Victoria Azarenka will join up with the WTA’s top eight players after defeating Maria Kirilenko in Moscow on Sunday evening.
Azarenka won in straight sets but it could have been a lot different if her doubles partner had managed to maintain her 0-4 lead in the second set.
However, Kirilenko crumbled under the pressure and Azarenka travels to Doha this week with her second tournament win of the year having dropped just the one set en route to her Kremlin Cup victory, and has been installed as the 6/1 third favourite to win the Sony Ericsson Championships.
But all eyes will be on Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki as the two top players in female tennis this year head the Sony Ericsson Championships betting market.
Wozniacki shades the favouritism slightly at 13/8 to win compared to Clijsters at 9/4, after Wozniacki was handed the easier draw.
Only the top eight players qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships and are split into two groups for a round robin format before the knockout stages, and Wozniacki was drawn with Sam Stosur, Elena Dementieva and Francesca Shiavone.
However Wozniacki only holds a winning head-to-head record over Dementieva and it may be worth looking elsewhere in the betting for a winner – Schiavone is 5/1 while Stosur is available at 9/2 to top the group.
US Open champion Clijsters faces Vera Zvonareva, Jelena Jankovic and in-form Azarenka and Clijsters holds a better head-to-head record over all three of her opponents.
At 9/4, Clijsters holds the value in the competition but it may be worth looking at Zvonareva, who has avoided her nemesis of Wozniacki in the group stages, and is available at 13/2 to win the Sony Ericsson Championships.
Jankovic is the outsider in the betting at 33/1 but Dementieva isn’t at full fitness so oppose her at 14/1. See the full Sony Ericsson Championship betting odds market here.