- The 2021 WTA Grampians Trophy tournament will take place February 3-7 from Australia. Due to time zones, it will be February 2-6 for those in North America
- Canadian Bianca Andreescu was awarded the top-seed but has since withdrawn from the tournament
- See below for odds to win and a preview of the tournament
Prior to yesterday, the biggest topic of conversation surrounding the WTA Grampians Trophy tournament was Andreescu’s return to tennis. That conversation has since quickly shifted to the others competing now that one of the heavy favorites has withdrawn.
This is the third WTA 500 tournament ahead of the Australian Open, and it will see some of the tennis world’s biggest stars competing. 28 players will be competing at this tournament, with many using it as another warmup opportunity ahead of the Aussie Open.
2021 WTA Grampians Trophy Odds
Odds taken Feb. 2nd from Bet365
The 20-year old Canadian is still looking for her return to competitive tennis. She originally entered this tournament and was awarded the top-seed, which included a first-round bye. Belinda Bencic, ranked 12th overall, is now the highest-ranked player remaining in the tournament. Andreescu has not competed competitively since she retired from the 2019 WTA Finals due to a left knee injury. She will look to make her return at the Australian Open next week. It’s worth paying attention to see if how she approaches the Grand Slam
Last night, Bianca Andreescu pulled out of the Australian Open’s tune-up tournament, the Grampians Trophy, instead choosing to focus on training
The 20-year-old hasn’t played since the 2019 WTA Trophy due to a knee and foot injury ?#thegist
— The GIST Canada (@thegistnewsca) February 2, 2021
Grampians Trophy Favorite
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus enters this tournament now the slight favorite to win. The two-time Australian Open winner will have a bye to start the tournament and will be facing either Yulia Putintseva or Georgina Garcia Pérez in the second round. Azarenka doesn’t have an overly straightforward road to the finals this tournament, but she is more than capable to go deep, and even win.
It’s been a tough go for everyone. including these players. They’ve been dealing with quarantines, and lack of practice at the level that they’re used to. For Azarenka, her serve is not her strong suit, she’s well aware of what her strengths and weaknesses are, and as a veteran of the sport, she’s really been able to hone in on what works for her. She will look to get on offense early in her rallies. She plays her best tennis when she is the one dictating from the baseline. She’s not the best mover in a match. So if you see her not in charge of a rally, it’s usually trouble.
Sakkari is a Possible Darkhorse
Maria Sakkari is a player to always watch out for, and this tournament is no different. The 25-year old will now receive a bye in the first round, after Andreescu’s tournament withdrawal, and will either face Lyla Fernandez or Sloane Stephens in the second round. Despite all the ups and downs out of everyone’s control in 2020, it was a big year for Sakkari. She went on to defeat some notable players like Elina Svitolina and Serena Williams.
Her style of play is aggressive. She’s strong and quick. She fights for every point, best known for her all-court style of play. She has a very strong serve and is extremely powerful from the baseline. On top of her baseline play, she has worked on her volleys and has shown improvements there, and she continues to play into that all-court style.
Grampians Trophy Best Bet
This is a tough one, as every player has had to adapt their training, and playing competitively has been at a minimum. This will be a great tournament to watch ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year. Many of these players will have the opportunity to compete there, and it’ll give us a better understanding of what we can expect next week.
But in terms of this tournament, Azarenka seems to be the best bet to win outright. She will have a few challenges with some opponents that she looks to face, but nothing sticks out as that hard of an obstacle until the semifinals at least. And even then, there’s no one that seems to be too big of a match for her.
Best Bet: Azarenka (+400)