Clay court season begins with world’s biggest women-only tournament
There have already been a couple of clay court events this season but the season starts properly this week as the countdown to the French Open begins. There are lots of tennis betting opportunities this week with three clay court tournaments including the Family Circle Cup; the biggest women-only tennis competition in the world.
Keep reading for your tennis betting preview covering all this week’s action.
Grand Prix Hassan II
Entirely funded by Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, Casablanca is the only African stop on the ATP World Tour calendar. Established in 1986, the clay court tournament welcomes a strong Spanish contingent this year.
Spanish players have been excellent on clay in recent years and have won five of the last six titles. Reigning champion Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will return to defend his title and last year’s beaten finalist, Marcel Granollers, will also feature. Compatriots Paulo Andujar – a two time winner in Casablanca – and Nicolas Almagro will also pose a strong Spanish challenge.
Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic is the highest ranked player in the draw and could go well alongside Austria’s Dominic Thiem who had an excellent tournament in Miami where he reached the quarter finals before losing to Andy Murray in three sets.
Family Circle Cup tennis betting
Since 1973 this event has been held on the famous green clay and a strong field heads to Charleston for this year’s event. The Family Circle Cup is the largest women’s only tournament in the world and the magazine is the longest running event sponsor in men’s or women’s professional tennis.
The Germans had an excellent time in Miami last week and are amongst the favourites for this title. Andrea Petkovic beat seeds including Ekaterina Makarova and Karolina Pliskova on her way to the Miami semi-final while compatriot Sabine Lisicki‘s victims included Ana Ivanovic and Sara Errani as she reached the quarter final. Angelique Kerber was also in decent form before eventually losing in the fourth round to the seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Eugenie Bouchard lost her first match in Miami last week and after entering just four tournaments so far this season has accepted a wildcard to play in Charleston.
US Men’s Clay Court Championship
It may have been established over a hundred years ago to promote clay court tennis in the West of the country but this event is now the only ATP World Tour clay court event in the USA.
There is a strong field in Houston – the tournament’s home since 2001 – including last year’s winner. Fernando Verdasco ended a six-match losing streak in ATP Tour finals when he beat Nicolas Almagro to win the title in 2014 and the Spaniard will return to defend his title.
2013 champion John Isner had an excellent tournament in Miami last week, beating top ten players Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori on the way to the semi final. Feliciano Lopez, Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils will also be challengers as will 2009 champion Lleyton Hewitt who has been granted a wildcard entry to the competition in his final year on Tour.
Poland saw WTA tennis return in 2013 when the Katowice Open was played on indoor clay. The event became an indoor hard court tournament last year and the field will head to the Spodek Hall, one of the most recognised sports facilities in Poland.
Agnieska Radwanska‘s form has been inconsistent in 2015 but the home favourite is the player to beat in Katowice. Last year’s champion Alize Cornet will return to defend her title while the main challengers include Francesca Schiavone, former world number nine Vera Zvonereva and world number 37 Camila Giorgi.