An exciting season in women’s tennis continues next week with the last major of the year, the US Open. Unlike the men’s season which has been dominated by the Big Three, the WTA tournaments have been wide open. There have been three different champions at each of the majors (Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open, Ashleigh Barty at the French Open, and Simona Halep at Wimbledon). Even the other tournaments have seen a variety of winners, as the first 18 tournaments of the calendar year were all won by different women. The unpredictability on the women’s side makes for great odds and the chance to turn big profits. Here is a look at the odds for the top players at the US Open, as well as the best bets and value plays.
Odds to win the Women’s 2019 US Open
(odds courtesy of Fanduel)
Best bets (The Favorites): Karolina Pliskova (+1000), Madison Keys (+1400)
Following the theme of unpredictability in the women’s game, I am calling for Karolina Pliskova or Madison Keys to break through and win their first Grand Slam title. These two women have something else in common, as they were both recent US Open finalists (Pliskova in 2016 and Keys in 2017). From a betting angle, these two women are also in the same quarter. Betting these two to win improves the chances that you will hold a ticket from someone who makes the semifinals.
Third-seeded Karolina Pliskova reached the quarterfinals in both tournaments (Toronto and Cincinnati) leading up to the US Open. She is on the verge of a breakthrough at the US Open, as she has at least made the quarterfinals in three straight years. Pliskova has an easier draw than Keys within their quarter. She would not have to face a seeded playing until Caroline Garcia. Beyond that, her toughest opponent figures to be Johanna Konta, but Konta was winless in her hard-court warmup tournaments.
Tenth-seeded Madison Keys enters the US Open in tremendous form. She secured the most prolific tour win in Cincinnati in her last event by beating the likes of Garbine Muguruza, Daria Kasatkina, Simona Halep, Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin, and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Keys may meet a couple of these opponents in her quarter, as Kenin and Williams await at some point. But for hot as these players are, Keys is undefeated against Kenin, and she holds a 3-2 edge over Venus. Keys’ recent form in the US Open is outstanding. She lost in the fourth round in 2015 and 2016, was runner-up in 2017, and was a semifinalist last year. Her 73 percent winning percentage in the US Open is her highest of all four majors.
Why not Serena Williams?
Serena Williams should be avoided since the risk of injury is imminent at any moment. She has withdrawn or retired from four of her last six tournaments. When Williams does complete a tournament (like the French Open loss to Sofia Kenin or the Wimbledon final loss to Simona Halep), she looked significantly worn down. I do not trust that she is in enough form to navigate a tough draw (Ashleigh Barty lurks) and win seven matches over two weeks.
Best Bet (Other Contenders): Bianca Andreescu (+1600)
Bianca Andreescu has a great chance at becoming a household name at this year’s US Open. Though the 20-year old has only played in four Grand Slam events, there is no one playing better on hard courts than her at the moment. Andreescu has not lost a match since March. In this time, she has won titles at Indian Wells and the Rogers Cup. She has big names like Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova in her quarter but they all come with concerns. The hard court is not Halep’s best surface, Stephens’ form and results lately are abysmal, and Kvitova is struggling with injury and has played two events since May. If you didn’t trust Andreescu to win the whole thing but think she will make a run, her odds are +480 to win her quarter.
Other Value Plays: Svetlana Kuznetsova to win her quarter (+1400)
Svetlana Kuznetsova at +1400 to win her quarter is mind-boggling considering her runner-up finish in Cincinnati. She beat four seeded players (Sevastova, Stephens, Pliskova, and Barty) before succumbing to Keys in the final. She is in the same quarter as Andreescu, so this bet is a bit of a hedge. Clearly, I am not buying Halep, Kvitova or Stephens in this US Open. Kuznetsova won the US Open in 2004, and the former champion has a great chance to turn back the clock and make another run.