TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships – Women’s Tennis Betting (Oct 23 – Oct 28)

Azarenka can finally get the better of nemesis Williams

Victoria Azarenka

The season-ending WTA Championships gets underway in Istanbul on Tuesday with the world’s eight top-ranked women players competing in two groups of four for a place in the semi-finals, each guaranteed three matches in the $4.9millon tournament.

2012 has been the year in which Serena Williams has silenced her critics and proved she is by no means a back number. It’s taken the 31-year-old two years to recover from various illnesses and injuries which promised to wreck her career but she’s won Wimbledon and the US Open this year, as well an an Olympic gold, and is the bookies’ favourite (6/4 with Boylesports) to regain the WTA Championships at the Sinan Erdem Dome.

Williams’ non-appearance at various WTA-endorsed events this season has had some people questioning the American’s commitment. Sponsors like to have the best players in attendance when they’ve stumped up the cash. But you can understand why there have been times when Williams decided she needed a rest and she’s the one to beat if she’s on song in Istanbul. The intensity of the tournament probably isn’t ideal though she does come here off the back of a win in the Luxembourg Open which was his first WTA non-slam title in two years. She could be worth opposing, however, with Victoria Azarenka.
Almost certain to end the year as world number one, the Australian Open champion has won 67 of her 75 matches on the WTA Tour in 2012 and, though beaten in an epic final at Flushing Meadows, will be itching to get her revenge. The pair will meet in the group stages in Istanbul in a section that also includes Germany’s Angelique Kerber and China’s Li Na. Neither should have the firepower to trouble the principals in the Red Group but can be backed at 9/1 and 11/1 respectively with BetVictor to do so. Williams is 4/5 to win the group with BetVictor with Azarenka 8/5¬† and a general 9/4 to emerge successful overall in the event.
Maria Sharapova, the former world number one, is the only one who can prevent Azarenka from finishing top of the rankings but she needs the Belarusian to lose two of her group games and then would have to win the tournament herself.  The Russian, winner of the French Open this year, arguably has the easiest section from which to reach the semi-finals and is a best 9/1 with Boylesports to win the WTA Championships. Petra Kvitova (10/1 with Boylesports and Paddy Power), Agnieszka Radwanska (20/1 with Boylesports) and Sara Errani (123/1 on Betfair) make up the White Group. Former Wimbledon champion Kvitova is the one seeded to make the last four but she is more than capable of turning in the odd poor performance and makes little appeal as a potential winner. The other other pair are more or less making up the numbers if recent form is a reliable guide.

Australian Samantha Stosur is first reserve and will join the fray if any of the players have to withdraw but this looks a fine opportunity for Azarenka to prove that the rankings don’t lie and beat Williams for the first time in five attempts this year.