Monday, 28 January 2013

WTA Paris

The Australian Open may be over but our season is just getting started. We spent the opening few weeks of the year assessing the action on both tours and after a successful period in Melbourne, we're now ready to get stuck into the action and grind of what will be a very long and hopefully productive season.

The field for Paris has been affected by its close proximity to the Australian Open with defending champion Angelique Kerber choosing not to enter to retain her title. Maria Sharapova - beaten by Kerber in 2012 - will also not be in Paris. The tournament has benefited somewhat from the early Australian Open exit of Petra Kvitova by granting her a wildcard into the event. Kvitova won this tournament in 2011 and will be desperate to find some form on her favourite territory - indoors.

The draw is bottom heavy with many of the likely contenders for the title being drawn in the same half. In the top half of the draw The Overrule sees some value in Sofia Arvidsson at 50/1. The Swede will have to get through Alize Cornet in first round action where she is favoured to do so, and then likely meetings with Lucie Safarova and Dominika Cibulkova before a prospective semi-final.

While that path will certainly be a test for Arvidsson, 50/1 on her to win the title and 25/1 to make the final is far too big a price on her to do so. We'll place 0.5 points each-way on her for the event. That's 0.5 point on her at 50/1 to win the event and 0.5 point on her to reach the final at 25/1.

0.5* Sofia Arvidsson win Paris (each-way) @ 50/1 (Victor Chandler) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

In the bottom half of the draw there are a number of players who will believe they have a realistic shot at the title. Besides Kvitova, there is Marion Bartoli, Anastasia Pavlyunchenkova, Julia Goerges and Mona Barthel to name just a few. Kvitova and Bartoli have the benefit of first round byes and will likely begin their tournaments in midweek. When the initial prices came out Kvitova was universally priced at 7/2 or below, which was too short to place any faith in her given the struggles she has been encountering for a number of months.

However, Coral have taken the bold or foolish - it depends how you want to look at it - stance of not making Kvitova favourite for the tournament. Tissue pricing is based on the opinions and formulas of individuals. The Overrule would never price Kvitova in a field of this nature, on this particular court, as anything other than the favourite. Not unless she was playing in it off the back of a long term injury or any other factors that would lead you to believe she is not worthy of favouritism.

Whether Kvitova can justify the tag of favourite is another thing entirely. The facts are that she has been devoid of confidence for a prolonged period of time. A worryingly prolonged period of time. At 9/2 The Overrule is content with the price in this instance, while recognising that an earlier than expected exit for the former Wimbledon champion would not come as a massive shock.

On paper an in-form Kvitova would decimate this field indoors. Tennis isn't played on paper, but we're happy with the price on offer enough to deem it worthy of a three point selection.

3* Petra Kvitova win Paris @ 9/2 (Coral)

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