With the book closing on the Spring hard court swing, we assess the players all while casting our eye on the 2015 US Open odds board. Check out how the WTA Tour fields stacks up for the last Grand Slam betting event of the season.
We look at some of the main protagonists on the 2015 US Open tennis odds board and several legitimate contenders. It's impossible to cover each and every player within the limited confines of this column, so for a comprehensive serving of tennis betting futures odds be sure to check in to your choice sportsbook.
Serena Williams +150
Serena Williams has put in a dominating account in 2015, darting to her 19th career Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and then picking up her second title of the season in Miami. Technically, she's undefeated on the season winning 18 of her 19 matches, including Fed Cup. At Indian Wells, she withdrew from her semi-final clash with Simona Halep on account of a sore knee; that match isn't counted on her season's record on the WTA website. In any event, Serena Williams at 33 years of age is showing no sign of fading. If anything, she's going from strength to strength and justifiably emerges as the top favorite for the US Open this summer.
Victoria Azarenka +500
The second favorite on the US Open tennis betting board is Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, former World No.1 and two-time US Open finalist (2012 and 2013). Azarenka is a far cry from top form, the kind that saw her soar to the top of the women's game. It's been touch and go with her this season, as she's gone 10-5 on the season, with her best account in Doha (l. to Safarova in the final). She's also had to deal with a sudden coaching change (Sam Sumyk flitted off to Eugenie Bouchard's camp) and injury. Still, she's a hard court guru and one of few players that can go toe-to-toe with Serena Williams, even beat her in a final. Mainly for that reason she emerges as the second favorite across sportsbook platforms and the popular tennis pick after the American. Of course, whether she remains so favored in tennis betting markets will depend largely on her account from here onwards, particularly during the US Open Series, which kicks off in July.
Maria Sharapova +600
Maria Sharapova's season got off to a bright start with a victory over Ana Ivanovic in the Brisbane final and a runner-up finish to Serena Williams at the Australian Open. She also led Russia to the Fed Cup semis with wins over the Radwanska sisters before reaching the Acapulco semis where she withdrew with a stomach virus from her clash with Caroline Garcia. In March, however, Sharapova's form took a turn for the worse with early exits at both Indian Wells (R16 loss to Flavia Pennetta) and Miami (R64 loss to wild card Daria Gavrilova). Nevertheless, Sharapova is the World No.2 player and she boasts a 17-3 mark on the season, a commendable record ahead of the start of the clay court swing.
It remains to be seen whether Sharapova finds the form she started the season on in the coming months; that's going to cement her place as the third favorite, if not bump her up to second overall favourite for the title. Serena Williams is her kryptonite and so long as the American is healthy and fit, she'll continue to lead the 2015 WTA US Open tennis odds board. What's more, if Sharapova were to come up against the American, the tennis odds are sure to be against her (that's what a 16-game losing streak does). That said, she's second to nobody else in the current game and she'll fancy her chances against the rest of the field if it comes down to it. So too will tennis bettors.
Simona Halep +600
Simona Halep got her 2015 campaign off to a so-so start. Although she reached the Australian Open quarterfinals, she got a lot of flak for the manner in which she lost to Ekaterina Makarova. She was uncharacteristically, flat, lethargic and passive aggressive. The complete opposite of the player that charmed crowds in stadiums the world over last season and inspired such fan support and fervent chants of SI-MO-NA to invoke the atmosphere at a football game. Fortunately, whatever ailed her appears to be behind her now as she's raced to two titles on the season: Dubai and Indian Wells. Most recently, she gave Serena Williams a run for her money in the Miami semifinals before losing in three sets. Halep has been touted as a future Grand Slam champion by many tennis betting experts, which makes her a tennis pick worth considering for the 2015 US Open.
Eugenie Bouchard +900
The Canadian starlet remains one of the top five favorites for the 2015 US Open, despite a rather disappointing account outside of the majors this season (not unlike last season really). At the Australian Open, she reached the quarterfinals before being schooled by Maria Sharapova. Since then, Bouchard has crashed out of each and every tournament in the early goings: she went out of Antwerp, Miami and Charleston in her first match while reaching the R16 at Indian Wells. The most concerning aspect, perhaps, is the quality of players she's losing to. At Indian Wells, she was dumped by Lesia Tsuernko in the R16, a qualifier ranked No.85 in the world. At Charleston, she was dumped by No.113 Tatjana Maria in her opening match.
If we were to give Bouchard a grade on her account so far, it would be a D-. Barely making the grade is not good enough to recommend her on our tennis picks at this point in time, let alone calls into question her favoritism for the US Open. Repeatedly tennis experts and pundits alike have gushed about her prowess at the majors, going so far as to say she thrives on the big stage. So she did last year. But, let's face it, that statement rests entirely on her account in 2014. Four grand slam appearances in total. The year prior, she was an early casualty in all the majors she entered. Four good appearances out of eight is hardly a strong resume of success, now is it? Let's not forget, she only has one WTA title to her name and she's struggling right now with form and injury. One has to believe that at some point these continuous disappointments are inevitably going to start chipping away at her confidence.
There are several standout options in the field to spot for your tennis picks. Czech tandem Petra Kvitova (+1100) and Karolina Pliskova are just a couple that could prove value tennis picks. The former is a two-time Wimbledon champion while the latter is an up-and-comer that is making fast headway in the rankings. Others of note include: Caroline Wozniacki +1600, American rising star Madison Keys (+2000), who reached the Aussie semis, and last year's US Open semi-finalist Ekaterina Makaraova (+3300).
These are just some of the outside tennis picks that practically leap of the page right now, but a whole bevy of starlets are trading on the tennis odds board at most top-rated Sportsbooks that might grab your fancy better, so check them out.
Tennis Betting Verdict
Can anybody bet against Serena Williams right now with any confidence? Probably not. However, to cover all the basis from sure tennis picks to lock down and potential outside picks (upsets do happen from time to time), Sharapova and Halep come across as good alternative tennis picks, as does Petra Kvitova to a lesser extent.