The Citi Open in Washington kicks off the North American swing of the tennis season. This is the final segment of the 2022 season. It is played on hard courts and builds up to the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open.
For American fans, especially those on the West Coast like myself, it marks an end to matches being played in the middle of the night. Tennis returns to a prime-time position on your TV viewing schedule. This is one of my favorite times of the year as a fan and as a bettor.
Let’s take a look at the field for the Citi Open to find another winning tennis pick.
Citi Open 2022
Saturday, July 30 – Sunday, August 07 at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center
This is an interesting transition for most players. A lot of them have not played since Wimbledon and this will be their 1st time stepping on a hard court, or even a competitive tennis court, for 2 to 3 weeks.
Some players have been out of high-level competition for even longer with the ban on Russian and Belarusian competitors being in effect for all the tournaments in England.
Hence, form is tough to consider here, because some of these players have not played a significant match in quite some time. With that being noted, we will look at the attributes and skills of each player, and not dwell on the fact that their form is a virtual unknown.
Jessica Pegula (+400)
Jessica Pegula has been continuing her ascension up the tennis rankings this season. Pegula is not the most talented athlete, and she certainly doesn’t need the money (she is the daughter of the owner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills). Yet she displays a true love for the game which shines through in her constant improvement.
Pegula plays a power game. She has an excellent serve and likes to be aggressive from the baseline. Her forehand is her main weapon, so she actually plays like a prototypical men’s American player. She has a serve and forehand style, and when it is working well, it is tough for any player to overcome.
Jessica Pegula had a rough time during the European swing of the tennis season, as her mother was dealing with a health issue. That weighed on Pegula’s mind, but she was still able to put forth strong competitive performances. Her mom is doing better, so she can enter these tournaments without the worry about what’s going on back at home.
This is the type of field that Jessica Pegula usually dominates. Most of the players in this field aren’t necessarily top level, and she is consistently strong against lower levels of competition. Pegula is reliable in beating players that she is supposed to beat. This will come in handy this week, where there are only 1 or 2 possible matches where she could be listed as an underdog:
- Simona Halep
- Victoria Azarenka
I like Pegula to lift the trophy here. She will be comfortable being back home in America, and she is excellent at beating players when she’s the favorite. Our first outright pick for the Washington Citi Open is Jessica Pegula +400.
Victoria Azarenka (+1000)
Victoria Azarenka was one of the many top players affected by the ban on Russian and Belarusian players. Azarenka has not played a competitive match since the French Open. Normally I would be staying away from a player who had missed so much time, but in this field, Azarenka stands out above the competition.
With a lot of top players playing in San Jose this week, Azarenka will be able to work her way back into form against players over which she has the talent and skill advantage. It should be a couple of matches before she faces a true test, and this will definitely help her ability to win the tournament.
Coming in without having played a competitive match for a while could normally be a disadvantage, but the way that Azarenka’s draw looks, she should be getting back to her normal playing form by the time she faces a real test.
At 10 to1, Vika Azarenka has a great chance to find her way back into form. After missing so much time, she will be motivated to get back in the competitive swing and make up for the lost opportunities and the missed ranking points.
Victoria Azarenka currently lives in Florida, so the heat and humidity in Washington are nothing new to her. She won’t have a time zone acclimation. This tournament represents a great opportunity for her to find her form and improve her ranking for the North American swing. Our 2nd outright bet for the Washington Citi Open is Victoria Azarenka +1000.
People will note that I left Simona Halep off the list of my picks. At only +250, even though Simona Halep has a great chance to win this tournament, I don’t believe the betting odds are high enough to make this a valuable wager.
Halep has also not played since Wimbledon. So while I don’t mind taking a shot with a player who hasn’t played at 10-1 like Azarenka, at only +250, a Halep bet is not a wise investment.
WTA Pick: Victoria Azarenka to Win the 2022 Citi Open (+1000) at Bookmaker
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.