4 min read
While the men duel it out in Toronto, the women are taking over the IGA Stadium in Montreal. It’s the grand return of the WTA tour in Canada and fans will even get to be part of the action. Although a few big stars are missing from the draw, many familiar names will be taking the court including the highly anticipated return of Canadian Bianca Andreescu.
Universal Tennis INSIGHTS is providing in-depth analytics and predictions you can’t find anywhere else. Let’s take a look at tournament favorites and dark horses to watch for the women’s draw.
(6) Simona Halep (UTR Rating 13.15*)
The Romanian is the No. 6 seed but the top favorite according to INSIGHTS to win the title in Montreal. Due to a calf injury, the two-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since retiring in Rome back in May. Still, she has won two times in Montreal and her record in Canada (the WTA 1000 swaps cities between Montreal and Toronto with the ATP Masters 1000 each year) is a solid 21-5. Her path won't be easy from the get-go as she could face a red-hot Danielle Collins in her opening round (Collins is on a 10-match win streak having won titles in Palermo and San Jose.
(1) Aryna Sabalenka (UTR Rating 13.16)
The Belarusian is the top seed at the WTA 1000 in Montreal as she looks to pick up her third title of the year. Per INSIGHTS, she’s ahead of Garbine Muguruza as the second favorite with a 14% chance. Like the men’s draw, all Top 16 seeds have a bye. Sabalenka plays the winner of Dayana Yastremska and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in her first round. She could potentially play Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals.
(5) Garbine Muguruza (UTR Rating 13.15)
Muguruza hasn’t reached a semifinal since winning her eighth career title in Dubai in March but per INSIGHTS she's a third-favorite with 12% odds of winning it all this week. She’s in the same section as Wimbledon finalist Karolina Pliskova but her UTR Rating is up at 13.15 compared to Pliskova’s 12.82. With both Naomi Osaka and Ashleigh Barty out this week, the draw is open to pretty much anyone to take advantage of.
THE DARK HORSES
(2) Bianca Andreescu (UTR Rating 12.50)
With her UTR Rating impacted by how much of an injury layoff Andreescu has had, her 1% odds per INSIGHTS packs more punch. The 21-year-old Canadian began her comeback at the Australian Open and reached the final in Miami. She’s endured a few setbacks since then but is the defending champion and will have some patriotic crowd support (fans are allowed in the stadium).
Paula Badosa (UTR Rating 12.90)
The Spaniard is the one of the first unseeded women to appear in the INSIGHTS list and one of seven with a 2% chance at the title. The 23-year-old has broken through in 2021, appearing in four semifinals, winning her first title (in Belgrade), and reaching the quarterfinals of Roland Garros and the Olympics. Badosa has a 18% chance of reaching the quarterfinals in Montreal, which would be impressive given she’s in the same section as top seed Sabalenka.
•UTR Ratings and INSIGHTS probabilities as of 12 p.m. EST, Aug. 9, 2021.