One of the most unique tournaments on the tour, WTA Charleston is played on green clay which creates conditions that…
One of the most unique tournaments on the tour, WTA Charleston is played on green clay which creates conditions that are unusual for the best players in the world.
Many of the top players have stayed in the United States for this tournament. Nine of the world’s Top 20 turn up here creating a draw that is high on quality.
The green clay means that these aren’t true clay court conditions. Though footwork and sliding are of benefit here, the court is quicker than traditional red clay. This means that the players with hard court form over the last few weeks are still important to consider.
The defending champion and finalist from last year, Belinda Bencic and Ons Jabeur respectively, are both back in the draw.
There are three ATP and two WTA tournaments across the globe this week. All five tournaments have previews available to read onsite.
18+ | Geo Restrictions may apply | Be Gamble Aware
WTA Charleston Betting Tips
Event In Focus: WTA Charleston
With the unique set of conditions in Charleston one cannot simply observe a player’s clay court form. Though that will form part of the overall picture, we must consider the recent hard court form as well.
The first piece of analysis is on the players’ rankings and 2023 form. Then we consider career clay court data.
Three players sit above the 110 elite mark in terms of games won this year so far. Jessica Pegula justifies her #1 seeding here with the best 2023 form, but Belinda Bencic and Victoria Azarenka sit just in behind. The Azarenka figure surprises me as she hasn’t set the world alight with consistent deep runs in tournaments, but it does show that the Belarusian retains a lot of class.
Madison Keys, Anhelina Kalinina, and Paula Badosa have also had under-the-radar decent performances this year as well, but have been knocked out early in most tournaments, probably because of being seeded in the second tier, or unseeded in some tournaments.
Marie Bouzkova, Zhang Shuai, Irina-Camelia Begu, and, most notably, Daria Kasatkina, are having a particularly difficult start to the year, losing more games than they are winning.
The Clay ELO data is taken from the fantastic resource at www.tennisabstract.com.
The definition of the metric is available from there but the general idea is that we are looking to separate out the clay form from general form, and then take into account the quality of the players played in your form as well as simply the results. This way it is possible to get some powerful approximations of how well players have previously performed on that surface. Of course, for the vast majority of players at this part of the season, the most recent clay data will come from at least nine months ago, so we have to bear this in mind too.
In the case of the players at Charleston, the players that come out well from this metric are the likes of Paula Badosa, Jil Teichmann, and Begu. Badosa’s case in particular may be subject to the fact that she was playing really well a year ago.
Career Clay Court Data
Azarenka always looks elite in her career data, but it is always worth bearing in mind that she could have that level in her locker still. Badosa and Kasatkina are the other elite clay courters at WTA level. However, as discussed, the Charleston courts do not play as traditional clay courts, so this will hinder the true clay courters in the draw in terms of having that advantage on the surface.
However, Zhang Shuai is a standout on the poor side. I also would have concerns over Ekaterina Alexandrova, Marie Bouzkova, and Magda Linette in this level of company.
Kasatkina’s current form is a cause for concern as well.
WTA Charleston Draw
Charleston is a big for a regular tour event. There 56 entrants, with the top eight seeds getting a bye through to the second round. Qualifiers will be placed into the draw on Monday.
WTA Charleston Betting Tips
It feels like I’m backing Bencic for every tournament at the moment, but her price is more attractive than the other leading contenders here. Pegula is too short on the basis of her clay court form, even if it doesn’t mean as much here, I also have concerns about her in the latter stages of tournaments at the moment. Ons Jabeur is too early in her comeback from an injury to be backed at her price, but the defending champion has displayed good form this season and obviously has motivation to defend her 2022 points here.
The Russian is another player with course and distance form having won here in 2021. She will be looking to kickstart her season here having been ok but not outstanding so far in 2023. She has the right quality of serve to win this tournament, as she has shown before.
The only doubt is her relatively tough quarter with Paula Badosa also someone that I seriously considered for a bet here, but I think that Kudermetova is in better form and has a win against Badosa on these courts from that 2021 run as well.
I have probably sworn never to back Keys again on a number of occasions, but here we go again. Her underlying data this season has actually been pretty good, despite average results. Keys won 5 matches in a row in United Cup at the start of the season and since then has generally won the matches that she should have.
I watched Keys in a match against Barbora Krejcikova recently and she was striking the ball beautifully. She has a good clay court pedigree and has the right tools to do well in these sort of hybrid conditions.
Teichmann is a bit of a long shot, but has definite credentials to out-run her price. Her clay ELO ranking alone shows that she shouldn’t be considered an also-ran and she beat Belinda Bencic in Indian Wells to prove that she is pretty decent touch as well.