Shane Lambert looks ahead to the 2017 tennis season and he expects more improvement from Daria Gavrilova and a downturn in the Serena Williams performance.
Daria Gavrilova has a feistiness on court that we don't see in a lot of players. Emotional energy can be a problem if it detracts away from discipline, however I think we might see Gavrilova wield her energy in a more positive way in 2017. Priced at 50/57 (-114) either way in an "over/under" betting special with 888Sport for a year-end ranking (November 6th, 2017) of 26.5, tennis punters will find some value on the "under" I'm sure ("under" meaning 1-25).
Gavrilova finished the 2016 season as the World No. 25, a position that represented an ascendancy of 11 spots from where she started the season. At the age of 22, you would expect her to continue to rise - not fall - unless she suffers an injury or loses heart. With her on-court determination, I don't think she's likely to do the latter and injuries are always a concern when betting tennis futures, but they are random. Furthermore, they can help you as much as they can hurt you as competitors against your bets will get injured as well.
Gavrilova has some multi-surface skills and they were on display in 2016. At the Aussie she handed Petra Kvitova a loss and she beat the Czech on clay in Madrid too. Gavrilova also beat both Timea Bacsinszky and Simona Halep in 2016. If I was a sportsbook trying to set an "over/under" on the Aussie, I would set it at about 21.5 and try to attract losing bets on the "over" side of things with long odds. You won't find someone more into her matches than Gavrilova is, she wants success badly, and I see her as a probable Top-16 player at season's end. Obviously, I'm recommending the "under" with 888Sport.
If I was to target a player for an "over" it would be Serena Williams. She'll be 36 years old in 2017 and that alone is a great reason to bet against her in tennis futures. 888Sport offer 6/5 for a ranking "over" 2.5, a betting line that is well worth jumping on top of. Serena has loved missing events over the course of her career with one excuse or another so that characteristic works for the "over" line. But I really wouldn't look far past her age in considering this market. A ranking of third or worse is entirely realistic and more probable than 1st or 2nd for a 36-year old that has always been happy to take months and months off during the season.
This 888Sport market requires a minimum of five tournaments and it is settled based on the November 6th, 2017 rankings. If you want to minimize your bet size, parlay with Stan Wawrinka to be ranked "over" 5.5 at even odds as his high ranking clings largely to one result as opposed to a consistent season from 2016.
2 points win Daria Gavrilova at 50/57 to be ranked "under" 26.5 on November 6th, 2017
3.5 points win Serena Williams at 6/5 to be ranked "over" 2.5 on November 6th, 2016