Considered the 5th Grand Slam event on the tennis calendar, the Indian Wells event starts this week. Find out the main contenders, the player to keep an eye on and the highest value tennis bets on the women’s competition.
Serena Williams returns to competition this week, after withdrawing from the WTA Dubai and Doha due to a flu. It hasn't been an easy start of season for Serena, with the American struggling with some knee problems and suffering a disappointing loss at the Australian Open final against Angelique Kerber. Despite having a good draw on this event, it’s hard to trust Serena at the time, especially when she’s only priced at 3.25 on bet365 to win the title. We strongly discourage betting on Serena’s outright due to the lack of value on her tennis odds. Last year Williams retired before her semifinals clash against Simona Halep and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her withdrawing at some stage of this competition.
Victoria Azarenka said that her main priority for 2016 was to avoid injuries and that’s the main reason why she withdraw from WTA Acapulco. Azarenka indicated a left-wrist injury as the reason for her retirement but as she mentioned – “I have worked so hard on my body I have to be smart and listen to do what’s right for me” – which clearly supports the idea of a cautious retirement. There shouldn’t be any limitation on Azarenka’s game and the 2012 Indian Wells champion has to be pointed as one of the top contenders to lift the trophy. It won’t be an easy path for Victoria, with remarkable players on her half of the draw such as Garbine Muguruza, Belinda Bencic or Angelique Kerber. The last one was responsible for Azarenka’s defeat in Melbourne and she’ll be looking to revenge that loss. Victoria is priced at 6.22 on Pinnacle and we believe she can lift the trophy yet we suggest to wait for her first match in order to ensure she’s at 100% and ready to compete before placing any wager on her.
It has been a terrible start of season for Simona Halep, winning only one of her last six matches. The Romanian is the defending champion on this event but after several early losses it’s hard to see her presenting her best tennis in California. Adding to this, the world no.5 postponed a nose surgery one month ago and that might also be one of the reasons for her inability to perform at her best. With this in mind, it’s impossible to find any value on Halep at 13.00 on bet365 and for that reason we advise to avoid betting on her.
The 2014 Indian Wells runner-up, Agnieszka Radwanska, had a great start of season with the title in Shenzhen and reaching the Australian Open semifinals; however, she was far from her best in Doha with a terrible 2 – 6 0 – 6 loss at the semifinals against Carla Suarez Navarro. Agnieszka should start her campaign against two players who found tremendous success recently in Mexico – Dominika Cibulkova and Heather Watson. After that she might face the former world no.1 Jelena Jankovic and in the quarterfinals the two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. In addition to this, is possible that the Polish faces Serena at the semifinals, a player who defeated her in all their previous nine encounters. Due to the poor shape presented in Doha and the terrible draw she has, we believe Radwanska can lose at any point and betting against the Polish sounds like a solid strategy on this event.
Player To Keep An Eye On
After being pointed as one of the most talented players in recent years, Sloane Stephens seems to finally live up to the expectations. The American started the season at great level, with an 11 – 1 record and winning the WTA Auckland and Acapulco titles. It won’t be an easy debut for Sloane against Eugenie Bouchard, but the American has to be considered favorite after her recent performances. Stephens likes this event with a 6 – 2 record in the past two years and after a terrible first round loss at the Australian Open against Qiang Yang, the American will be looking to show all her quality on a big stage. Stephens has a good draw to make it into semifinals and for that reason, we advise adding Sloane to your tennis picks at 34.00 on bet365.