It’s not easy betting on the top seeds in a Grand Slam women’s singles tournament. Many times, a player seeded outside the top 20 reaches the latter stages. Even being unseeded means you can go on and win the title, just ask Barbora Krejcikova and Emma Raducanu.
Why is it lowly ranked players do so well in these tournaments and makes gambling on them so hazardous? Shock results always bring mixed emotions. There’s the joy of seeing an underdog defy the odds, especially if you’d backed them to cause an upset. On the other hand, there is the disappointment of seeing a top player knocked out and the misery if you’d backed them to win.
It’s interesting to compare the results in women’s Grand Slams with those in men’s tournaments. Take for example, the Wimbledon championships that are held in England. There are often some upsets in the early rounds of the tournament, hopefully caused by British players. However, In the men’s singles at Wimbledon, gambling on outsiders to reach the last eight is not that successful. Only two unseeded players have made the last eight in the past five tournaments.
In 2010, 12th seeded Tomas Berdych made it all the way to the final. Since then, only one other player who was seeded outside of the top 10 has been a finalist. Who was that player? It was none other than Novak Djokovic in 2018 who you would have fancied betting on. He’d slipped down the rankings due to time spent being injured but returned to win the title. If you are looking to register with an online sportsbook, make sure you check out the latest betting offers.
The lack of unseeded players or non-top 10 players reaching men’s singles finals has been seen in other Grand Slam events. In the US Open a top two seed has reached the final in seven of the last eight tournaments. The last player outside the top 10 to reach the final was 28th seeded Kevin Anderson in 2017.
The same year had seen a win for the 17th seed over the ninth seed in the final of the Australian Open. Would you have been betting on unheralded players? Hardly, it was Roger Federer beating Rafa Nadal, again injuries affecting rankings.
Men’s tennis, particularly in the latter stages does tend to see the usual suspects. It’s gradually changing but still the chances of unseeded or players outside the top 10 winning tournaments is a rare occurrence.
Are there a lack of players who can challenge the top seeds? They play well for a few rounds but then get knocked out when facing a higher ranked player. Breaking through the glass ceiling remains a difficult task.
It’s a different story in the women’s game. Betting on who is going to reach the latter stages can be like setting foot in a field full of mines. You sit down and work out the draw and then the tournament begins, and the mayhem begins.
Both in Paris and New York last year, unseeded players won the women ‘singles title. Anyone placing bets before the tournament on Barbora Krejcikova and Emma Raducanu should be very proud of themselves.
The US Open final saw the young British player – who many had never heard of before her run to the last 16 at Wimbledon – beat another unseeded player, Leylah Fernandez. Another final that was almost impossible to predict. Even trickier was the fact Raducanu was voted BBC Sports Personality of 2021. Not one person on could have placed a bet on that at the start of the year.
Four of the top six seeds at Wimbledon last year lost in the first two rounds, another horror story for favorite backers. The Australian Open has seen seven unseeded players make the last eight in the tournaments held from 2020 to 2022.
Why are there so many shocks? Maybe top players just not consistent enough to justify the short odds on them when playing lower ranked opponents? Betting on players such as Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova is often a risky proposition. Both regularly lose to lower ranked players.
In Abu Dhabi last year, Pliskova lost to Anastasia Gasanova who was ranked 292nd at the time. Petra Kvitova has had two losses to players ranked outside the top 200.
Even the very best players have shock losses. World number one Ashleigh Barty lost five times last year to players ranked below 32. As for Aryna Sabalenka who’s second in the rankings, 2022 has been a nightmare so far. Three matches, three defeats and to players that had a combined ranking of 308.
Perhaps there are just more female tennis players capable of upsetting the odds. It just makes betting on tennis a very tricky proposition at times.