After a disappointing performance in the Canadian Open, world number one Iga Swiatek looks vulnerable in the betting ahead of the Cincinnati Masters.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Looking across the main sports online betting sites, it is clear that bookmakers have reacted to Iga Swiatek’s Third Round defeat in Toronto. Although the world number one is still the clear favorite here, her odds have lengthened considerably. She is priced at anything from +270 to +350. Her nearest challenger, Toronto victor Simona Halep is available at +800, and there are a host of competitors priced between +1100 and +1400, including Naomi Osaka, Cori Gauff and Ons Jabeur.
The Cincinnati Masters dates back to 1899 and is one of the most important prizes on the WTA Circuit. In terms of US tennis, it is the second largest summer event, behind only the US Open. In a hard-court tournament, it is noticeable that the Lindner Family Tennis Center courts play slightly faster than other major events on the same surface. A further complicating factor is the looming final Grand Slam event of the year, with some players aiming to peak for Flushing Meadow at the end of the month.
Swiatek’s Crown is Slipping
Until early June, world number one Iga Swiatek looked unbeatable, winning six titles in a row on hard and clay courts. But since then, things have not gone to plan. She was surprisingly knocked out at the last-32 stage at Wimbledon, only reached the last eight at the Poland Open, and was beaten in the last-16 by Beatriz Haddad Maia in Toronto.
In those last three tournaments, she started as an odds-on favorite. Still, after getting their fingers burnt three times in a row, Swiatek bettors may be reluctant to give her another chance, even at significantly bigger odds. Although her crown seems to be slipping, there is no particular evidence that her basic game has declined, so it could just be that all her efforts through the spring have caught up with her. Even so, that doesn’t offer much encouragement for bettors here.
WTA Cincinnati Masters Contenders
If Swiatek isn’t a great bet here, who are the likeliest challengers? The Cincinnati Masters contenders list has some familiar names on it.
Paula Badosa and Ons Jabeur are likely to be popular with bettors looking for someone to oppose the favorite, although there are concerns with both players. Although they have generally been consistent this season, their form has dipped recently, and coincidentally both withdrew from the Canadian Open in the Second Round.
Garbine Muguruza is seeded in the top eight, so she gets a bye to the Second Round in Cincinnati, but her form has been up and down in recent weeks. She has not looked like winning consecutive matches, certainly not against top competitors. She could end up facing Elena Rybakina in the second round, and taking on the Wimbledon champion is not the kind of match she would want first up.
I thought Cori Gauff was a good bet in Toronto, and although she fell short in the quarter-finals, that defeat was to the eventual tournament winner Simona Halep. She pushed the Romanian hard in the second set, extending it to a tie-break, and recorded victories over Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka. She’s in form, improving constantly, and will have plenty of home crowd support.
Halep’s chances ahead of Toronto were also highlighted in last week’s piece but having won that tournament for the third time, a lot of the value has gone from her price ahead of Cincinnati. She has a strong record in the game, having reached the final three times. Still, she didn’t win any of those matches and worryingly recorded double-digit double-fault tallies in the semi-final and final in Canada, so I’m not inclined to pick her at the current odds.
Those looking for a Cincinnati Masters underdog bet have some exciting options, but the most eye-catching names on the list are Serena and Venus Williams. All the talk over the last few days has been that Serena is on the verge of ending her astonishing career after the US Open, and if that is the case, this will be one of the final chances to see her in competitive action. (if she wins, keep and finish or Raducanu)
Beatriz Haddad Maia looks like a better underdog option. She could not have been more impressive in Toronto, beating Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, Karolina Pliskova, and Leylah Fernandez to reach the final. Her height and power make her a dangerous opponent, particularly on these lightning-fast courts.
For more than a decade and a half, Teri Geis has carved a niche in the world of betting. Her writing has graced the pages of some of the industry's heavy hitters, including the likes of Betfair, ESPN, and Sporting Life. With her extensive understanding of sports betting, readers can now peruse her insightful reviews, features, and previews here on this website.