Check out our early predictions for the 2013 Women's US Open!
Serena Williams goes into the final Grand Slam tournament of 2013 as the firm favorite. However, the long-time US number one has hardly been infallible this season and will have to work hard to justify her short tennis betting odds here. Can anyone stop Serena from adding to her ever-expanding portfolio of Grand Slam wins?
Despite no longer being the dominant force that she once was, Williams is currently a very short 8/11 with William Hill and that is the best price out there. The value therefore lies in looking elsewhere, with a number of other potential contenders at very attractive betting odds.
Victoria Azarenka is currently the second favorite and is likely to be seeded to meet Williams in the final. Youwin are offering the best odds on her at 13/2; although that is not an unreasonable price, it does look a little short for someone who hasn’t been the most consistent of players in 2013, showing an alarming ability to lose against opponents she should discard easily.
The same can be said of Maria Sharapova. We saw at Wimbledon just how easy it is for extraneous factors to interfere with her game and at a best price of 10/1 with Paddy Power she’s another to be very cautious about backing. She recently sacked coach Jimmy Connors after just one tournament, so could easily be without any coaching support for this tournament. Whilst that occasionally works (and did for Andy Murray for a short while), Sharapova’s ongoing willingness to blame anyone but herself for her defeats doesn’t bode well here.
Outside of these three the markets finally begin to reflect the fact that in modern women’s tennis there are a whole bunch of players with the potential to win a Major. At 25/1 you’ll find Li Na (with Paddy Power), former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (Boylesport) and Samantha Stosur (Ladbrokes). A better bet than either of these, though, could be Agnieszka Radwanska, who is also 25/1 at Paddy Power but who has just the sort of game to do well, especially if she can avoid meeting Williams before the final.
The shock retirement of Bartoli has not affected the markets too much. At best she was priced at around 66/1. Do take a look at the woman she beat in the final there, Sabine Lisicki, though. She is currently available at odds of 100/1 in most markets. Although her game may not be particularly suited to this surface, Flushing Meadow is a place where simply being in good form and playing with patience can take you a long way.
Also lurking down among the outsiders are two former world number ones, Ana Ivanovic and Catherine Wozniaki. Paddy Power place both at 100/1 and neither of them are the force that they once were, but Wozniaki in particular will have a chance with a favorable draw. However, it is probably a sensible move to wait until that draw is known before risking your money.
Other than Williams, American hopes will rest with young Sloan Stephens. Her current best price of 80/1 (Sportingbet again) reflects her lack of experience at this level, but she has done well in most tournaments this year and in front of her home crowd anything could happen and you’ll get generous odds on a crowd-pleasing Williams-Stephens final.
One word of caution, though. You do need to remember the extent to which Williams’ presence can distort the market. Expect the prices of players who are not in her half of the draw to shorten slightly once that draw is made, and conversely the prices of those she might play in the early rounds to lengthen. If you think one of those from outside the top three might win here, then be prepared to adjust your sports picks accordingly.Share your thoughts on the US Open on our tennis message boards!