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There Was Only One Winner in The Women’s US Open Final, But It’s Still A Win For Female Tennis As Whole
Saturday, 09/18/2021
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In Leylah Fernandez’s interview following her semi-final win against Aryna Sabalenka on September 9th, the 19-year-old Canadian shouted out none other than Steve Nash. “It’s a huge inspiration,” Fernandez said when asked what it was like to have Nash in her player box. “I remember my Dad used him as an example one time for a whole month.”
Fellow finalist, 18-year-old Emma Raducanu from Great Britain, had help from her own inspirations at the tournament. During her interview after her semi-final win, the interviewer asked Raducanu why she looked at former British player Tim Henman on match point: “He’s been helping me, telling me to treat one point at a time.”
Game Recognize Game
For as long as sports have been played, emerging athletes have used the stories of those who came before them as career guides. In tennis, all-time greats like Rafael Nadal have been the ultimate idols for aspiring fans and burgeoning players for decades. This is made evident by the impact on player styles and choices of equipment, on a commercial level: Fernandez uses a Babolat Aero Pure racquet, the same line used by Nadal.
Interestingly, we’re coming to a turning point in tennis where the legends are slowly but surely slowing down and heading towards retirement, so there's a duty upon newer players to inspire future generations. Luckily, female tennis is in good hands, with the likes of Fernandez and Raducanu demonstrating that titles don’t dictate your success, but rather, how much you want it.
Players Will Benefit, But So Will Industries
The fact that two international players, in the earlier stages of their careers, have made it to the US Open final is also massive for the niches within the sport, including betting. For years, Americans didn’t feel the need to bet on new players — and we don’t blame them. Contenders were always available, but they were hardly of a caliber that could compete with the likes of Serena Williams in her prime.
However, as the global online sports betting market continues to grow and the number of dominating American tennis stars fade, sportsbooks will need to rely on budding stars from around the globe to attract gamblers to place wagers on tournaments.
For instance, let’s look at Pennsylvania. Gambling in the state reached $400 million for the first time in 2021, which suggests residents are fans of gambling. However, in July 2021, Pennsylvania witnessed a drop in its monthly sports betting revenue, moving from $42.5 million in June to $27.48 million. However, since the US Open began on August 24th, search volume for tennis increased in the state, and so has volume for tennis betting and US open betting.
That’s significant news for the state’s gambling industry because many casino bonuses that are valid in Pennsylvania can also be used for sportsbooks. For example, DraftKings run a PA casino where bonuses can be used for its sportsbook. This flexibility offers players a comprehensive gambling experience. Ahead of the US Open final, DraftKings gave Fernandez odds of +145 and Raducanu odds of -180. Several other PA real money casinos are likely to have benefited from the mainstream attention surrounding the match because PA isn’t far from where the tournament takes place, and most casinos offer sports betting in addition to live dealer games.
Raducanu may have taken the title back to Britain, but it was an all-around win for women’s tennis. The journey both players went on to get there shone a light on the next generation of tennis, and there’s no doubt they will have inspired new players to take up the game, all while benefiting other industries, including sports betting.