WTA Wimbledon Quarterly Betting Preview: Muguruza Begins Title Defense

WTA Wimbledon Quarterly Betting Preview: Muguruza Begins Title Defense article feature image

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Garbine Muguruza

Defending champion Garbine Muguruza finds herself in an intriguing (but manageable) draw, as the Spaniard seeks her third Wimbledon final appearance in four years. Her quarter includes three other past Wimbledon finalists, but Angelique Kerber is the biggest threat among them. Former runner-ups Genie Bouchard (2014) and Vera Zvonareva (2010) came through qualifying, but provide more intrigue than anything else.

If Muguruza finds her groove in London, she’ll probably go deep once again. Of her five appearances at the All England Club, she lost in the first or second round three times, while making the final in the other two — winning one in 2017.

Let’s explore this quarter some more from a betting perspective by looking at key historical head-to-heads, moneyline parlay pieces and upset potential. I’ll close with some thoughts on finding value in the futures market.

Muguruza Head-to-Head vs. Seeds

  • 3-0 vs. Caroline Garcia
  • 1-1 vs. Ashleigh Barty (0-1 on grass)
  • 5-3 vs. Angelique Kerber (2-0 on grass)
  • 2-2 vs. Daria Kasatkina
  • 0-0 vs. Naomi Osaka
  • 1-1 vs. Carla Suarez Navarro
  • 2-1 vs. Anett Kontaveit

Muguruza probably smiled after seeing Angelique Kerber in her draw. After losing their first three meetings, Muguruza has won five straight over the German — including two of the past three years at Wimbledon.

Key Head-to-Head Records

  • Suarez Navarro 5-4 vs. Kaia Kanepi (1-0 on grass)
  • Kerber 2-1 vs. Osaka
  • Kerber 4-2 vs. Garcia
  • Alison Riske 2-0 vs. Garcia (1-0 on grass)

Suarez Navarro doesn’t fancy the grass and Kanepi has made two quarterfinals here (2010, 2013). The Estonian could certainly win a few matches. Ali Riske beat Garcia at Wimbledon (qualifying) in 2012 and would give the No. 6 seed fits in a potential second round showdown.

Potential Popcorn Matches 

  • Muguruza vs. Kasatkina (R4)
  • Muguruza vs. Kerber (QF)
  • Kerber vs. Osaka (R3)

While Muguruza would be happy to see Kerber, she would prefer not to see Kasatkina in the fourth round. The Russian has won in both their meetings in 2018 — although you’d have to make the Spaniard a hard favorite on grass.


Trickiest Path

  • Caroline Garcia: (1R: Belinda Bencic, 2R: Alison Riske, 3R: Suarez Navarro, 4R: Kerber, QF: Muguruza)

Garcia would get a break in the third round (if she makes it that far), but then the path potentially becomes brutal.

Unseeded Grass Specialists

  • Belinda Bencic: 39-16 career grass record; 5-6 past three years;  1 title
  • Alison Riske: 62-29 career grass record; 25-9 past three years; 1 title
  • Claire Liu: 15-4 career grass record; 13-3 past three years; 0 titles
  • Ana Konjuh: 29-13 career grass record; 12-8 past three years; 1 title

Garcia’s first and likely second-round opponent are both grass court specialists. I’d trust Riske more at this point to make a run, as Bencic has major fitness issues — although I do think the Swiss will eventually win a Wimbledon title. Just not this year.

Liu, who won the 2017 Junior Girls Wimbledon title, came through qualifying. The 18-year-old American has a bright future on the grass. She will actually take on Konjuh in a spectacular first round matchup. If you recall, Konjuh made the round of 16 here last year and lost in excruciating fashion to Radwanska (9-7 in the third set after an injury) the year prior.

Potential Moneyline Parlay Pieces

  • Katie Boulter (-150) vs. Veronica Cepede Royg
  • Alison Riske (-445) vs. Mariana Duque-Marino

I personally played the above moneyline parlay, which pays +104. Both Royg and Duque-Marino are grass-averse players. Royg also comes in on a three match losing streak — all on grass. Grass-loving Riske should simply outclass Duque-Marino.

Upset Alert

  • Carla Suarez Navarro (-210) vs. Carina Witthoeft (+180)
  • Naomi Osaka (-350) vs. Monica Niculescu (+290)

I actually don’t see a lot of upsets happening in this section, which features plenty of unseeded players who don’t thrive on grass. And the ones that do are primarily bunched up in the bottom half. However, Navarro really doesn’t deserve that price on the lawn against Witthoeft and Niculescu (if fit) can be a nightmare to play with her slicing style.

Finding Futures Value

I immediately crossed out the possibility of Carolina Garcia after seeing her draw, which is difficult right from the jump. I also can’t back Kerber getting through a draw with her nemesis Muguruza looming.

Muguruza has a really favorable draw, as she should get through to the third round with ease — as long as she doesn’t beat herself, which is always possible. However, once she gets rolling in a tourney (especially a Slam), she becomes extremely difficult to take out.

The only seed potentially preventing Garbine from the fourth round is Anett Kontaveit, who loves the grass (45-16 career record) but has looked off of late. Kontaveit lost both of her 2018 grass matched, but could become dangerous if she gets a few wins under her belt.

I do think an on form Ashleigh Barty can give Muguruza problems in a potential fourth-round matchup, as her variety could frustrate the Spaniard. I think she certainly holds value to come through this quarter at 8-1.

If you are looking to take a long shot, I’d look at the bottom half, which has more potential for upsets in my eyes.

Quarter Bets to Watch: Garbine Muguruza +200, Ashleigh Barty +800

More WTA Wimbledon Betting Coverage