The 2010 WTA season is all but finished, but the remaining events are important ones. The Tournament of Champions and Fed Cup provide plenty of motivations for the participants, but it is end-of-season Tour Championships, considered the unofficial fifth Grand Slam, and is the one that the top players really want to round off their season with a win in.
Defending champion Serena Williams is absent, just as she was at the US Open. On that occasion the remaining tennis odds
contenders rather buckled under the pressure of having a less obstructed path to a major title, leaving the way open for Kim Clijsters to maintain her Flushing Meadows winning streak.
The Tour Championships is there to be won. Clijsters and world number one Caroline will start as favourites, but the round robin format means everyone is in with a shout – there will be no easy matches and there is no time to play into form.
It is for this reason that Victoria Azarenka should be closely monitored in the WTA tour betting odds
markets. The Belarusian has had a difficult, inconsistent season, typified by her unfortunate injury at the US Open, but she has just won her second title of the season at the Kremlin Cup and is hitting the ball better than anyone.
The world number 10 has the added advantage of being a late replacement. Serena’s place looked set to be filled by Li Na, but the Chinese number one bowed out early in crucial tournaments and Azarenka took full advantage in Moscow to qualify for the tour finals for the second consecutive year.
Azarenka will therefore have nothing to lose and might play with the freedom of being given an unexpected chance. Her inconsistency is still her weakness, but she again showed in Russia her ability to discover a hot streak and will be hard to live with if she does the same in Doha.