Could this be the week when Caroline Wozniacki’s place at the top of the World Rankings slips away from her? It is a star studded line up in Sydney this week, the final event ahead of the Australian Open Grand Slam, and nine of the World’s Top Ten women are in action and vying for the title. The only name missing from the top ten is Kim Clijsters, who pulled out of Brisbane last week with a hip injury and is recovering for the defence of her Grand Slam title. But if Petra Kvitova pops up and wins in Sydney, then the Czech star will be crowed the new world number one. So a big moment here for Wozniacki and for the first time this season we will see what she has in the tank. This is an incredible line up and this tournament needs to be paid attention to ahead of the Australian Open Grand Slam betting. There should be some good indicators from this one and the stars will be wanting to find form and confidence ahead of Melbourne. But the race for the World Number One is the big headline story here and with the increasing force that Petra Kvitova was showing last year, then this could be a big battle throughout the season. It is not only the great crop of seeded players in the draw here for WTA Sydney tennis betting, but it is the strong crop of unseeded players like Andrea Petkovic who have to be watched out for as well. Both Kvitova and Wozniacki have byes through to the second round of the tournament. Here is a WTA Sydney tennis betting guide to the top action to come from next week.
Petra Kvitova: 9/4 at Totesport
With five titles under her belt last season, including her first career Grand Slam at Wimbledon and the end of season WTA Tour Finals titles, Kvitova could be the one to catch this season. She is the most complete all round player, but can be beaten when her head is not totally in the game. However, that said, has the potential to be a multiple Grand Slam winner in her career, and can’t deny her chance at being world number one. Has tremendous forehand ground strokes and backs up well behind a great serve. Simply on the back of the great form she came back into at the end of last season, she is favourite here. Well worth a punt, and has an easier run at the final than Wozniacki. Kvitova will be faced with Sam Stosur, Na Li and Vera Zvonareva in her half of the draw. She can take all of them.
Victoria Azarenka: 11/2 at Ladbrokes
As exciting and as important this year is going to be for Petra Kvitova, it is arguably going to be next season for Belarusian Victoria Azarenka as well. Azarenka is still waiting her breakthrough Grand Slam title, but took big steps of development forward last season. She has always had the potential to go on and win a lot in the women’s game, she is quick and powerful but unpredictable at the worst times of tournaments. She had fantastic form in the latter half of last season, and the biggest factor to take from all of that, was her much improved consistency, usually her biggest weakness. Last year was definitely a year of maturity for Azarenka’s game after a slow start, and hopefully, as one of our favourites here, she will push on. Will always be a threat to the very best. Is in Wozniacki’s half of the draw, and would most likely be the semi final line up in the top half. Would back Azarenka over Wozniacki at the moment.
Caroline Wozniacki: 8/1 at Bet365
Well all eyes will be on Wozniacki in WTA Sydney tennis betting, because her slump in form over the last quarter or so of 2011, and failure to make an impact in the Grand Slams as world number one, people are not quite as expectant of her. However, she cannot be dismissed, because she was still one of the leading title takers on the WTA Tour last year, and that is because she barely rests. She needs to manage her tournament selection better but we can be expected to come out to a strong start. She has to come out and prove to herself as much as she has to her critics that she is has not only been at the top of the world because of argued lower standards in the world games in the last two years up until now. A big season of confidence building ahead for Wozniacki. Not as strong as Kvitova or Azarenka at the moment, but the undeniable talent of anticipation and defence is all there. Needs to develop a big attacking killer shot, other than that only confidence is lacking.
Na Li: 16/1 at BetFred
The Chinese star, and French Open winner from last season, is the defending Champion in WTA Sydney tennis betting. Li beat out Kim Clijsters in last year’s final, which sparked a great run at the Australian Open for both of them, as they met there as well, with Clijsters coming out on top. Na Li has great footwork and hits the ball extremely flat with power, but is great when she steps in off the baseline to attack the net. Had a fantastic year of highs last year, but there were so many disappointing tournament exits from her in between all that, that you just never know with her. Has the scrapping ability to hang around with the best, but has the tendency to slip up against lower opposition. Still, tournament history is always worth looking at for your tennis betting on the Apia International in Sydney, and Na Li obviously has that.
The Field: A good crop of players in the chasing pack, and we’ll get a look at the likes of Marion Bartoli, Jelena Jankovic and Vera Zvonareva. There is a deep field for WTA Sydney tennis betting, but would take a very good look at 8th seed Frenchwoman Bartoli who could well spring a surprise with her energy.
Samantha Stosur: 14/1 at Bet365
Vera Zvonareva: 14/1 at Totesport
Marion Bartoli: 20/1 at Paddy Power
Andrea Petkovic: 25/1 at Paddy Power
Svetlana Kuznetsova: 28/1 at Ladbrokes
Jelena Jankovic: 33/1 at Bet365
Flavia Pennetta: 40/1 at Paddy Power
Online bookmaker Victor Chandler have a great WTA Tennis betting promotion running, one which carries on throughout the season. Back any player to win a match in the main draw of any WTA event, and if your selection loses their match in a final set tie break, then the bookie will soften the blow by refunding your lost stake. That provides some good coverage on your match betting, especially in the women’s game which produces a lot of tight matches. Online bookmaker Victor Chandler offer a free £25 bet for new customers registering an account. The bookie will match the value of your first stake on a new account, with a free bet up to the maximum value of £25.