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Connecticut Open PREVIEW
I am so excited about this tournament in New Haven and there is only one reason only: betting opportunity. I am always very eager to bet in the pre-Slam and post-Masters tournaments as there is a lot of info about fatigue and injury concerns, but also about the past results during such periods in the schedule.
Connecticut Open will be held in New Haven (Connecticut, United States) between 19th August and 25th, and has a huge history behind, featuring its 50th edition in 2018 and was founded 70 years ago, in 1948. The venue for this tournament is Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale (45 Yale Avenue, New Haven, CT 06515). The total financial commitment is $799,000. The surface they play on in New Haven is “SportMaster Sport Surfaces/Outdoors”, which is similar to Irving Challenger and Washington Open.
Following graph will show you the Prize money and ranking points that each round will settle.
Looking at the past results we see good players winning this tournament in the past years: Wozniacki 2008-2011 (4 titles), Kvitova 2012, 2014-2015 (3 titles), Halep 2013, Radwanska 2016 and Gavrilova 2017. Fact is that the tournament had high seeds, but in the past 10 years, we saw only 3x 1st seeds winning this tournament (Wozniacki in 2010 and 2011 and Radwanska in 2016). One can guess, despite a possible 470 points can be won for this title, that top-players won’t do their best considering that the tournament is held 2 weeks before the US Open. Last year we saw an unseeded player winning here, Daria Gavrilova, winning against Krystina Pliskova, Babos, Flipkens, Radwanska, and Cibulkova in the final. Only two of those matches were won by Gavrilova as an underdog (SF and F).
The weather will be ok for tennis, having 20% chances of precipitation on Monday and 90% on Wednesday. The other days will be safe from rain and thunderstorms. Wind speeds will be between 8 km/h and 16 km/h during the week.
Simona Halep is the top #1 seed, but one can be confident that she won’t do any damage this week as she comes after two hard weeks of tennis, winning Montreal Masters and losing in the Cincinnati Masters final to Bertens (Halep missed championship point in the 2nd set tie-break).
The second seed, Caroline Garcia, has a decent year so far with 27 wins and 16 losses but has no finals played in 2018. Her recent results in New Haven are mediocre, losing to Flipkens in R16, Wozniacki in QF and Strycova in R16 in the past 3 years.
Pliskova had a decent year so far too, but nothing special for her, winning only one tournament, on clay in Stuttgart (indoor). Her hard court results in 2018 are mediocre for a top-10 player, and maybe that’s why she got to #8 in the rankings. She lost matches to Sabalenka, Bertens (got crushed 6-2 6-2), Azarenka, Osaka, Kerber, Halep, Bellis, and Svitolina. She managed to win 0 matches as an underdog on hard courts this year. Pliskova’s best result in New Haven is a QF in 2015 lost to Tsurenko (1.48 favorite back then).
Kvitova looks like being the best-rated player in the draw, as she won this tournament 3 times in the past 6 years. Kvitova has also 42 wins and just 10 losses in 2018, while on hard she is decent, with 14 wins and 6 losses. Those losses came to Giorgi and Petkovic (in January), Anisimova and Ostapenko (in March, after winning Doha title), and 2x Bertens (in August during Montreal and Cincinnati).
Gavrilova, the reigning champion, has had a mediocre 2018 so far and managed to win 10 matches on hard and lose 9 of them. Nothing special from her side since Sydney in January. She might be motivated to defend her title, but her form is below-par. Her win over Begu in the first round was very good, winning 6-2 6-2, and that can boost her moral and make her a contender during this week.
Bertens, the newest Cincinnati Masters winner, came to New Haven from Cincinnati (4 hours flight), but we surely can assume that she isn’t going to be at her best after her first Masters Tournament won on Sunday. I doubt she will make any statement here, keeping her fresh for the US Open. The price on her 1st match opponent, Kontaveit, is dropping like crazy too.
The last contender in this draw, which I also consider the most valuable to back outright, is the German Julia Goerges. Her year was good and has won a title in Auckland, reached final in Charleston and SF in Wimbledon. Her past results in New Haven are almost inexistent (lost an R16 match against Stephens back in 2013). The fact is that she managed to get to a final in Washington last year (similar surface) where she lost to a red-hot Makarova.
As said before, we do have high ranked girls in the draw, but we can assume that not all of them will deliver in these conditions. Top-8 seeded players taking part are Halep (#1), Garcia (#6), Kvitova (#5), Pliskova (#8), Goerges (#9), Bertens (#13), Strycova (#22- LOST in 1st round), and Gavrilova (#24).
Halep sits on the top part of the draw along Giorgi, Bogdan, Sabalenka, Stosur, Gavrilova, PLiskova, Makarova, Rybarikova, and Goerges as top contenders.
Garcia sits on the bottom part of the draw along Mladenovic, Sasnovich, Puig, BBacsinszky, Kontaveit, Bertens, Kvitova, Radwanska, Sakkari, Konta, and Suarez Navarro as top contenders. We can definitely say that the bottom part looks the harder one.
Looking at the draw we might see that Kvitova has a hard way ahead, starting her journey against Radwanska, then she might get the in-form Sakkari, after that fighter Konta and for the semi-final, she might Garcia or Kontaveit. In the final she might play Halep, Gavrilova, or Goerges.
Halep might lose in the first or second round, so I would definitely count her out, as I would do also with Bertens.
Pliskova starts the tournament against a lefty player, Makarova, a player she lost to 3 times in the past 3 years, and then will get Rybarikova (a player she has a 0-2 negative H2H to). Would count Pliskova out too, considering her road to follow.
Gavrilova has a nice and winnable road ahead, facing Stosur or Sabalenka in the 2nd round, then Halep or Bogdan/Giorgi to reach the SF.
My main focus will be on Goerges, who won the first round easily against Cibulkova (finalist last year), and will face Yastremska or Collins in the 2nd round (winnable match either way). After that, she might get Makarova (har nut to crack, but winnable too) or Rybarikova (1-1 H2H). The semi-final then will be really winnable for the German in facing fatigued Halep or Gavrilova (1-1 H2H). The potential final will be the hardest match for sure but raising her level up for the first rounds and not spending too much time on the court will make her a top contender, no matter the finalist. She has negative H2H against both Kvitova (6-1) and Garcia (2-0), but I guess the two will have a harder path to the final and will be more exhausted.
Goerges is the top server on tour, with 352 aces in 48 matches, winning 74.1% 1st serves and 49.1% 2nd serves (total of 63.6% service points won and 79.7% service games won). She has the top service game % won in the tour (5 matches minimum played). Goerges has won 39.8% of return games in 2018. A combined rating would be 119,5, which makes her a top player!
Kvitova has won 45.2% of return games and 75.8% of the service games, which makes her combined stats really good, at 121.
Garcia has won 75.3% service games and 40,6% service games, and a combined 115.9 score.
Considering all factors, like draw, fatigue, past results and direct match-ups, I have come to the conclusion that the best player to back on the outright market is Julia Goerges.
8 units on Julia Goerges to win New Haven @ 15.00 with bet365 (Comparison link here)
Despite having a bad couple of months, August has been kind to us, despite having over 10 players that have lost from match-points up!
The Graph for August looks like this:
The stats for August are as follow: