The WTA Finals is a tournament at which the best women’s singles players face their peers on an indoor hard court and, with only the 2008 champion Venus Williams among the eight qualifiers, it is odds on that there will be a new name on the championship trophy by the end of October.
Some bookmakers are quoting every WTA Finals women’s singles player at single-digit odds so it would be an understatement to say that the bookmaking fraternity views it as a hotly contested event. However, one thinks that there are much stronger cases for certain players than others and that, therefore, there is value in backing some of them.
For what one is looking in a WTA Finals women’s singles pick is a player with a good recent record on hard courts and, also, decent numbers against fellow highly ranked ladies.
The last 52 weeks is a tennis standard for comparing data so that is the time period on which one is going to focus one’s attention. The WTA Finals women’s singles qualifier in which one is most interested is Elina Svitolina, who will not kick off next week’s competition in Singapore as the favourite. Svitolina has won 36 of her 44 women’s singles matches on hard courts over the last 52 weeks for a WTA Finals-leading percentage of 81.82. While Svitolina disappointed both her fans and herself in the 2017 Grand Slam women’s singles tournaments, she won a WTA Tour-high five titles and, clearly, hard courts are her favourite. And Svitolina’s record versus top-10 women’s singles players over the last 52 weeks is 11-3 so one cannot accuse her of being a flat-track bully in spite of her Grand Slam woes.
If one had to settle for one WTA Finals women’s singles bet it would be Svitolina at odds of +550 with Bet365 but there is enough value available to throw Caroline Wozniacki at +700 into a dutch wager. Wozniacki, who has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years after falling from the heights of WTA Tour number one that she scaled in 2010, has won 75.51 per cent of her women’s singles matches on hard courts over the last 52 weeks, plus she is 10-5 against players ranked in the top 10. The knock on Wozniacki is that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model is not a prolific tournament winner but one could say the very same about Simon Halep and Venus Williams as well.
Garbine Muguruza is the WTA Finals women’s singles favourite but she boasts losing head-to-head records versus two of her major market rivals in Karolina Pliskova and Svitolina and, furthermore, her data on hard courts and against top-10 opponents is not as good as one’s betting suggestions.
Halep is vying with Muguruza for WTA Finals women’s singles favouritism but she is relatively easy to pass over. Halep did not make it past the women’s singles first round of either the 2017 Australian Open or the 2017 US Open and those are the majors on hard courts. Halep earned most of her WTA Finals qualifying points on clay courts and her record versus top-10 foes over the last 52 weeks is 6-6, which supports the widely held view that she is a choker.
Halep, Muguruza, Pliskova, Svitolina, Williams, Wozniacki, Jelena Ostapenko and Caroline Garcia will contest the WTA Finals women’s singles from Sunday 22 October to the next Sunday. One is not concerned about the draw which will be made in Singapore on Friday 20 October, because the first phase is a pool stage and the entry list means that they will not be a group of death. Dutch Svitolina and Wozniacki or, if you are an aggressive punter, simply back the former.
Elina Svitolina to win the WTA Finals
22nd – 29th October