Victoria Azarenka 300x225 photo

WTA Carlsad Preview 2013

The WTA Carlsbad event in California is the big tennis betting attraction to look at this week. There are some big guns out this week for the tournament and is another step on the Emirates Airlines US Open series. There are three top ten players taking part this week, overshadowing the other WTA event this week in Washington. There would have been four, but Maria Sharapova pulled out. The Carlsbad event is a Premier level affair, with the feature names in the field being Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova.

Heading up the field is world number three Victoria Azarenka, who will be in action for the first time since she withdrew from Wimbledon because of a knee injury. So that may just cause a bit of hesitation over backing her. But still, she is great value at 11/8 with Bet365 to go on and take the title, and it should be a good workout for her. The draw isn’t too challenging for her, because the other main threats in the field are all bunched in the lower half of the draw. So if she is back, she is likely ready and when she gets a couple of matches under her belt, she really should storm this field. No-one else has got the power in the all round game to match her.

Once Azarenka finds her feet, she should take some stopping, because she is the best in the field. Poland’s Angieszka Radwanska is second seed and heading up the bottom half of the draw, but after running to the final of Stanford (losing to Dominika Cibulkova) she could be a bit leggy, and she has yet to find that killer punch this season and get her hands on multiple titles. Going to ignore Dominika Cibulkova for the reasons of it being extremely tough to win back to back titles, even though her immense forehand was working so well in Stanford and she should be bubbling with confidence. She is also a previous winner in Carlsbad and wouldn’t be a bad long shot. Would have considered more as well, if she wasn’t in Azarenka’s half of the draw.

That means the bottom half is wide open. Again, Australian Sam Stosur is too unpredictable to warrant a strong wager, which leaves Petra Kvitova an interesting proposition. Has had a quiet season, but was in good shape reaching the quarter finals of Wimbledon. A dangerous floater because she is in a relatively easy quarter of the draw, and she is a very attractive proposition. But again, hard to look at with strong conviction given some of her results this season, and there are tricky matches to come in her quarter.

There is a big dark horse in the field and that is former world number one Svetlana Kuznetsova. She is a previous winner of the tournament in 2010, but hasn’t played since the French Open. So there is questions over her match sharpness, but was shaping up well at the start of the season. A long 16/1 shot though.

Tipster’s Best Tips

Victoria Azarenka Outright Winner @ 11/8 with Bet365

Petra Kvitova Outright Winner @ 8/1 with Bet365