years old, but the Croat already went through hell during her career with no less than four elbow surgeries. The former junior Australian Open and US Open winner quickly made an impression with the pros, winning her first WTA title on grass at the age of 17 and reaching the top 20 at the age of 19. Coming back on tour, her results get better and better again and even though she might always feel her elbow, it would be a great story if she went on a run here. We also have the same situation as with Badosa when it comes to Konjuh’s odds. She’s 29.00 to win the quarter, 126.00 to reach the final and 151.00 to win outright with bet365, implying she would be 4.30+ in a potential semifinal (realistic if Barty happens to be at her best) and sub 1.20 in a potential final (unrealistic, no matter who she’d play). Again, I’ll go for the odds on Konjuh to reach the final.
Amanda Anisimova and Camila Giorgi are players that could surprise as well, but with their inconsistent play (and injury concerns as for Giorgi), it might be a better idea to bet them match by match.
Badosa over Giorgi
Gauff over Williams
Badosa over Gauff
Starting with the goods, Karolina Plíšková is 50/1 to win Wimbledon. If you told me that two or three years ago, I would have collected all my money and threw it on her. Now, I’m not nearly as excited, but after a two-year hiatus, I think it’s finally time for me to get pranked by Plíšková again. This is not even explicable given she never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon, but the Czech probably just confused Nottingham and Eastbourne with London in the past. If the WTA gods keep doing what they’re doing, they should just send Plíšková on a run this year when she lost her first round matches in both lead-up tournaments.
Petra Kvitová might be the more obvious selection to win the Venus Rosewater Dish for a third time, but I’m not sure she did herself a favor with that run in Bad Homburg. She looked semi-injured throughout and just like with Plíšková, it wouldn’t be the first time the Czech traded Grand Slam runs for lead-up tournament results, as seen in 2017 and 2018 when she won Birmingham and lost in rounds one and two respectively at Wimbledon.
We have quite a lot of American seeds in this quarter, so let me put them all together. Alison Riske finally won two matches again on her favorite surface, but it would amaze me if she went on a deep run here.
Jessica Pegula might crush my dreams in round four if Plíšková and her make it there, but the American arguably caught the worst draw possible. Garcia, Samsonova and Kvitová in the first three rounds? Wow, give the girl a break!
I don’t know why Sonya Kenin chose not to play any grass event before Wimbledon, so even though I like her draw, that’s a stay away for me.
That leaves Madison Keys, who’s 50/1 to win the tournament just like Plíšková. And you know what, let’s just make that our lucky number. Keys is another player who always had the talent to make an even bigger career than the already very good one she’s had so far. After being in a real slump during the pandemic, the 26-year-old is playing much better again. She only lost to Pavlyuchenkova, Świątek and Azarenka to end the clay season and beat Sabalenka in Berlin before falling to surprise winner Samsonova. I might make a fool of myself with this one again, but that’s why we’re betting the WTA, right?
Elise Mertens and Veronika Kudermetova are the two other seeds here and while I think there are better surfaces for Mertens than grass, Kudermetova could be involved in 50/50 matches throughout the tournament. Starting against Golubic where she opened around 2.30 for whatever reason, Collins and Kenin might await in rounds two and three before she’d get to Mertens/Keys and Plíšková/Kvitová. Again, if you like Kudermetova, just bet her in every match.
Her name has already dropped a few times and a WTA tournament winner that beat Konjuh, Vondroušová, Kudermetova, Keys, Azarenka and Bencic back to back to back to back to back to back can hardly be described as a dark horse, however Liudmila Samsonova probably still isn’t recognized as a serious contender by casual tennis fans. To the betting market though, she is just that and at 40/1 or lower, her draw (Kanepi, Pegula, Kvitová just to make it to the fourth round) is too tough for me to find value in that number.
Donna Vekić and Anastasia Potapova should have a fun first round match and super talented Ann Li finally starts to show her potential on the tour. I already wonder who of these three takes down Plíšková.
Carolina Garcia’s merger with Gabriel Urpi didn’t come to fruition yet while Danielle Collins is too much of an unknown for me to pick her on the outright market.
Plíšková over Kvitová
Keys over Kudermetova
Keys over Plíšková
Iga Świątek won the Wimbledon junior competition in 2018. On the pro tour though, the Polish prodigy had to wait until last week to finally win her first main draw match on grass against Heather Watson and even that was hard work to say the least. Świątek found herself down 1-4 0-40* in the third just to show what a great fighter she is. Nonetheless, I can’t bet her as one of the co-favorites here regarding that this is the one surface she still needs to improve on.
Petra Martic has a pretty favorable draw, but her form doesn’t seem to be too enticing. The Croat barely beat Asia Muhammad in Berlin before losing to Bencic in straight sets twice.
In a perfect world, Garbiñe Muguruza and Elena Rybakina would be among my favorites here. However, their fitness is a little suspect. Rybakina took an MTO two days ago and I also doubt that Muguruza is at 100% again. Their odds are just too low for me to get involved with that.
Maria Sakkari’s more aggressive play should suit these courts well, but she’s another one that didn’t get any match practice on grass before Wimbledon. Adding that to her missing clutch gene, as seen against Krejčíková in Paris, I’m rather looking elsewhere.
Ons Jabeur sits in Muguruza’s section and the #21 seed shouldn’t have too much trouble getting there if she continues to play the way she played the last two weeks. After winning her maiden WTA title in Birmingham, she fell in three sets to red-hot Ostapenko in Eastbourne. Maybe that even helped her chances at Wimbledon as four full weeks of tennis in a row might have been a bit much for a player that always struggled late in tournaments. The Tunisian has the tools to go far here and I’m looking forward to supporting her along the way. Winning your first WTA title can be followed by winning your first Grand Slam, we have just seen this recently.
The last section probably comes down to an Ekaterina Alexandrova vs. Aryna Sabalenka matchup. Both should be happy with their draws and should they meet, Alexandrova has a real shot at an upset win. Sabalenka lost to two big hitters in Keys and Giorgi this grass season and at around 10/1, I can’t get behind an outright bet even though I love her game. Alexandrova might be slight value, but she has yet to make the second week of a Grand Slam, so I’ll sit tight.
There are a few grass courters in here like Hsieh Su-wei, Vera Zvonareva or Kiki Mladenovic, but I doubt they can go far. The one most likely to do so was Zvonareva, however the Russian had to retire from her first round match in Eastbourne last week.
Maybe Claire Liu can go on a run after bugging Kerber in 2018 when the American youngster (and former Wimbledon juniors winner) only lost 6-3 2-6 4-6 in round two. Remember, Kerber then went on to win the title.
Overall, this section has been a little disappointing as most seeds seem vulnerable, yet the draw lacks unseeded players like Kostyuk, Sevastova, Anisimova, Giorgi or Samsonova whom I would have all backed in this quarter.
Jabeur over Świątek
Sabalenka over Sakkari
Jabeur over Sabalenka
0.5u on Jeļena Ostapenko to win Quarter 1 at 10.00 with betway
0.5u on Paula Badosa to reach the final at 67.00 with bet365
0.25u on Ana Konjuh to reach the final at 126.00 with bet365
0.5u on Karolina Plíšková to win outright at 51.00 with bet365
0.5u on Madison Keys to win outright at 51.00 with bet365
0.5u on Ons Jabeur to win outright at 41.00 with bet365