Iga Swiatek is once again the favorite for a WTA tournament, but there are doubts about her fitness going into the Miami Open and US star Jessica Pegula could be a better pick to shine on the East Coast.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it is no surprise to see that Iga Swiatek is the favorite with bettors going into this event. The world number one is rated as low as +163 with her nearest challenger, Aryna Sabalenka priced at +700 and joint third favorites Jessica Pegula and Barbora Krejcikova are priced at +1100, with Elena Rybakina at +1400 and Cori Gauff at +1800.
|WTA Miami Open|
Miami Open 2023 Betting Briefing
The Miami Open is the second consecutive Masters 1000 combined tournament and the second leg, after Indian Wells, of the famous Sunshine Double. Like Indian Wells, it is regarded as one of the most important tournaments in tennis, beaten only by the four Grand Slam competitions.
First staged in 1985, it has been played at numerous venues, but always in the Miami area of Florida, and the latest move was from Key Biscayne, which had been the tournament’s home since 1987, to Miami Gardens, Florida and the Hard Rock Stadium in 2019. It is played on the Laykold Cushion Plush outdoor hardcourt, which is classified as medium-slow by the ITF.
In the women’s tournament, Steffi Graff, Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka have all had their moments, but the record for tournament wins belongs to Serena Williams, with an impressive eight titles. Williams won the last of her titles in 2015 and in the six tournaments since then, there have been five different winners, including last year’s champion Iga Swiatek.
WTA Miami Open Betting Favorite
World number one Iga Swiatek is regularly quoted at short prices for any tournament that she enters these days, but favorite backers haven’t always been rewarded. Although she has been admirably consistent in reaching at least the semi-finals of four out of her five tournaments this year, she has only won one of those, in Dubai, and once again fell short in Indian Wells at the weekend.
That defeat, to Elena Rybakina, was her second loss to her Kazakhstani rival this year, and she has also lost to Jessica Pegula and Barbora Krejcikova. Those results suggest that there isn’t quite as much of a gap between Swiatek and her main rivals as the markets suggest, and considering that she is currently suffering with a rib problem, she does not seem that appealing as a betting favorite here.
WTA Miami Open Contenders
Elena Rybakina prevailed most recently at Indian Wells, and both she and the woman she beat in that game, Aryna Sabalenka, are in the top five of the betting here. Sabalenka is a shorter price, which is slightly surprising, but given that both players have just come through a gruelling tournament that is practically a Grand Slam, there have be question marks over their ability to play at their very best in Florida, with so little time to travel and prepare.
Of the other main contenders in Miami, it is the American players Cori Gauff and Jessica Pegula who may be set to mount the biggest challenge.
Gauff has been in solid form throughout the year, starting off with victory in Auckland, and following that with quarter-final places in Qatar and Indian Wells and a semi-final in Dubai. Her three previous entries in Miami have not produced anything more than a fourth-round appearance, but she seems to have moved up a gear in 2023 and this could be a big year for the rising star of US women’s tennis.
Jessica Pegula has also been getting close to winning a tournament this year, with a final, semi-final and quarter-final appearance to her name. She was knocked out relatively early in Indian Wells, which should have given her plenty of time to prepare for a tournament in which she reached the last four in 2022.
WTA Miami Open Outsider
Uncertainty over Swiatek’s fitness means that this could be a more open event than the markets suggest and if you’re looking for an outsider at the Miami Open, Petra Kvitova could fit the bill.
The two-time Wimbledon champion and three-time Grand Slam finalist has not been beyond the last eight in Miami previously, but she is playing some solid tennis right now, reaching two quarter-finals this year so far, including last week at Indian Wells and her price is surely too big given her experience.