WTA Qatar Ladies Open Tennis Betting Odds, Tips and Preview
February 23, 2011 | In: Articles
The WTA women’s tennis is coming thick and fast. No sooner has the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship ended, with Caroline Wozniacki picking up her first title of the year, than the same field is pretty much straight back into action at Doha. This is another Premier tier event, which is why so many of the top stars are out in force. This is a return to the calendar for the Qatar Ladies Open, which was last held in 2008, and the field is sparkling with talent. There is going to be no messing about in this tournament, because if you were ranked below 37th in the world, then you weren’t getting into this tournament directly. This means that there are going to be some tough challenges right from the second round, in which, the top four seeds have already gained byes to. Time to cast our eye over the feast of ladies tennis for the week, in a field which will bring out the very best, of the very best.
Caroline Wozniacki – 11/4 at Bet365
The Dane is back on top of the world, after Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters came along and stole that honour briefly. Wozniacki breezed her way to success at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. Wozniacki, understandably goes as top seed in this tournament, and gets a little break with a pass into the second round. Fitness could be the only factor working against her here, as it is hot out there, and playing back to back tournaments is bound to take its toll. She is a great player though, and again showed why last week. Her defence and anticipation is phenomenal, beating her way past Shahar Peer, Jelena Jankovic and Kuznetsova to lift the crown. The draw is going to be a big tougher than in Dubai here, could meet the likes of Flavia Pennetta, Agnieszka Radwanska, Francesca Schiavone, Kaia Kanepi and Peer or Kuznetsova again in her quarter. Back to back tournaments are extremely tough to pull off, if she does it, she’ll be well worthy of her number one mantle.
Vera Zvonareva – 5/1 at SkyBet
Failed to get the job done in Dubai last week, crashing out to fellow Russian, the big hitting Alisa Kleybanova in the third round. A much more mature player, but you still question whether she has enough to get over the finish line. However, just like Wozniacki, she is going to have to raise her game, because this is one major tough tournament with no easy rounds to get through. Azarenka, Jankovic and Li all wait for her in her half of the draw. Could have a fascinating second round match against Dominika Cibulkova, who is one of the world’s rising stars. In terms of energy, you would have to give the edge to Zvonareva over Wozniacki, as the Russian has had more of a rest. However, this is going to be a tough tournament for her to win. Worth backing though because she has a good record in Doha. Was the losing finalist the last time the tournament was ran (losing out to Maria Sharapova in 2008), has suffered a couple of losses which will be tough to swallow for her. Needs a big bounce back here, could be lined up for her. Best tip from the front runners.
Francesca Schiavone – 18/1 at Boylesports
The Italian has been seeded well at the last two WTA tournaments, but again couldn’t live up to the quality which was around her in the end. She lost out there to eventual finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova, and player on form, you would have expected Schiavone to battle past. She is fighter with a never say die attitude, and there’s actually a chance for her to shine here, if the likes of Wozniacki are a bit tired after last weeks endeavours. However, you look at what could lie ahead for her, Kanepi, Kleybanova, Bartoli, Peer, Kuznetsova just in her quarter of the draw, and you wouldn’t rush to the crack open your piggy bank and back her.
Na Li – 6/1 at SkyBet
By into the second and actually has one of the easier looking quarters of the draw. There would really only bee Jelena Jankovic to worry about at the quarter final stage. The Australian Open finalist really disappointed in Dubai last week, losing in the second round to Yanina Wickmayer. Although the Chinese star has gotten off 2011 to a great start, it can often be hard to live up to expectations. The big hitting baseline star though, has a very good chance to move deep into the tournament here. In a quarter full of qualifiers and wildcards, plus what will probably be a tired Jankovic, could make a decent splash here.
Jelena Jankovic – 14/1 at Bet365
We’ve been missing her at her best, but finally she looks to be getting to back to the JJ we have come to expect. A true world class act, hampered too much by injury last year, and looking as if she is still feeling her way back into things. She is a true competitor, and she showed it at Dubai, grinding out marathon wins against Kanepi and Sam Stosur. She couldn’t get past Wozniacki in the semi finals (as expected) but it was a very good showing from her. The endurance at Dubai probably took too much out of her to go on and win this one, however, like Na Li, should be a cert for a quarter final berth (where the two players would meet). Fantastic footwork and all round solid court player, probably a couple of tournaments away from her very best. However, she started Dubai around 66/1 to win and go to the semi’s. That is the character she is.
Victoria Azarenka – 10/1 at Bet365
Unpredictable and genius all in one. The tall Belarusian really needs a big year here, and again had the draw open up in front of her with Zvonareva going out of Dubai, but again couldn’t find the consistency to produce her A game when needed. Incredibly talented but doesn’t put it all together for enough of the time on court. Still, a fiery competitor with a mentality and temper that can beat herself up, and in a tricky quarter of the draw along with Zvonareva. Could rise to the challenge, and she is always worth taking as an outside bet, because on her day, she can beat the best easily. Really needs to stand up and shine in a tournament in 2011 though, quickly. Could this be the one? The type of player who can come from nowhere and surprise the field.
Shahar Peer – 33/1 at Bet365
Rapidly becoming one of the favourite outside tips here. The Israeli star could come on leaps and bounds this year, and reached the quarter finals in Dubai last week, so in good form. This is a tough, tough tournament though, and she has been lumped against Kuznetsova in the first round (though Peer should have the edge in stamina). In the toughest quarter of the draw though and in a pack of outside bets from which, any one of them could stand out and make a mark. Flavia Pennetta (16/1 at Boylesports) is looking in extremely fine form at the moment, reaching the semi’s in Dubai, and the Italian is a class act. Kaia Kanepi (28/1 at Boylesports) is one of the rising stars of the game as well, and has enjoyed a great 2011 including a Tour title, and a victory over Wozniacki.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Betting Tip: Really, really tough field to call. As far as rankings, would give the edge to Zvonareva, especially at a price of 5/1. There are potential grinders who Wozniacki could face in a tough half of the draw, and oust her. Na Li looks to have a decent draw to make an impact, but Victoria Azarenka could just find the right time to come good, priced at around 12/1 which could be a little long looking at the draw, so worth taking. Incredible field on display, and fatigue will come into effect for many after long matches in Dubai last week.