WTA Quarterly Wimbledon Betting Preview: Wozniacki Faces Grass Gauntlet
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Caroline Wozniacki
The white-hot Caroline Wozniacki arrives at Wimbledon brimming with confidence. She’s on good form of late, having just won a grass tournament in Eastbourne. She also knows she can seal the deal on the biggest stage after taking home the Australian Open trophy earlier this year. However, she finds herself in a very difficult quarter at a tourney she has never excelled at. In fact, Wozniacki has never made a quarterfinal in London.
Despite the Melbourne hardware and a perfect 2018 record on grass, Woz (+700) is not the favorite to advance out of her quarter despite having the highest seed (No. 2). That distinction goes to seven-time Wimbledon champ Serena Williams (+163) — perhaps the greatest grass-courter of all time.
Not only does Wozniacki have to contend with Serena, but almost all of the seeds in her quarter have outstanding grass pedigrees. Just take a look at some of their past Wimbledon results in comparison to Woz.
And that doesn’t even include unseeded Lucie Safarova and Ekaterina Makarova, who faced off in the 2014 Wimbledon quarterfinals.
Let’s take an even more detailed betting outlook of this quarter by examining key head-to-head records, futures value and some key first-round matchup info.
Wozniacki Head-to-Head vs. Seeds
- 1-3 vs. Elina Svitolina
- 4-1 vs. Magdalena Rybarikova
- 2-0 vs. Madison Keys
- 1-10 vs. Serena (0-1 on grass)
- 2-1 vs. Coco Vandeweghe (0-1 on grass)
- 4-0 vs. Anastasija Sevastova
- 11-6 vs. Aga Radwanska
Caro is 25-21 vs. all other seeds, but more importantly 0-2 on grass. One of those losses came against Vandeweghe (her potential fourth-round opponent) last year at Wimbledon, and the other came against potential quarterfinal opponent Serena.
Key Head-to-Head Records
- Serena 2-0 vs. Rybarikova (lost four total games)
- Serena 4-1 vs. Svitolina
- Wozniacki 3-2 vs. Camila Giorgi (3-0 on grass)
- Safarova 4-1 vs. Radwanska
Potential Popcorn Matches
- Wozniacki vs. Radwanska (R3)
- Rybarikova vs. Keys (R3)
- Giorgi vs. Vandeweghe (R3)
- Serena vs. Svitolina (R3)
If those potential third-round matchups don’t tell you how potent this quarter is, I don’t know what will. The most intriguing first-round match for tennis hipsters will be between Antonia Lottner and Evgeniya Rodina, two grass lovers. Sevastova-Giorgi is the more mainstream must-see match, as the winner could make noise.
- Caroline Wozniacki: (1R: Varvara Lepchenko, 2R: Makarova, 3R: Radwanska, 4R: Vandeweghe/Giorgi/Sevastova, QF: Serena/Rybarikova/Keys/Svitolina)
Unseeded Grass Specialists
- Giorgi: 37-21 career grass record; 10-9 past three years; one title
- Makarova: 53-29 career grass record; 7-6 past three years; one title
- Aleksandra Krunic: 25-15; 19-8 past three years; one title
- Ons Jabeur: 36-12 career grass record; 16-6 past three years (all levels); two titles
- Tatjana Maria: 40-19 career grass record; 15-5 past three years
Giorgi made it to the fourth round here in 2012 and can hit anybody off a grass court when firing on all cylinders. If she can find her peak and maintain it (a big if), she could make noise. That said, the Italian has a brutal draw, starting in the first round with Sevastova, and has lost all three matches on grass against Wozniacki.
And while Makarova has a game suited for grass, she comes in out of sorts and will take on a capable grass player in Petra Martic, who plays well at Slams.
h4>Potential Moneyline Parlay Pieces
- Jabeur (-180) vs. Viktorija Golubic
- Krunic (-390) vs. Madison Brengle
- Kristina Mladenovic (-255) vs. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova
Jabeur just beat Golubic on grass two times last month and should do so again on a surface much better suited for her game. Meanwhile, Krunic comes in on a roll and should show her class on grass.
Schmiedlova is a clay-courter through and through, as illustrated by her career 5-12 grass record. I doubt she can find a way, although you never really know with the enigmatic Mladenovic.
- Keys (-275) vs. Ajla Tomljanovic
- Svitolina (-481) vs. Maria
Keys and Tomljanovic (close friends) split both career meetings — both on hard court and both going the distance. Tomljanovic comes in on form, while Keys (always capable of beating herself) will play her first grass match of the season.
Maria, a grass specialist, comes in fresh off a tour-level grass tourney win in Mallorca. In that tourney, she defeated Sevastova, Sofia Kenin, Safarova, Carina Witthoeft and Anett Kontaveit. Impressive stuff. Svitolina has never fared well at Wimbledon and could go down in the first round.
Finding Futures Value
I’d avoid the top two seeds in this quarter, as Woz (+700) and Svitolina (+700) have never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon. They both also will face some early potential landmines. I also don’t trust Keys to play with enough margin in such a loaded field to back the American at +450.
In a draw stacked with grass specialists, Serena actually has the easiest first few rounds of any seed. If she gets going and is healthy, she won’t be stopped on a surface she absolutely dominates when on. The seven-time champ has a 14-match winning streak at Wimbledon. The quarter will ultimately be decided on her racket — if she is healthy. But given her fitness questions, I can’t recommend Serena at only +163 to win the quarter. Zero value.
In such a loaded quarter, I’d either stay away or throw a dart at someone like Vandeweghe (16-1) and hope she can find her grass form of recent years, because she hasn’t looked sharp this season.
Quarter Bets to Watch: Pass
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