Paula Badosa Rises To The Occasion In Mutua Madrid Women’s Singles

Written By Alec Cunningham on April 29, 2022
Paula Badosa WTA Madrid

Round 1 of women’s singles match play at the 2022 Mutua Madrid has concluded, and contenders return to the court for Round 2 this weekend.

There may be plenty of tennis left to play, but oddsmakers already have their eyes on a certain favorite. World No. 2 Paula Badosa has a strong chance of becoming this year’s victor, according to sportsbooks.

Paula Badosa favored in Mutua Madrid women’s singles

What began in 2002 as a men’s-only tournament has now evolved into one of the premier women’s events of the season. Mutua Madrid is also the first of two WTA 1000 tournaments this spring. The annual event transitioned away from an indoor hardcourt and toward the outdoor red clay court the tournament is known for today, becoming a two-week tournament for women in 2021.

That same year, Badosa became the first Spanish women’s competitor in tournament history to reach the semifinals. She fell short of claiming the title, however, when she lost to Ashleigh Barty in the semifinals. Barty then ultimately lost to Aryna Sabalenka, who walked away with a 10th career WTA Tour singles title.

Badosa’s successful year began with a victory at the Sydney Tennis Classic in mid-January. If all goes as expected, a victory in Spain would be a history-making cherry on top.

Going into this year’s tournament, Badosa wasn’t the original favorite. But to paraphrase an age-old saying — one woman’s misfortune is another gal’s opportunity. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek made a last-minute decision to withdraw because of a right shoulder injury, leaving Badosa’s window of opportunity to widen.

Badosa sailed through Round 1 with a victory against Veronika Kudermetova. Now, she advances to Round 2 to face Simona Halep as the field shrinks to 32 women’s singles contestants. Oddsmakers expect the match to be a close one, with Badosa carrying -130 odds of a win and Halep trailing closely behind with +105 odds.

Mutua Madrid: Round 1 shakeups

Notable contenders abound in this star-studded tournament. Much to the surprise of many fans, some major upsets have already occurred. Round 1’s shakeups resulted in a trio of Top 10 seeds cutting their time in Madrid short.

American Amanda Anisimova meets Petra Martic in the second round after taking down defending champ Sabalenka on Thursday. The rising 20-year-old star will face tough competition against Martic, who enters Round 2 following a 6-1 victory over Liudmila Samsonova. However, the fact that she already knocked Sabalenka out of contention should speak volumes. DraftKings gives Anisimova -290 odds of winning her Round 2 match and +1100 odds of a tournament title.

Coco Gauff dances into the second round after an easy win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. This is a substantial shift from last year when she lost to Karolina Pliskova in Round 1. However, Pliskova was the one halted in this year’s first round of play. Gauff now advances to Round 2 to face Yulia Putintseva, where she’s given -200 odds of winning.

No. 11 Belinda Bencic is another talent to watch out for in Round 2. She remains unbeaten on clay in the seven matches she’s played this spring and current odds suggest that streak won’t be ending this weekend. Bencic faces Karolina Muchova in Saturday’s matchup and carries -280 odds of walking away with an eighth clay victory.

WTA Mutua Madrid futures odds

Four rounds of tennis action remain before a new Mutua Madrid winner is crowned. As of now, Badosa carries a slim lead at +650 odds, followed by Halep at +700. After Round 2, though, only one of those stars will advance.

The field opens up from there, situating Anisimova with the third-best chance of an overall win at +1100 odds. Elena Rybakina trails close behind with +1200 odds.

For those who aren’t quite sold on their pick for overall winner yet, DraftKings also offers the option of wagering on a winner by quarter. Anisimova currently holds the best odds of becoming the Quarter 3 winner at +200 odds. As far as Quarter 4 is concerned, Badosa leads the pack with +220 odds.

Fans can also bet on whether or not the winner will be a first-time victor — the likelihood of which has increased substantially since Swiatek’s withdrawal. The chance of a fresh face on the podium sits at -2000 odds, while a win from a repeat victor sits at +650 odds.

Over/under odds on the number of USA women to advance past Round 1 are also available. Players can even bet on either Badosa or Halep not to win the tournament — both of which sit at -1000 odds.

Photo by Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
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