- Five matches are carded Thursday as the action continues in Day Three of the Credit One Bank Invitational
- Several top WTA players will be on the court. Which matches are the best bets?
- Analysis of Thursday’s action, along with odds and predictions, follow in the ensuing story
Thursday is World Beatles Day but while Ringo Starr is wishing everyone peace and love, at the Credit One Bank Invitational, bettors must choose between peace and kindness.
Several top WTA stars are competing in the exhibition event in Charlotte, NC. The Credit One Bank Invitational is currently the largest-scale tennis event to be confirmed since the sport went on hiatus to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The 16-player series is dividing the players up into two eight-member squads – Team Kindness vs Team Peace. Team captains Madison Keys (Team Kindness) and Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Team Peace) drafted their squads from the available player pool.
In Tuesday’s opening-day action, wins by Amanda Anisimova and Mattek-Sands rallied Team Kindness to a 3-2 lead in the competition. Wednesday play was washed out by rain.
Five singles matches are on tap Thursday. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and Canadian Eugenie Bouchard are among those who will be on the court.
Credit One Bank Invitational Odds
|Jennifer Brady||-163||Victoria Azarenka||+120|
|Caroline Dolehide||+275||Madison Keys||-400|
|Emma Navarro||+350||Alison Riske||-600|
|Eugenie Bouchard||+150||Leylah Fernandez||-200|
|Ajla Tomljanović||-250||Monica Puig||+175|
Odds taken June 25
Playing By New Rules
Players are adhering to back to work tournament health guidelines established by the WTA. These protocols include on-site testing, daily temperature tests and health questionnaires.
Workers are sanitizing equipment at high touch areas. Face masks are mandatory for all personnel. Housing for players is located within walking distance of the stadium.
On the court, the players are calling their own lines. The tournament is using only one official. Ball crew members are limited to two. They are all wearing gloves and using equipment to avoid touching the tennis balls. Players are responsible for handling their own towels and refreshments.
The tournament is being conducted without fans and media. If you happen to see people sitting near the court, those are other participants. To maintain social distancing guidelines, each competitor has her own lounge around the stadium, enabling them to cheer on her teammates.
Although it’s considered an exhibition series, results from the tournament will be counted towards each player’s individual UTR. That should ensure the competition will be at the highest level.
Keys to Victory
Had things gone according to plan, this could’ve been the match of the day. Originally, 2017 US Open finalist Keys, ranked #13 in the world, was to play 2019 US Open champ Bianca Andreescu, the world’s #6 player.
However, Andreescu dropped out. Dolehide, rated #134 by the WTA, slotted into the open spot.
Team Kindness 💚 So excited to be back in one of my favorite places with my friends again! This week we are competing to help raise money for the frontline healthcare workers at the Medical University of South Carolina. pic.twitter.com/TqQprPx5Ss
— Madison Keys (@Madison_Keys) June 23, 2020
Keys is 2-0 against Dolehide and owns every statistical matchup. She’s ahead 5-0 in tournament victories.
Keys shows a $12,357,972-$768,423 in career earnings. She has a .663 (284-154) career winning percentage, compared to .617 (166-103) for Dolehide.
Pick: Madison Keys (-400)
Tomljanovic on Top
Three times, Alja Tomljanovic has faced Monica Puig on the court. Each time, Tomljanovic came out on top.
Most recently, the #56-ranked Aussie stopped #90 Puig of Puerto Rico 6-4, 7-5 at Mallorca in 2019. Their previous two meetings went three sets.
— wta (@WTA) February 11, 2020
Otherwise, this is a relatively even matchup. Tomljanovic is 305-223 lifetime. Puig is 303-210.
Puig, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, has banked more in career earnings ($3,411,976) than Tomljanovic ($3,044,412). She also has the lone WTA title among the pair.
Pick: Alja Tomljanovic (-250)
Though both hail from Canada, Eugenie Bouchard and Leylah Fernandez have never faced each other on a tennis court as pros.
On paper, it looks like a Bouchard mismatch. She’s won a WTA title. Bouchard has banked $6,464,693 in career earnings, compared to $141,146 for Fernandez.
Leylah Fernandez all business in a win over Emma Navarro in Charleston.
She wasn't off the court much during the stoppage, and it showed. Looks like she's cleaned up her backhand technique some, too. pic.twitter.com/Dw8kiUIWCJ
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) June 23, 2020
However, Fernandez, 17, is 12-5 this year. Bouchard is just 4-3 and continues to struggle. She’s slid to #332 in the WTA rankings.
Fernandez, currently rated #118, has more than doubled Bouchard in 2020 earnings – $90,828 to $41,871. The Canadian teen also beat Emma Navarro in her first match of the Credit One Bank Invitational.
Pick: Leylah Fernandez (-200)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.