WTA Finals: Serena Williams withdrawal aids Kvitova not Halep
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | October 23, 2015
2015 WTA Finals
- End of year tournament in Singapore from October 25th to November 1st
- Women’s world number one Serena Williams misses out injured
- Sharapova, Kvitova and Halep are headline names
Serena sidelined so Halep heralded
While world number one Serena Williams’ absence from the 2015 WTA Finals detracts from the end of year event as a spectacle, it does open up the outright betting market.
Behind the American all-time Grand Slam great, Romanian racket star Simona Halep has been the most consistent performer on the women’s pro circuit this season, and is thus the top seed in Singapore.
Coral make handy Halep their 11/4 favourite to scoop the WTA Finals title on the indoor hard surface this time as a result, but how worthy is she of that status?
Sharapova sees Red Group
Drawn in the Red Group alongside world number three Maria Sharapova, 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska and shock US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, who will retire from tennis when her participation in this tournament ends, Halep is also fancied to top that pool at 6/4.
There is, however, just one small problem with Halep’s respective prices; she holds no positive head-to-head records when paired with these opponents. Russia sporting icon Sharapova has won all five previous meetings with the Romanian, while fellow Eastern European player Radwanska holds a 4-4 return from old encounters. Even veteran Italian and clay court specialist Pennetta is 4-1 up on Halep.
Were it not for Sharapova’s poor performances at the WTA Tour Finals – her only victory came in 2004 – the 11/2 price in the outright betting market would appeal, but she’s still worth backing at 5/2 to top the Red Group.
Polish player Radwanska (5/1 outright), meanwhile, has a wretched record against the Russian and Pennetta is a rank 20/1 tournament outsider because her heart cannot be in the sport now she’s about to quit.
Kvitova to wrap up White Group
In the other side of the WTA Finals draw, the White Group involves two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova joined by this year’s All-England Club runner-up Garbine Muguruza, French Open finalist Lucie Safarova and Germany’s Angelique Kerber.
Of the two Czech Republic players in this pool, it’s Kvitova who appeals at 2/1 to finish top because of her fine head-to-head records against compatriot Safarova (7-0) and Kerber (4-2, with a sole defeat on this surface).
Narrow 13/8 White Group favourite Muguruza flies the flag for Spain, but her game suits grass and clay much better than hard courts. The Venezuelan born player has never faced 2011 WTA Finals champion Kvitova before, so that first-time encounter looks set to determine who is seeded in the semis.
Kerber and Safarova never quite put their tennis together consistently, so it’s definitely between 4/1 outright chance Muguruza and fantastic 5/1 shot Kvitova. They should be facing Sharapova, plus one in the knockout stage in Singapore.
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