2022 WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Analysis
Top-Ranked Swiatek Headlines Star-Studded Stuttgart Field
World No. 1 Gunning for Fourth Title in a Row
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek is the player to beat at the 2022 WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Open this week. Bookmakers install Swiatek as the short-odds-on favorite to win at +135 – a great deal shorter than her rivals, beginning with Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa (both priced at +650) and followed by Maria Sakkari (+700), who rounds out the top four players to spot in Stuttgart this week.
The Polish star comes into the tournament in formidable form, having won three straight tournaments, including the Sunshine Double in America. The level of consistency Swiatek has tapped into this season hasn’t been seen in the women’s game in a long time. It’s the kind of consistency bettors were used to expecting from players like Serena Williams in her heyday.
The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Open won’t be a cakewalk for Swiatek. The draw features 32 players, all of whom will be vying for the title and the keys to the free Porsche that is awarded to the tournament winner. Talk about sweetening the pot.
A World No.1 sighting in Stuttgart 👀
🇵🇱 @iga_swiatek testing out the #PorscheTennis surface for the first time… pic.twitter.com/D7D1o0MnH4
— wta (@WTA) April 17, 2022
Swiatek, Sakkari, Pliskova Highlight Top Half
Swiatek is the top favorite according to the WTA betting odds to emerge out of the top half of the draw and challenge for the title, but her section is loaded with former Grand Slam champions, dangerous floaters and in-form top players, including Sakkari.
Sakkari (+700) is the highest seed after Swiatek in this section and a likely semifinal challenger for the Polish star at the WTA Porsche Open.
Sakkari’s immediate corner is slightly tougher with big-hitters such as Petra Kvitova (+2000) and Karolina Pliskova (+2500) contained within her section, but the Greek has been playing solid tennis and that confidence will be key toward a deep run.
Similarly, Swiatek can’t take anything for granted, either. Dangerous floaters such as Camila Giorgi and Jasmine Paolini and home-grown talent Eva Lys lurk in her section. Of course, Swiatek is the most in-form player on the WTA tour, but it’s worth noting that this is her first clay-court event of the season.
Badosa, Sabalenka, Kontaveit Highlight Bottom Half
Second seed Paula Badosa, who is also the co-second-best bet alongside Aryna Sabalenka, is one to spot. Both Badosa and Sabalenka feature in the second half of the draw, but the former is in better form and comes across as the all-around better bet to reach the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Open
Badosa has reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 and brings an 18-7 record into Stuttgart, which includes one title (Sydney International). She’s also tied 1-1 with Swiatek in head-to-heads after the pair split their two meetings in 2021, should it come down to the pair this week.
Badosa doesn’t have the easiest draw, however. That could be the reason why her tennis odds aren’t shorter this week than might have been expected.
Badosa’s section contains American hopeful Coco Gauff, Czech clay-court specialist Marketa Vondrousova (+2500) and Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur (+1800), who recently reached the Charleston Open final.
Sabalenka is an enigma this year. Her serve has gone walkabout and she’s struggling to find consistent form, which in turn has knocked her confidence and game. In fact, Sabalenka comes into Stuttgart sporting a losing record at 7-8. On that score, it’s actually surprising that bookmakers have installed the Belarusian as a contender this week.
Sabalenka’s lack of form busts this section wide open, opening the door for fifth seed Anett Kontaveit to come through. Kontaveit was a runner-up in Stuttgart in 2019, losing to Kvitova in the title match. The Estonian has a title this season and brings a 14-5 record to Stuttgart.
As well, Angelique Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam champion, and former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu could profit from this winnable section. However, their form and fitness are big question marks.
Tennis Betting Tips
Arguably, the tennis best bets to win this tournament are Swiatek, Badosa or Sakkari; that’s if the criteria for betting were only from on the season. Considering the fact that the WTA Tour only recently transitioned from hard to clay courts, it’s perhaps more wide open than the odds would have it as the surface change is likely to have an impact on many players.
Swiatek is playing her first clay-court tournament of the season, so too Sakkari. Only Badosa warmed up her clay-court game in Charleston over a week ago, reaching the quarterfinals where she lost to eventual champion Belinda Bencic.
Ons Jabeur honed her clay court game in Charleston, thus striking an attractive pose as an outside bet to come through.
In the meanwhile, former Stuttgart Open champions such as Kvitova, Pliskova and Kerber are just some of the dark horses of the tournament that offer value as longshot bets.