WTA Mutua Madrid Open Preview
The WTA descends on the Spanish capital this week for the Madrid Open, a premier event on the road to the second Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros. Simona Halep has emerged in the last 24 hours as the player to beat on the WTA Mutua Madrid Open betting odds board across multiple sportsbooks. The two-time Grand Slam champion rose above the star-studded field after world No. 1 Iga Swiatek was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury.
Depending on the sportsbook in question, Halep’s odds to win the WTA Mutua Madrid Open are priced at around +600. The next best bet after Halep is world No. 2 Paula Badosa of Spain, who is priced at +900. As well, world No. 5 Maria Sakkari comes in as the third-best bet at +1200.
Do the bookmakers have it right? Is Halep the best bet to win in Madrid this week? Or is there a better bet elsewhere? Join as we preview the Madrid Open and highlight some of the players to spot.
The Favorites: Halep, Badosa and Sakkari
Simona Halep enters the tournament as the bookmakers’ favorite, but she falls into a tough fourth quarter that is littered with stumbling blocks. Most notably, she’s right in the vicinity of Paula Badosa, slated to meet the Spaniard in the Round of 32.
For Halep to come through as the WTA Mutua Madrid Open betting favorite, a lot would have to fall her way. Given the fact that she’s going to face Badosa in the second round, it’s a big ask. The same goes for Badosa, who must overcome Halep to move deeper into the draw. Things don’t get any easier for Halep or Badosa from there onward as Coco Gauff and/or Yulia Putintseva loom as potential R16 challengers.
Maria Sakkari is another player that the bookmakers appear to be rating highly this week, despite her lack of clay-court preparation. This is the first clay-court event for the World No. 5, so it’s hard to know what to expect from the Greek starlet on this surface. However, she does come into the event riding good form this season.
The Contenders: Jabeur, Muguruza, Bencic, Kvitova
Ons Jabeur is enjoying a banner season as she reaches a career high No. 10 ranking. Jabeur comes into Madrid on the back of a final appearance in Charleston (l. to Bencic) and a quarterfinal in Stuttgart (l. to Badosa).
The Tunisian falls into the fourth quarter, alongside Badosa and Halep. That fact has probably taken the shine off of her WTA Mutua Madrid Open betting odds. As well, with Belinda Bencic lurking in the midst of these ladies, it’s really anybody’s section to win. Bencic is priced at +2200 to win the title.
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza is floating under the radar as the +1800 bet. What makes the Spanish tennis star a value play is the fact that she falls into the first quarter that was vacated by Iga Swiatek. Muguruza is in a great position to capitalize.
Speaking of the first quarter, Petra Kvitova is another dangerous floater in this section. The Czech comes into this tournament with back-to-back first-round exits in Charleston and Stuttgart, but she’s a streaky player that can get hot in the blink of an eye.
Oddsmakers have priced Naomi Osaka at +1600 to win the title in Madrid, but those odds may be slightly deceiving. Osaka’s least favorite surface is clay and she’s had her worst results on this surface.
It would be really surprising if Osaka were to win the WTA Madrid Open 2022, although she does fall into possibly the most wide-open section of the draw that includes Sakkari and Danielle Collins. As mentioned above, Sakkari’s clay-court form is questionable. Collins, on the other hand, is another player that has enjoyed limited success on clay.
The Pretenders: Azarenka, Bouzkova and Muchova
Most of the players assembled in Madrid could be dubbed as pretenders. Sometimes all it takes is good form and the draw opening up just so.
Some of the most noteworthy pretenders include Victoria Azarenka, Karolina Muchova and Marie Bouzkova. All three players fall into the bottom half of the draw where there is the potential for some serious shakeups. In fact, Bouzkova upset No. 7 seed Karolina Pliskova in the first round.
Karolina Muchova falls into the fourth quarter, which contains heavyweights Halep and Badosa, but the Czech is a solid clay-court player that could give them a run for their money. That said, it’s worth noting that Muchova is coming off an injury. That could have an impact on how deep she goes because she doesn’t have a lot of matches under her belt.
The Longshots: Siniakova, Petkovic, Kanepi
Katerina Siniakova, Andrea Petkovic and Kaia Kanepi are longshots of the tournament, priced in quintuple digits, ranging from +25000 to +30000. It’s unlikely one of these players will win the title, but it’s not impossible. Where they do provide some early value is their potential for pulling off upsets — the kind that would burst the draw wide open.
Petkovic opens her tournament against No. 17 seed Leylah Fernandez, who is struggling to capture the form that saw her reach the U.S. Open final last year. Katerina Siniakova could face No. 18 seed Elena Rybakina in the R32.
Veteran Kanepi is a player that can shake things up. She falls into a favorable section in the second quarter that could see her face Jessica Pegula in the second round and Collins in the third round – two Americans that aren’t as adept on clay as Kanepi might be.