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WTA Finals Red Group: Halep and Sharapova feature on day one

| 25.10.2015
CORAL ENHANCED ACCAS

Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 24, 2015

WTA Finals Red Group, matchday one

  • Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
  • Halep and Pennetta kick off competition at roughly 07:00 GMT
  • Sharapova and Radwanska follow up at approx 11:30 GMT

Halep and Sharapova contenders in Serena’s absence

The WTA Finals is finally upon us and, with the eight-woman singles event being without world number one and superstar Serena Williams, there is plenty to play for in this elite line-up.

Coral preview the first day of the competition in Singapore, where Simona Halep is up against Flavia Pennetta, before former champion Maria Sharapova takes on Agnieszka Radwanska in the round-robin Red Group.

Simona Halep v Flavia Pennetta

US Open Tennis

Tournament (10/3) and Red Group (7/4) favourite Halep comes into this event as world number two, but her high standing perhaps gives her too much credit for what she has achieved in 2015.

It is clear she has plenty of talent, but tends to flop on the bigger stage, though she will be aiming to go one step further than when she was thrashed by Serena in the final last year.

Shock US Open champion Pennetta is her first challenger, and Halep is odds-on at 2/5 to defeat the Italian veteran, who retires from the sport after this tournament.

However, Pennetta boats a 4-1 career record over the rising Romanian star, so is a tempting 2/1 shout.

None of their five meetings have gone the distance – the one time it did go the three sets Halep had to retire hurt – and each have beaten the other this year. The 24-year-old is an even-money chance to win 2-0, but Pennetta is more tempting at 4/1 for that same scoreline in her favour.

Maria Sharapova v Agnieszka Radwanska

Key Biscayne Tennis

As for 2004 WTA Finals champion Sharapova, there is no doubt that she has dominated her first opponent Radwanska, having beaten her 12 times in 14 meetings before. It is a surprise, therefore, that both are priced odds-on at 10/11 to win.

That could be perhaps due to the fact that the Pole is in great current form, having claimed two titles recently (Tianjin and Pan Pacific Opens).

But it is very difficult to see past the five-time Grand Slam winning Russian (6/1 title chance), who has beaten Radwanska in each of their last five head-to-heads.

In fact, the duo met at this stage of this event last year, with Sharapova triumphing in three sets. So, back her at 3/1 to do so once more.

Related

Check out our tennis archive
Take a look at our overall WTA Finals preview too

Coral’s top tip: Sharapova beat Radwanka 2-1 here last year, so is very tempting at 3/1 to do so again.

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Author

Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.