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WTA Tennis Preview 2023 – Swiatek and …

Sprinkling of Grand Slam Contenders, Middleweights, Newcomers

The 2023 WTA Tennis season is underway. In this column, we look at several top contenders, middleweights, and potential up-and-comers for the major titles in the new year, beginning with the Australian Open which is just around the corner.

Let’s check the latest Tennis picks, stats, injury reports, and Tennis predictions. We’ve plenty of Tennis expert picks for you to consider.

Poland's Iga Swiatek | Ryan lim / afp

WTA Top Players to Spot

Iga Swiatek

  • To Win Australian Open: +165
  • To Win French Open -130
  • To Win Wimbledon: +350
  • To Win US Open: +225

Iga Swiatek finished 2022 as the indisputable world No. 1 player, moving to the summit of the WTA rankings after starting the year ranked at No. 9. A lot is being made about the fact that Ashleigh Barty’s untimely resignation in March paved the way for the Polish star to claim the top spot in her stead. But such a conclusion is absurdly simplistic.

Never mind totally disingenuous, completely overlooking Swiatek’s ruthless dominance and supreme form, especially in the first half of 2022 – the kind of which we haven’t seen in the women’s game in over a decade at the very least…

Overall, Swiatek picked up eight titles during her incredible season, including six titles in a row during a 35-match unbeaten streak between February and June that was capped off by the French Open title. The 21-year-old Polish star would go on to set a record 37-match unbeaten streak, moving ahead of Venus Williams in the history books.

Swiatek added two more titles during the American hard-court swing, including a second Grand Slam title at the US Open to cement herself at the top of the women’s game as a multiple tennis Grand Slam champion on different surfaces. Earlier in the year, she made the Australian Open semifinals.

The only major that could see Swiatek struggle in 2023 – based purely on past performance – is Wimbledon. She has never reached the second week of the All England Club tournament in three previous appearances.

Swiatek’s grass-court game is a work in progress and as the consummate professional and competitor, she’s bound to make improvements on that front. For now, however, she’s not the top favorite to win Wimbledon according to the tennis betting markets, priced at +350.

Swiatek is in a solid position to carry her dominance into 2023. She’s not without challengers, top of which are Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Garcia, to name a few. But she’s the player to beat right now. beginning with the Australian Open later this month.

Swiatek has won 9 of her last 10 matches.

In form. pic.twitter.com/0atyazfORg

— Relevant Tennis (@RelevantTennis) January 2, 2023

Ons Jabeur

  • To Win Australian Open: +1200
  • To Win French Open +1000
  • To Win Wimbledon: +900
  • To Win US Open: +1200

Tunisian trailblazer Ons Jabeur finished the season as the world No. 2 player. The 28-year-old had a banner year, reaching the Wimbledon Championships and US Open finals in succession to become the first Muslim and Arab player (male or female) to reach a Grand Slam final.

Jabeur is an all-court and all-surface player, picking up titles and reaching the finals of tournaments on hard, clay and grass. In 2022, she won her biggest title at the Madrid Open (clay) and she also won the BettiOpen in Berlin (grass).

Jabeur is a player to spot at all the Grand Slams, including the upcoming Australian Open. That said, her best chance to win a major is at the French Open or Wimbledon, where her odds are the lowest according to the betting online lookaheads.

Jessica Pegula

  • To Win Australian Open: +2000
  • To Win French Open +1600
  • To Win Wimbledon: +3300
  • To Win US Open: +2000

American Jessica Pegula is a testament to hard work paying off. The American started 2022 ranked at No. 18 and finished with a career-high ranking of world No. 3.

The 28-year-old American is consistent and competitive, thanks to a well-rounded game that is anchored by her dogged determination and defensive prowess. She lacks a true knockout shot – such as a big serve, a killer forehand or backhand – but she more than makes up for it with her fitness and movement.

Pegula claimed her biggest title in 2022 when she won the Guadalajara Open. She reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, French Open, and US Open.

Caroline Garcia

  • To Win Australian Open: +1200
  • To Win French Open +1200
  • To Win Wimbledon: +1400
  • To Win US Open: +800

France’s Caroline Garcia enjoyed a renaissance toward the end of the 2022 WTA season, skyrocketing back into the world’s Top 5 from a year-opening ranking of No. 74. The 29-year-old Frenchwoman’s game came together over the summer when she won the Bad Homburg title (grass) and then the Polish Open title (clay), beating home favorite Swiatek in the quarterfinals on the way to the title.

She took the momentum into the American hard court swing where she won the Cincinnati Open after climbing out of the qualifying draw. She then went on to reach the US Open semifinals (l. to Jabeur). Garcia finished the year strong, winning the WTA Tour Finals at Fort Worth.

Aryna Sabalenka

  • To Win Australian Open: +1200
  • To Win French Open +1800
  • To Win Wimbledon: +1400
  • To Win US Open: +1000

Belarussian Aryna Sabalenka had an up-and-down season in 2022. She started the year ranked No. 2 and finished No. 5, capping it off with a runner-up finish at the WTA Tour Finals at Fort Worth.

Sabalenka reached the final of Stuttgart (clay) and ‘s-Hertogenbosch (grass), as well as the US Open semifinals in 2022.

Two Contenders, a Middleweight and an Up-and-Comer

The women’s game is littered with legitimate contenders, middleweights, and up-and-comers looking to make their marks in 2023. Below we highlight a handful of these players: two contenders that have been knocking on the door for some time, a middleweight that is poised to make strides in 2023, and a newcomer that could deliver a few surprises.

  • Coco Gauff. The American teenager enjoyed a breakout season, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 7 in the world. She was a runner-up to Swiatek at the French Open and made it into the second week of all the Grand Slams in 2022. There is no doubt that Gauff is America’s best hope for a Grand Slam champion. The question is, will she make the winner’s circle in 2023?

  • Maria Sakkari.The Greek No. 1 is one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour, finishing inside the Top 10 for the last three seasons. She is yet to enjoy her breakthrough at the majors, reaching the semifinals twice in her career – at Roland Garros (2021) and US Open (2021).
  • Beatriz Haddad-Maia. The Brazilian star was one of the feel-good stories of 2022, breaking inside the Top 20 after starting the year ranked No. 83. The left-hander is one of the best players on the grass in the women’s game, underscoring her prowess with back-to-back titles in Nottingham and Birmingham. She also won a clay court title in Saint-Malo. Haddad-Maia’s best run came in Toronto where she reached the final of the Canadian Open, marking her biggest final appearance to date. Haddad-Maia has yet to make the second week of a major, but 2023 could see her reach that milestone.

  • Linda Noskova. Czech teenager Linda Noskova is an up-and-comer in the women’s game that could shake things up in 2023. She has a formidable serve, strong groundstrokes, and an attacking style that is sure to pay dividends as she gains experience on the WTA Tour.

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