- The Adelaide International will take place from January 3-9
- Iga Swiatek will look to defend her 2021 trophy
- Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka headline the season’s first WTA 500
The 2022 season of the WTA Tour begins with the Adelaide International, taking place from January 3-9, in Australia. Ahead of the tournament, a handful of players have already withdrawn, but there will still be more than enough star power competing this week, including five of the top 10 players.
World No. 1, and hometown favorite Ashleigh Barty leads the way with the shortest odds to win the tournament outright, while defending champion, Iga Swiatek finds herself within the top five odds to win.
Take a look below for the top 20 odds to win the tournament outright, as well as a preview of what could be expected this week.
2022 WTA Adelaide International Odds
| Ashleigh Barty||+275|
| Aryna Sabalenka||+450|
| Maria Sakkari||+600|
| Iga Swiatek||+650|
| Paula Badosa||+800|
| Elina Svitolina||+1200|
| Elena Rybakina||+1400|
| Sofia Kenin||+2000|
Odds as of January 2nd at Barstool Sportsbook.
World No. 1 and Favorite to Win
After about four months off, Barty leads the way in the top half of the draw, which also includes  Paula Badosa,  Iga Swiatek, and  Sofia Kenin.
Main Draw at the Adelaide International (WTA 500), where Ash Barty and Aryna Sabalenka are the top two seeds.
1R: A rematch of the Indian Wells final between Paula Badosa and Victoria Azarenka. pic.twitter.com/CjmAtyLcL6
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 1, 2022
The Australian hasn’t competed in the WTA since ending her season after the US Open last year, but the 25-year old has still managed to continue being the top-ranked player in the world for 100 weeks and counting.
She’ll receive a first-round bye, and that combined with the months of rest she took, she’s sure to be well-rested. But will their be any rust?
After her bye, she’ll either take on a qualifier or American Coco Gauff.
The 2020 champion is likely to make it deep in the tournament, but when she took the time off last year, it made way for other players to break through, which could cause some challenges later in the week, as the tournament gets tough.
Many eyes will be on fifth seed, Swiatek, this week as she looks to defend her 2021 title. The 20-year old will open her tournament up against a qualifier, but she finds herself in the top half of the draw, which could be trouble.
In the top half of the draw alone, there are five Grand Slam champions, including Swiatek herself.
Adelaide International champion @iga_swiatek says her near-flawless display in the final was the best she has played since winning the French Open. The rising star showed off her trophy in Elder Park. https://t.co/8ftPfFYTVQ @Nickibarnet #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/UlPbDOSNa7
— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) February 28, 2021
Assuming Swiatek is able to win her opening match, she could possibly see 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez as early as the second round, as well as Barty in the semifinals.
Who to Watch
Second seed Aryna Sabalenka, enters this tournament after a fantastic 2021 season. The 23-year made a splash last year, where she earned her World No. 2 ranking in August, as has been there every since.
Last year, she reached her maiden Grand Slam singles semifinals, a quarterfinals appearance at the US Open, and winning in Madrid and Abu Dhabi. If Sabalenka is able to go deep here in Adelaide, she has a good chance of challenging Barty’s No. 1 ranking.
As the second seed, she will also be receiving a first-round bye, and will open her tournament up against either Kaja Juvan or Chloe Paquet.
If Barty is able to come out strong, she’ll be a force this week. The top half looks to be the more competitive of the two, but both Leylah Fernandez and Coco Gauff has the ability to upset a few players that are expected to go deep.
The bottom half will still look to be competitive, but with Sabalenka leading the way, expect her to plow through the first couple of rounds. Towards the end of last season, she seemed to be untouchable.
It would be interesting to see a Barty vs. Sabalenka final at the end of this week. On paper, that’s what should be expected, but of course, anything can happen. Given that we haven’t really seen Sabalenka and Barty face off since Sabalenka really took off in the second half, and secured that No. 2 ranking, it should make for great tennis should they go up against one another. Their head-to-head record also currently sits at 4-4, with the two last playing each other at the Madrid Open.
At +450, looks to Sablenka to come out on top at the end of the week.
Best Bet: Aryna Sabalenka (+450)