The 2015 US Open is less than a week away from getting off the mark. Join us as we look at the in-form players on the WTA Tour and weigh in on their tennis odds to win the coveted prize.
US Open Betting Odds: Serena Favorite
Serena Williams is bidding for her fifth straight major title and fourth consecutive US Open title when the WTA Tour descends on Flushing Meadows. The three-time defending champion (2012-2014), is also gunning for an incredible 22nd major title at the tender age of 33, which will see her equal Steffi Graff in the record books. Only Margaret Court won more majors (24) than the pair at the top of the all-time list.
Obviously, with such credentials the American enters the US Open betting market as the outright favorite to win at -110 tennis odds. She’s got the market firmly cornered in her camp. Her nearest threat Victoria Azarenka is a good distance away at +700 tennis odds, while perennial major contender Maria Sharapova is matched at +900 tennis odds.
Serena Williams righted the ship in Cincinnati at the weekend, beating Simona Halep in the final 6-3, 7-6(5). The week prior, an uncharacteristic Serena Williams was sent packing in Toronto when she lost to Belinda Bencic in the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup. No lingering negativity followed her into Cincy – after all, it was only her second loss of the season – as she went on to pick up her fifth title of the season, coming through yet again as the odds makers’ favorite.
Serena’s season speaks volumes and underscores her value as the popular tennis pick to win outright. Those that are looking to back her, should jump on her tennis odds while they are still reasonable. Once the tournament gets underway, she’s only going to grow from strength to strength and her tennis odds will shorten in proportion.
Of course, betting on Serena Williams always does become a bit tedious (no disrespect, intended). For the sake of sport, challengers need to exist, if only for better competition and to serve up thrilling matchups. So in an effort to identify some challengers in the women’s field that have a reasonable shot (even if unlikely) to derail Serena’s bid, we’ve put together a shortlist below.
Victoria Azarenka +700
The Belarusian isn’t quite in top form yet, but she knows how to win major titles. She also knows how to beat Serena Williams in a final, which is no mean trick. She enjoyed an epic showdown with Serena in the 2012 US Open final, losing in three sets. She’s an outside tennis pick worth considering and, interestingly, the odds makers’ second favorite, which has to count for something.
Maria Sharapova +900
The statuesque Russian last won the US Open in 2006, when she beat Justine Henin in the final. Since then, her best run was a semi-final appearance in 2012 when she lost to Azarenka, which also marked the last time she reached the second week at Flushing Meadows. Last year, she went out in the R16 to Caroline Wozniacki. As the current World No.3 player, Maria Sharapova’s tennis odds are going to be determined by where she falls in the draw. If she draws Serena’s half, her tennis odds could swell. Best-case scenario for her is if she were to avoid the American’s half, obviously. Going against Sharapova is her lack of play since Wimbledon.
Simona Halep +1200
Right now, Simona Halep is the most in-form player on the WTA Tour. Probably, the most exhausted player too. One wonders whether she has enough left in the tank for a complete campaign at the US Open, but there’s no denying her will. She’s a fighter and a consummate athlete and out of the quadruple-digit favorites, she offers the best promise on your tennis picks.
Petra Kvitova +2000
The Czech star is one of two players to beat Serena Williams this season. She beat the American convincingly in Madrid, in straight sets in the semis en route to the title. Why are her tennis odds then so large? Simply because her form since Madrid has been iffy and her US Open Series account leaves much to be desired. Then again, it could be to her advantage. Last season, Kvitova was in good form ahead of the US Open, having won Wimbledon and competed a full schedule during the US Open Series. By the time the US Open rolled onto the scene, she had little left in the tank. She went out in the third round to Krunic. Perhaps, the limited play will be to her advantage, as It was when she won in Madrid earlier this season.
Outsiders To Spot
There are several outsiders to spot on your tennis picks at the US Open. From the young guns, Belinda Bencic (+2000 at Bet365), Garbine Muguruza (+2500) and Madison Keys (+2500) strike attractive poses. Others with an outside shot include Sloane Stephens (+5000), Lucie Safarova (+4000), Caroline Wozniacki (+2500), Ana Ivanovic (+5000) and Agnieszka Radwanska (+3300). However, where they fall in the draw is going to have a significant bearing on their campaigns and, in turn, their value as outsiders for your tennis picks. Best to leave these lasses alone until the draw is revealed on Friday.
As it is, Grand Slam betting in the women’s game begins and ends with Serena Williams. She’s the top tennis pick in the eyes of most pundits and experts alike. That makes just about any tennis pick that is not a Serena pick an outside tennis pick. If you’re looking to bank on a player not named Serena, tread carefully and choose wisely when the draw is revealed.