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Eastbourne International: Not Exactly A Sign Of What’s To Come At Wimbledon

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Tennis

Updated Jun 24, 2019 · 9:24 AM PDT

Caroline Wozniacki Tennis
Caroline Wozniacki has been a finalist at the Eastbourne International the last two years. Photo by karlnorling (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • The WTA Eastbourne International is a final tune up for Wimbledon
  • Ten different players have won the last 11 women’s singles titles
  • Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki has played in the last two finals

For the past four decades, the eyes of the tennis world have fixated on the Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club in the wee English seaside town of Eastbourne.

The WTA Eastbourne International serves as one of the final grass-court tune ups for Wimbledon, the third leg of the Grand Slam. It hasn’t served up much in the way of a Wimbledon preview, though.

It’s been over two decades since any WTA player turned the Eastbourne-Wimbledon double play.

What Eastbourne has provided is a vast array of winners. In the past 11 tournaments, 10 different women won the championship. Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki also won in 2009.

That’s great news from a betting standpoint. It means that there’s a real chance of walking away with a price on the eventual winner, if you can figure out who that will be.

2019 WTA Eastbourne International Singles Odds

Player 2019 Eastbourne International Odds at BookMaker
Ashleigh Barty +460
Angelique Kerber +750
Karolina Pliskova +800
Simona Halep +900
Johanna Konta +1000
Sloane Stephens +1200
Kiki Bertens +1300
Anastasija Sevestova +2000
Marketa Vondrousova +2000
Evena Svitolina +2200
Belinda Bencic +2200
Aryna Sabalenka +2500
Caroline Wozniacki +2500

*Odds taken on 06/22/19. Follow the link in the table above for a complete list of all players
Wozniacki has played in the past two finals. She lost to Karolina Pliskova in 2017.

It’s A Strong Field

Not surprisingly, with Wimbledon a week away, a deep cache of talent has descended upon Eastbourne to play in what’s also known as the Nature Valley International. Eight of the world’s top 10 players are entered in the tournament.

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The list is led by no. 2 Ashleigh Barty, the reigning French Open champion and the top seed here. But you have to go all the way back to Justin Henin (2006-07) to find a WTA player who won at Roland-Garros and Eastbourne in the same season.

World no. 3 Karolina Pliskova is always dangerous in this event. She won in 2016 and lost in the final in 2017. Last year, she was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Kiki Bertens (no. 4), Angelique Kerber (sixth), Elina Svitolina (seven), Simona Halep (eight), Sloane Stephens (nine) and Aryna Sabalenka (10) are other top-10 players in the field. Sabalenka was last year’s losing finalist. Kerber lost in the final here in 2012 and 2014. She just reached the semifinals at Mallorca.

Scratch The Winner From Your Wimbledon Future Book

If you’re planning ahead in your wagering options, you’ve got to go all the way back to Jana Novotna (1998) to find an Eastbourne winner who was also in Wimbledon champion in the same year.

In fact, Eastbourne titlists tend to endure a rough following week at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club.

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Henin (2006) was the last one to reach the Wimbledon final since Novotna’s win. Henin (2007) and Lindsay Davenport (2001) were semifinalists. Five others reached the quarterfinals.

But 13 winners since 1999 were dispatched from Wimbledon by the fourth round. Three made first-round exits.

Sensing A Pattern

If you look at the results from Eastbourne for the last three years, then Sabalenka looks like a great play at +2500. In 2016, Pliskova lost in the final. In 2017, she won the final over Wozniacki.

Last year, Wozniacki claimed a 7-5, 7-6(7-5) verdict over Sabalenka in the final.

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That pattern suggest this year, it’s Sabalenka’s turn. On the other hand, she’s made it past the Round of 32 just once in her last five tournaments, and past the Round of 64 on two occasions.

And The Winner Is . . .

The draw has fallen nicely for Bertens. Should the form charts hold, other than a potential third-round meeting with Anett Kontaveit, she shouldn’t face a real test until seeing defending champion Wozniacki in a quarterfinal matchup.

Bertens reached the final on grass at Hertogenbosch. The six-foot Dutch player’s game is perfectly-suited for this surface. She was a quarterfinalist last year at Wimbledon.

If you’re looking for a price, look no further than Belinda Bencic. The 2015 Eastbourne champ was in the Mallorca final. Prior to that, Bencic posted a win and three semifinal appearances to her 2019 resume.

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She could run into Pliskova in the quarterfinals but Bencic beat her this year in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells.

Pick: Kiki Bertens (+1600)

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