Wed, Oct 24, 12:33pm by Staff Writer
The WTA Finals are underway this week in Singapore, with the best eight female players vying for the end of season championship. In the ATP, there are two ATP 500 indoor events in Europe, with all of the big names in action.
This is the final edition of the WTA Finals to take place in Singapore before the event moves to Shenzhen in China in 2019.
Eight players are divided into two groups: the red group and white group, playing off in a round robin tournament before finals matches determine the tournament winner.
World number one Simona Halep was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury and that allowed Kiki Bertens from the Netherland to take the eighth and final spot in the draw.
Ukrainian Elina Svitolina is the $4.50 favourite to win the event after posting two wins from two starts this week.
She beat fourth ranked Petra Kvitova in straight sets on Sunday and got the better of Czech Karolina Pliskova in three sets on Tuesday.
Pliskova is a $6 chance of winning the season-ending event and posted an upset win against second seed Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday.
Wozniacki managed to recover from that loss to record a three-set victory against Petra Kvitova on Tuesday, ending her chances of progressing to the knockout rounds.
In the Red Group, it is Sloane Stephens and Kiki Bertens who have come away with wins in their opening games.
Stephens took care of US Open champion Naomi Osaka in three sets, while Bertens defeated top seed Angelique Kerber after recovering from a set down.
Bertens and Stephens meet on Wednesday night, with the winner certain to progress to the knockout round. Stephens is $5 to win the WTA Finals, with Bertens priced at $7.
Kerber and Osaka meet in a must-win clash for both women. It is Osaka who is the $1.66 favourite to win that one, with Kerber priced at $2.10. Both women are $7 to win the event this week.
The first of two ATP 500 indoor events before the Masters 1000 event in Paris takes place in Vienna, Austria this week at an event with plenty of history.
The courts in Vienna changed to rebound ace in 2015 and have slowed considerably compared to other indoor courts on tour.
Despite that, big-serving South African Kevin Anderson is the tournament favourite at $6. He was pushed to three sets in his opening round clash against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili. Anderson has not looked comfortable on indoor courts this season and offers little value in the outright market.
Home favourite Dominic Thiem ($7) is another who has struggled in Vienna, making it past the round of 16 just once. He defeated qualifier Ruben Bemelmans in the opening round and did win the indoor event in St Petersburg earlier this month though, so he may be finding form on these courts.
Kyle Edmund ($13) and Karen Khachanov ($15) both won titles last week in Antwerp and Moscow and will be looking to secure back-to-back tour wins this week. That is a challenging task for both players and their prices look a tad short.
Lucas Pouille of France has had a disappointing season but is the defending champion at this event. He plays his best tennis on indoor hardcourt and is a $17 shot of winning the event. He saved all nine break points he faced in his opening round match.
Another player to look out for is Diego Schwartzman, who made the semi finals in Antwerp last week and is one of the best returners on tour. He is $21 to win Vienna.
In Basel it’s Roger Federer and then the rest in the outright market, with the Swiss Maestro a $2.62 chance of winning his home tournament.
Federer has not been as crisp in the past six months as he have been used to and was pushed to three sets by Filip Krajinovic in round one in Basel on Wednesday morning.
His nearest rival at this event appears to be Alexander Zverev, with the German a $5 shot.
Croat Marin Cilic likes the fast conditions in Basel, but has failed to close out matches in recent times, making him a risky proposition at $6.
Stockholm Open winner Stefanos Tsitsipas looks to back up his maiden tour with last week with victory in Basel and is $12 to do so.
Russian Daniil Medvedev plays his best tennis on indoor courts and recently won the ATP500 event in Tokyo. He is $12 to win Basel, but has played a lot of tennis recently.
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