2023 Wimbledon Odds, Predictions | Picks For Strycova vs Zanevska, Kontaveit vs Stefanini

2023 Wimbledon Odds, Predictions | Picks For Strycova vs Zanevska, Kontaveit vs Stefanini article feature image

Icon Sportswire/Getty. Pictured: Anett Kontaveitt celebrates at the Sydney Classic.

The opening round of Wimbledon has arrived and the level of tennis should be outstanding!

I’ve found value on two of Monday's matchups —Strycova vs Zanevska and Kontaveit vs Stefanini.

Read on for my 2023 Wimbledon expert picks.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Wimbledon matches.

WTA Wimbledon Odds, Predictions

Barbora Strycova (-144) vs Maryna Zanevska (+120)

6 a.m. ET

Barbora Strycova last played in Eastbourne, where (as a lucky loser) she fell 4-6, 3-6 to Jelena Ostapenko. Strycova won just 46% of her serve points and was broken on six occasions. Despite winning just 31% of her first-serve returns, the Czech won 67% of her  second-serve returns and broke four times.

Strycova is 2-5 overall on the season since returning from maternity leave. But, the Czech has an incredible 62-38 career-record on grass. Strycova's rally tolerance comes and goes, but she plays an attacking game that works very well on grass and she has a great understanding of point construction on the surface. Strycova is strong at the net and incorporates low-bouncing slices that keep the ball out of her opponents' strike zones.

Maryna Zanevska qualified for Bad Homburg, but lost in the opening round 2-6, 3-6 to Sara Errani. Zanevska won just 44% of her service points, getting broken five times. And, despite facing Errani's weak serve, Zanevska won just 36% of her return points, breaking twice.

Zanevska is a poor grass player, with a 10-18 grass-record for her career. The Belgian is stronger on slower surfaces, where she can do more damage with her heavy forehand. Zanevska's backhand breaks down under pressure and she doesn't have a particularly potent serve. She lacks variety, doesn't look comfortable with the bounces on grass and struggles to move on the surface.

Strycova should come into this match with confidence, given her recent victory over the Belgian in Rome. In addition, the Czech is much more experienced and accomplished than Zanevska on grass. Strycova's slices should stay out of Zanevska's strike zone, making the Belgian uncomfortable.

She will also spread the court, testing Zanevska's movement and rally tolerance. In addition, the Czech should recognize the right moments to move forward, putting pressure on Zanevska to hit precise passing shots on a surface that doesn't suit her game.

Pick: Strycova ML (-144 via FanDuel)

Anett Kontaveit (-250) vs Lucrezia Stefanini (+200)

12:30 p.m. ET

Anett Kontaveit is retiring after Wimbledon, as she has a nagging back injury that is ending her career. The Estonian last played at the French Open, where she fell 6-7(6), 2-6 to Bernarda Pera. Kontaveit is coming into Wimbledon with no grass warmup event.

It is worth noting that Kontaveit has an impressive 47-20 career-record on the surface, despite the lack of grass matches this season. At her best, Kontaveit had a big first serve and could overwhelm her opposition with pace. Unfortunately for Kontaveit, since her back injury the Estonian's rally tolerance has plummeted and she's lost some of the precision over her groundstrokes that she had at her best.

Lucrezia Stefanini qualified for Wimbledon, defeating Su-Wei Hsieh 6-2, 6-7(3), 7-6(9). Stefanini won just 50% of her service points, getting broken eight times. On return, the Italian won 55% of her return points, breaking Hsieh's serve on 10 occasions.

Stefanini is now 7-6 on grass as a professional, although she proved herself during qualifying. Stefanini can handle "grass bounces" well and she was very solid from the baseline during qualifying. Stefanini uses two hands on both the forehand and the backhand, manipulating the ball around the court beautifully and keeping her opponents from becoming comfortable. The Italian can also mix up the pace of her shots, although her power is lacking.

Kontaveit, at her best, is a much better grass-court player compared to Stefanini and has much more power at her disposal. But, given that Kontaveit is surely not completely focused with this being her last ever professional tournament and the lack of grass warmup events, this is a tough spot for the Estonian.

It's especially tough considering Kontaveit is just 6-8 on the season, playing erratic, hit-or-miss tennis as is.

Stefanini qualified while dropping just one set and, despite the dearth of overall grass-court matches on her resume, should feel very confident coming into this match.

She should spread the court and keep Kontaveit on the move, testing the Estonian's consistency and ability to play with controlled aggression.

In addition, Kontaveit has won 50% of her service points or fewer in three of her past four WTA Tour matches and won under 45% of her second serves in her last four matches. Given how well Stefanini is returning, this is a bad sign.

Pick: Stefanini +4.5 games (-135 via PointsBet)

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