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GNP Seguros WTA Finals Cancun: Best Bets, Pick to Win
The year-end event is finally here and it's time to dive into the groups and determine who will head into 2024 with one of the most important trophies in the sport.
Published Oct 28, 2023
This year's WTA Finals will take place in Cancun, Mexico, where the Top 8 players in the world will battle it out for one of the biggest titles in the sport. This year, the field includes Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, Jessica Pegula, Marketa Vondrousova and Ons Jabeur, along with Maria Sakkari, who replaced an injured Karolina Muchova. Last year’s winner, Caroline Garcia, will not be defending her championship. And that also means that we’ll have a first-time champion amongst this group, as nobody in the field has ever emerged victorious at the year-end event. That makes things very interesting heading into the week.
The format of the WTA Finals has the eight-player field being broken up into two groups of four, for six days of round-robin play. Every player will play all the players in their own group, and the two players from each group with the best records will advance to a more standard semi-final. From there, it’s just like any other tournament: it’ll be a one-loss elimination, meaning two wins in a row gets one of these talented players a shiny new trophy.
Considering what’s at stake for the players in this event, it’s only fitting to think about what you can stake on it. This tournament is an exciting one to bet on. With that in mind, keep reading if you’re looking to get a little skin in the game.
- Aryna Sabalenka (+400)
- Elena Rybakina (+550)
- Jessica Pegula (+800)
- Maria Sakkari (+1200)
Sabalenka and Rybakina met in Beijing earlier this month, and the Kazakhstani came away with a 7-5, 6-2 victory. Rybakina has now won three of the last four meetings between the two, and I do think that makes her my favorite to come out of this group. Rybakina has proven that she can play at as high of a level as anyone on tour, but her body started to break down a bit towards the end of the summer. But having a month off between her US Open exit and the start of Beijing allowed her to get healthy. And she has now had even more time to rest since leaving China. With that in mind, I think she’ll be in a great place in Cancun.
But Sabalenka would love her chances of getting to the semis, regardless of how her match with Rybakina goes. The Belarusian has dominated both Pegula and Sakkari throughout her career. That means she should be able to handle her business and advance. But I will say that Pegula won’t feel like she’s completely out of this thing. Pegula won two of the three matches she played against Sakkari this year, and the American has also played Rybakina close in the past. So, a 2-1 run through group play isn’t out of the question.
- Iga Swiatek (+260)
- Coco Gauff (+500)
- Ons Jabeur (+900)
- Marketa Vondrousova (+900)
Swiatek absolutely beat up on Gauff when the two met in Beijing a few weeks ago, with the Pole coming away with a 6-2, 6-3 victory. Swiatek looked super determined in that matchup, with Gauff having beaten her in the semifinals in Cincinnati and then stealing the spotlight in the women’s game by winning the US Open. I think that same fire will come out in Cancun, where Swiatek can still reclaim her spot atop the rankings before the end of the year. However, the Pole will need to be locked in every time out in order to do that, as she does not control her own destiny. She needs to win every match she plays and hope Sabalenka struggles a bit in the other group—or gets bounced in the semifinals.
Regardless, I like Swiatek to claim a spot in the semis, as I think she’ll beat Jabeur and Vondrousova with relative ease. Swiatek’s performance in Beijing was the closest I’ve seen to her peak self in quite some time. And I do think she’ll ultimately beat Gauff too. As for the second spot in the group, I must go chalk and say it’ll be Gauff. I just don’t see the American having much trouble defeating either Vondrousova or Jabeur, as long as she comes out and plays at a similar level to what we saw over the summer.
Pick To Win
Considering Swiatek has a chance to reclaim her spot as the top player in the sport, it’s hard not to like her to find a way to the winner’s circle in Cancun. She is the player that most recently displayed the best form, as her run in Beijing was flat-out special. When you combine that with her motivation, I like her chances of winning.
Year-end events can be pretty random when it comes to results, and I think the scattered schedule leading up to it has something to do with it. But for the first time in a while, I do think there’s a clear top tier in the women’s game. I think those players will be the ones to rise to the top, and I think it’ll be Swiatek that tells everyone whose game it is.