The WTA reaches the climax of another exciting campaign with the fourth and final grand slam getting under way next week. There is no clear favourite in the betting market, with Serena Williams at $6 the lowest price. Aussie Ash Barty is in with a shout at $11, as is young Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka. We’ll sift through each of the top 4 contenders and identify the best value on the board before our daily tips commence next week.
Serena Williams $6
Soon to turn 38 years of age, you can still make the strong case that Serena Williams is the best player on the WTA tour. Despite not winning a title this season, she has compiled a strong 19-5 singles record and earned $2.5 million in prize money. She has played in just one tournament since Wimbledon, making the Final at the Rogers Cup before retiring hurt. Serena has been historically dominant at her home slam, going 95-12 for her career and winning the title 6 times. She does appear decent value at $6, although you have to wonder if her body can hold up.
Simona Halep $9
Halep also enters this tournament in excellent form, compiling a very good 39-12 record this season and winning her maiden Wimbledon crown. She has had a solid but unspectacular hardcourt season, managing a combined 5-2 record in the Rogers Cup and Cincinnati Masters. The US Open historically hasn’t been her tournament, going just 16-9 for her career with one Semi-Finals appearance. The lack of realistic challengers makes her a contender, although I just don’t see her winning here.
Ash Barty $11
The great Aussie hope, Barty has earned the #2 ranking in the world after a truly phenomenal campaign. In addition to earning her maiden grand slam title at Roland Garros, she has compiled a 42-8 record and earned over $5 million in prize money. She hasn’t been fantastic in the latest hardcourt swing, recording an identical 5-2 record as Halep in her two tournaments. She holds just a 6-4 career record at Flushing Meadows, although a 4th round appearance last year should instill confidence. $11 is around about the right price for Ash and I think she has a realistic chance at the Semi-Finals, after which anything is possible.
Naomi Osaka $11 (Best Bet)
After starting the year off strong with an Australian Open win, Naomi Osaka has somewhat faded of late and compiled a 19-10 record since. The state of the WTA means she still has the #1 ranking and will head to Flushing Meadows as the reining champion. Her recent form hasn’t been all that inspiring, capped off by a 3rd round exit at Roland Garros and a shock first round defeat at Wimbledon. She has a very strong 11-2 record in 3 appearances at the US Open, capped off by an improbable win last year. I think her recent poor form has her undervalued at this $11 price tag and that she has a definite chance of taking this out.