Betting Week in Review 13/9/21 – Raducanu and Medvedev Feature
Betting Week in Review: 18-year-old Emma Raducanu created headlines worldwide by winning the US Open at her first attempt. In the men’s game, Daniil Medvedev’s shock win against Novak Djokovic was another surprise result and great news for bookmakers.
Raducanu is the Fairytale of New York
There is only one name on everyone’s lips this morning, heroic teenager Emma Raducanu. The youngster ended Britain’s 44-year wait for a women’s Grand Slam singles champion, beating 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez in the US Open final, 6-4 6-3. A scoreline that meant the debutant didn’t drop a single set all competition.
Tennis’s new sweetheart’s win was made all the more remarkable as she had to do it the hard way, needing to go through the qualifiers to get to the later stages, a run of ten straight victories.
Martina Navratilova summed up what an amazing achievement it was, paying tribute to Raducanu. In a tweet, the 18 Grand Slam singles titles winner said: “A star is born- Emma Raducanu makes history – never has a qualifier won a major- men or women- and she is just getting started. And will never have to qualify again:)”
“Leylah Fernandez will be back -both are champions, but Emma has the trophy- well done!!!”
The meteoric rise of the Brit is incredible, especially when you consider that just three short months ago, hardly anyone outside of tennis’ close circle had ever heard the Raducanu name. Around that time, Emma was knocked out of an ITF tennis tournament in Nottingham for those ranked outside the top 100 by 103rd seed Tsvetana Pironkova. The Bulgarian was the favourite, priced at 47/100, while Raducanu was the underdog at 153/100.
The youngster first drew attention at Wimbledon, the highest-profile tennis tournament in England, winning three games before retiring with breathing difficulties. She was priced as the outside in all three games, V Diatchenko (121/100), M Vondrousova (241/100) and S Cirstea (81/50). In an indication of what was to come, she won all her games 2-0 without dropping a set.
Going into the US Open, Raducanu had been favourite against all her opposition the first week, Schoofs (7/100), Bolkvadze (17/100), Sherif (31/100) and Voegele &7/50).
It was somewhat a surprise to see her priced as the favourite in her clash with 32-year-old Zhang Shuai. The Chinese star had reached 23rd seed in 2016 and had beaten Raducanu in March this year. Shuai was priced at 119/100 compared to 7/10 for the Brit.
Except for the final itself, Raducanu would be the outsider in the rest of her games against Sorribes Tormo (107/100), Rogers (13/20), Bencic (34/25) and Sakkari (133/100). These odds provided a betting bonanza to anyone who backed the youngster each match.
The bookies, possibly stung by a new wave of bettors placing money on the youngster, had Raducanu at 27/50 to win the final; her opponent Fernandez was priced at 8/5.
Bookmakers have also been quick to react in other markets, making the youngster the new favourite to win the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. If she scoops that award, she will be the first woman to do so since Zara Phillips 15 years ago.
Daniil Medvedev Stuns Novak Djokovic in Men’s Final
Although understandably, the British sports news segments were focused on Raducanu, there was also a shock in the men’s final, with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev winning his first Grand Slam title. In doing so, he denied Djokovic the accolade of winning a calendar sweep of the majors.
This year, Djokovic had already won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles and needed the US Open to complete the set for the first time since Rod Laver in 1969. It would have also been a historic 21st Grand Slam title for the 34-year-old.
However, second-seed Medvedev, who had lost his two previous Grand Slam finals, took full advantage of an error-strewn Djokovic performance and took the title 6-4 6-4 6-4, avenging his defeat in the Australian Open final in February.
Knowing that a victory would have seen Djokovic go clear of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the battle of the greats, punters backed the Serb to such an extent that he started the game at 2/5. Bookmakers and those supporting the Russian were happy with the 209/100 for the Russian.
Famous for his deadpan celebrations, Medvedev told fans that Fifa inspired his celebration, dropping to the floor after victory was confirmed. He said: “Only legends will understand, what I did, at last, was L2+left,” a reference to the brick fall/dead fish goal celebration in the Fifa video game.
Adding: “To not celebrate is going to be too boring because I do it all the time,” Medvedev said. “I need to do something, but I want to make it special.
“It’s not easy to make it on hard courts. I got hurt a little bit, but I’m happy I made it legendary for myself.”
Cursed Premier League Time Slot Continues
An unwritten rule for regular bettors is to avoid placing bets on the early kick-off on Saturday due to the tendency for that slot to produce surprise results and very often take many bets down.
Although there is probably very little scientific research into the validity of these claims, the early kick-off produced one of the weekend’s biggest surprises, with top-of-the-table Tottenham, with a previous 100% record, losing 3-0 to Crystal Palace.
Palace has often been criticised for relying too much on Wilfried Zaha to give the team creativity and score goals. The 28-year-old did open the scoring from the spot in the 76th minute, but it was French forward Odsonne Edouard who stole the show, scoring twice to seal the points. His first goal was score just 28 seconds after coming on as a substitute. He made it a performance to remember by making it 3-0 deep into injury time.
It was one of the few surprises of matchday 4 in the Premier League. Christiano Ronaldo scored two on his second debut as Manchester United had a routine 4-1 win over Newcastle United. Chelsea barely looked under threat in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa. Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku scored two, his first at Stamford Bridge since rejoining the club.
In Sunday’s only game, Liverpool beat Leeds United 3-0 in a game that was marred by an injury to Liverpool’s teenage midfielder Harvey Elliott. Pascal Struijk’s sliding tackle resulted in a dislocated ankle for the youngster. Struijk was sent off for the tackle, although that decision appeared to result from the injury rather than the tackle itself, which seemed fair in real-time.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring after 20 minutes, his 100th in the Premier League. The other goal scorers for Liverpool were Fabinho (50’) and Mane in the closing stages.