Join us on our WTA Bank of the West Classic tournament analysis that takes place in Stanford. Find out who are the main contenders, the player to keep an eye on and the highest value tennis picks to place.
Top Half of the Draw
The two-time WTA Stanford champion, Venus Williams, returns to competition after a brilliant campaign in Wimbledon where she reached the semifinals. Despite being 36 years old, Venus is still a very dangerous player due to her tremendous firepower and large experience. Looking to Williams' draw on this event, the American shouldn't experience many problems on her first two matches, where she might face Magda Linette and Jelena Ostapenko.
However, things should get tougher in the semifinals with Coco Vandeweghe as the highest ranked player after Venus on the top half of the draw. It has been a great year for Vandeweghe with the American breaking into the top 30 for the first time on her career. This is Coco's 5th career appearance on this event, with her best result achieved in 2012 when she only lost in the final against Serena Williams.
Besides Coco, Williams might also face Varvara Lepchenko in the semifinals, a two-time semifinalist of this event who already won six matches throughout her career against top 10 opponents – with two of those victories achieved on this event, in 2014 against Agnieszka Radwanska and in 2015 against Caroline Wozniacki. Even though Varvara's weak results this season, the American is slowly returning to her best level after struggling with a knee injury in March and April.
Lepchenko won all the previous three meetings against Vandeweghe and even though those matches took place between 2009 and 2011, Varvara is far from an easy match-up for Coco, with her left-handed forehand creating many problems to Vandeweghe's unreliable backhand.
Looking to the outright tennis odds on the top half of the draw, Venus is currently at +400 and Vandeweghe at +500, both on bet365, while Lepchenko is offered at +2500 on BetVictor. Even though we believe that Williams might reach the final, the true value relies on Lepchenko, who clearly deserves to be considered the player to keep an eye on this event.
Bottom Half of the Draw
Dominika Cibulkova is finally back to her best level, with the 2013 WTA Stanford champion winning already two titles this year, including her first career trophy on grass in Eastbourne. Cibulkova is the highest ranked player on the bottom half of the draw and this is a great opportunity for the Slovakian to reach her 5th final in 2016. Looking to the other players on the bottom half of the draw, Johanna Konta and Alize Cornet are the two main threats to Cibulkova.
Konta started the year with an impressive performance in Melbourne – where she reached the Australian Open semifinals – however, things haven't been easy for Konta in the following months, with several early losses against lower ranked players. Johanna usually performs at her best on the big stages, which means that we might see her losing once again in the first rounds of this event.
It hasn't been an easy year for Cornet with a back injury affecting her performances for several months. Despite those issues, Alize can never be underestimated due to her terrific defensive skills yet, she's also a kind of player who usually performs at her best on the major tournaments and for that reason, we don't expect a very successful campaign from the French in Stanford.
With this in mind, there is clear value on Cibulkova's price to win this event at +400 on bet365 and our suggestion is for you to add the Slovakian to your tennis picks.