2022 Miami Open Odds, Picks, Predictions: Kaia Kanepi Can Beat Ons Jabeur From Baseline (March 26)
AARON FRANCIS/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Kaia Kanepi
It’s been a thrilling start to the 2022 Miami Open. And while this Saturday’s matches will be fun, there are a couple that show great betting value.
Below are two picks to consider for the WTA Tour event in Miami.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on watching tennis matches.
Miami Open Odds, Picks, Predictions
Daria Saville (-108) vs. Katerina Siniakova (-114)
11 a.m. ET
Daria Saville is going through a great stretch of form. After making the quarterfinals of Guadalajara and round of 16 in Indian Wells, Saville has won her first two matches in Miami in straight sets.
Saville has beaten Greet Minnen and Harmony Tan to reach the third round. Against Tan in the second round, Saville won 54% of her return points and broke the lucky loser’s serve five times in nine service games. Saville was rock-solid from the baseline and has forced recent opponents to hit low-margin shots in order to win points.
The Australian has also done a great job recently of using her forehand as a major weapon. While Saville’s movement and counterpunching ability has always been strong, her confidence to step up in the court and dictate with her forehand has been outstanding in recent matches.
Katerina Siniakova hasn’t had it easy in Miami, but she’s managed to win two three-setters against Rebecca Marino and Emma Raducanu.
In her first round match against Marino, Siniakova was down a set and a break, yet she still came back to win. Then against Raducanu, Siniakova was down a break in the second and the Brit serving for the match in the third. Yet, Siniakova still prevailed. Siniakova broke serve six times on nine break points.
And while Raducanu is certainly not near the form that saw her win the 2021 US Open, this was still a good win for Siniakova.
Siniakova is fairly consistent from the baseline, and her groundstrokes cut through the court. The Czech’s movement is also a strength and she’s a very accomplished doubles player with a top-notch net game.
Both players are consistent from the baseline, so this match will come down to who can outmaneuver the other and who has the most dips in her game.
In the past couple months, Saville has shown remarkable rally tolerance and depth, and has utilized her forehand as a weapon to dictate from the baseline. She’s been efficient in winning matches this week and has not shown any sign of the injury that forced her to retire in Indian Wells.
Siniakova is not as steady from the baseline as Saville, and has a pattern of going through valleys in her game during her matches that Saville can exploit.
Pick: Saville ML (-108) at FanDuel
Ons Jabeur (-235) vs. Kaia Kanepi (+188)
9 p.m. ET
Ons Jabeur looked physically ill during her opening match against Magda Linette in Miami. However, Jabeur managed to get over the finish line to win 7-6(1), 6-2.
Against Linette, Jabeur won 46% of her return points. This match was more even than the scoreline, but Jabeur was incredibly clutch on her own serve, saving 12-of-13 break points. This allowed her to escape from what could have become an increasingly-difficult match given her deteriorating physical condition.
Jabeur was ultra-aggressive on the forehand to end points more quickly. She also wasn’t afraid to use the drop shot to tire out Linette, but had only varying success.
Kaia Kanepi is playing incredibly well this week in Miami. After beating Zanevska in the first round (although via retirement), Kanepi played incredibly well in a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory over Sara Sorribes Tormo.
When facing Sorribes Tormo, Kanepi won 65% of second-serve return points and broke seven times. In the third set, she won 67% of her return points and 80% of her service points. It was incredible to watch Kanepi win the physical battle against a player with Sorribes Tormo’s fitness.
Kanepi’s baseline game was outstanding. She hit heavy groundstrokes that moved Sorribes Tormo around the court and knew exactly the right time to pull the trigger and hit a winner. She played with textbook controlled aggression.
While Jabeur will be grateful that this match is at night, the humidity will still be there. On the other hand, Kanepi has looked comfortable with both the court and the weather so far.
Kanepi’s baseline game has been outstanding this tournament. From both wings, she’s showed better rally tolerance and better controlled her power shots compared to Jabeur. While not the best mover, Kanepi has done such a great job dictating from the baseline that it hasn’t mattered.
Kanepi should not be getting 3.5 games here — I wouldn’t be surprised if she wins outright.
Pick: Kanepi +3.5 games (-104) at FanDuel
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