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J&T Banka Ostrava Open Odds & Preview: Swiatek and Kvitova Favorites

Stephanie Myles

by Stephanie Myles in Tennis

Sep 19, 2021 · 7:44 PM PDT

Ostrava Open
Petra Kvitova, of the Czech Republic, returns a shot to Maria Sakkari, of Greece, during the third round of the US Open tennis championships, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
  • The field for the second edition of the Ostrava Open feels very different from the inaugural event in 2020
  • Top seed Iga Swiatek is a relatively weak favorite to take it all despite little hard-court success in 2021
  • Read on for a breakdown of key first-round matches, and some winning picks

The dates for Ostrava this year are too close to the just-completed US Open. And there is a similar-sized tournament next week in Chicago followed by the last big one of 2021 at Indian Wells.

And both of those are a continuation of the summer outdoor season.

So that has meant a weaker, almost universally European flavor to the second edition of the Ostrava Open.

J&T Banka Ostrava Open Singles Odds

Seed Player Odds
[1] Iga Swiatek (POL) +500
[2] Petra Kvitova (CZE) +600
[7] Elena Rybakina (KAZ) +750
[4] Maria Sakkari (GRE) +800
[3] Belinda Bencic (SUI) +850
[6] Angelique Kerber (GER) +1100
Anett Kontaveit (EST) +1100
[9] Paula Badosa (ESP) +1400
[5] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) +2000
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) +2500
Ana Konjuh (CRO) +2500
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) +2800
Jil Teichmann (SUI) +2800
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) +3300
Sorana Cirstea +500
Alison Riske +5000
Varvara Gracheva (RUS) +6600

Odds as of Sept. 19 at Bet365

Not Much History at New Ostrava Event

This tournament stepped in and filled a huge hole in the schedule last fall, after the pandemic scuttled the Asian swing.

As a result, the draw was deep. It’s a completely different tournament this year, even if the No. 8 seed (before she withdrew) was ranked No. 22  – just like in 2020.

For the top four seeds, who have byes, it will only require four victories to take the title.

The seeds are completely different; the only returnee among the eight from a year ago is Elena Rybakina. No Aryna Sabalenka or Victoria Azarenka (last year’s finalists). No Coco Gauff or Ons Jabeur.

In recent years, Sabalenka has been the “late-season hard-court queen” of the WTA.

A Few Late Czechs Not Cashed

There had originally been  quite a few more “home girls” on the entry list.

But there were some late pullouts there as well.

Karolina Pliskova was a late withdrawal in Ostrava. French Open (and Prague WTA) champ Barbora Krejcikova  also pulled out.

Karolina Muchova was due to be the No. 8 seed, but pulled out after the draw had already been made. That resulted in the relocating of Paula Badosa to the No. 9 seed (and away from a first-round clash with Caroline Garcia). Elina Svitolina also changed her plans.

Previous J&T Banka Ostrava Open Winners and Finalists

Year Champion Finalist
2020 Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

First-Round Potential Upset Alerts

Angelique Kerber (-250) vs Jil Teichmann (+200)

The two are meeting for the first time.

Kerber has an excellent WTA main draw career record against fellow lefties – 40-24. But Teichmann, much younger, has an even better one.

She is 16-9 overall in her career, going all the way back to the lowest levels of tennis. But in WTA main-draw matches, she is undefeated at 6-0 against southpaws.

Kerber turned around a sub-par season starting on the grass, and through Cincinnati and New York. But she had a bruising US Open. The German reached the fourth round, but three of the four matches were tough three-setters. And she ended up losing to eventual finalist Leylah Fernandez. Still, she’s on a 17-3 run coming in.

For Teichmann, the US Open came a little too soon after a brilliant run  in Cincinnati. There, she defeated Osaka, Bencic and Pliskova in a row before losing to Ashleigh Barty in the final.

This one feels like a battle, mostly likely a three-setter.

Paula Badosa (-350) vs Varvara Gracheva (+265)

Badosa had been due to play Caroline Garcia, who boasted a 1-0 record against her.

But after the last-minute withdrawal of No. 8 seed Karolina Muchova in Ostrava, Badosa became the No. 9 seed. And she also was moved into Muchova’s spot in the draw.

As it shook out, she ends up meeting lucky loser Varvara Gracheva of Russia instead.

Badosa struggled in New York, losing to Gracheva in straight sets.

She’s had a heavily-taped shoulder. And after losing the coach who helped her finally kickstart her career (Javier Marti) last month, she announced just last Friday that  she’s going back to work with childhood coach Jorge García for the rest of 2021.

All of that baggage means his one might be ragged; the New York memories vs Gracheva will be fresh.

Best Bet: Elena Rybakina (+750)

Longer shot: Belinda Bencic (+850)

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