With the 2020 U.S. Open underway, a pair of big questions are on the minds of many tennis betting pros and enthusiasts alike. Does the recent hamstring injury to world No.10 Naomi Osaka, (+450) combined with the recent form of two-time slam winner Victoria Azarenka (+3000), alter an already even playing field? Let’s analyze both questions. First, how does Osaka’s injury come into play?
Even slightly injured, it looks like Osaka has an almost assured spot into the third round after opening against Misaki Doi and potentially taking on one of my favorite players in Italian Camilla Gorgi.
If Osaka does manage to reach the fourth round, she could face a bevy of challengers from No. 7 Madison Keys, to my upset pick of young Greek star Maria Sakkari, the legendary Serena Williams, and the dangerous Sofia Kenin. Ultimately, hamstring injuries are generally difficult to get over quickly and I suspect that Osaka will fall before reaching the semis.
But what about Victoria Azarenka?
Well, when it comes to the two-time Australian Open winner (2012, ’13) and two-time U.S. Open finalist (2012, ’13), I don’t believe she’s a legitimate top contender, but conversely, I can’t say she has absolutely no chance.
Let me explain. Now, ranked 27th in the world, Azarenka opened her 2020 campaign by withdrawing from the Australian Open due to “personal problems” we now know were associated with her child custody fight against estranged partner Billy McKeague. She entered the Monterrey Open in early March and was dispatched via an embarrassing 2-6, 2-6 loss in the first round to the unheralded Tamara Zidanšek.
She then pulled out of Indian Wells for more personal reasons, before the tournament was ultimately canceled and the 2020 WTA Tour season was put on pause due the coronavirus pandemic. Azarenka got back on court at the Top Seed Open in Kentucky Aug. 10, losing her opener to Venus Williams 3-6, 2-6. What happened next was a bit of stunner with Azarenka ousting a string of good players in Donna Vecic, Caroline Garcia, Alize Cornet, Ons Jabeur, and Johanna Konta to reach the finals of the recently-completed 2020 Western & Southern Open, where she was awarded the title via a walkover due to Osaka pulling out of the finals.
Now, Azarenka, could face world No. 11 and No. 5 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the second round and I don’t see her getting past the powerful 22-year-old from Belarus. However, if she does, I’ve got Azarenka reaching the fourth round before eventually being ousted.
So, in short. I believe Osaka’s injury does lessen her chances of hoisting this year’s US Open hardware, but not necessarily extinguish them. On the flip side of the coin, yes, Azarenka’s recent play definitely will increase her value-packed +3000 odds of challenging, if, for no other reason, she’ll have a big increase in confidence, which should, in turn, result in some improved and more aggressive on-court play. Whatever you decide, BetUS tennis betting faithful, you need to take into consideration both recent events and adjust your betting selections accordingly.