After close to 5 months of inactivity, tennis is returning to action this week, with the 31st Palermo Ladies Open set to begin on Monday and run through this coming Sunday. This is a tournament that is considered one of the smaller events in the WTA, but when you consider that 21 of the last 25 winners of the Palermo Open spent at least some time in the top 20 during their career, it is perhaps not as small as you might first imagine. Plus, it’s just great to be able to watch and wager on some professional tennis again. Since many of you may not be familiar with a lot of the players in this tournament, let’s walk you through a few of the favorites to win this week, along with their WTA odds.
31st Palermo Ladies Open – Highlights, Top Picks, Odds
Petra Martic (+550)
The Croatian born Martic comes into this event as the #1 seed for a couple of different reasons. She is the highest-ranked player (#15) in this tournament and is also far and away the best clay player in the Palermo Open. She has 1 career title to her name and is coming off a very solid year in 2019, the highlight of which may well have been a run to the quarterfinal in the French Open. Again, that one is played on clay. Martic has a tricky opening round draw, but I think she gets past that and cruises all the way to the final.
Marketa Vondrousova (+550)
At just 21 years of age, you get the feeling that Vondrousova is on the verge of a breakthrough in her career. The former world #1 in the junior ranks is currently ranked #18 in the WTA and came very close to winning a grand slam last year, losing to Ashleigh Barty in the French Open Final. The layoff may have done Vondrousova some good, though, as it gave her plenty of time to recover from a wrist injury. She will play a qualifier in the opening round and could very well win this whole thing as the #2 seed.
Dayana Yastremska (+700)
If anyone can upset the apple cart and take out the co-favorites, it may well be Yastremska. She has been moving up the rankings rather quickly and now sits at #25 in the world. Last season has to be considered a breakthrough one for the Ukranian, as she added a pair of WTA titles to the one that she won in 2018. Still just 20 years of age, this is a player with a ton of upside, and I like her to make a deep run at this tournament.
Maria Sakkari (+700)
Rounding out the top 4 favorites is Greek born player Maria Sakkari, who comes into this tournament ranked at #20 in the world, which is her highest ranking as a pro. She will be looking to build off a successful 2019 season, where she won her first WTA title in Rabat. She has a very solid 25-18 record on clay, so she is certainly another player worth keeping an eye on this week.