2023 Wimbledon Picks | Haddad Maia vs Cirstea, Rybakina vs Boulter Prediction

2023 Wimbledon Picks | Haddad Maia vs Cirstea, Rybakina vs Boulter Prediction article feature image

Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Katie Boulter.

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The third round of a rain-delayed Wimbledon continues with more exciting matchups on Saturday's slate!

I’ve found value on two of Saturday's matches —Haddad Maia vs Cirstea and Rybakina vs Boulter.

Read on for my 2023 Wimbledon picks.

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

2023 Wimbledon Picks

Beatriz Haddad Maia (-140) vs Sorana Cirstea (+110)

6 a.m. ET

Beatriz Haddad Maia beat Jaqueline Cristian 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to advance in London. Haddad Maia won 68% of her service points, only getting broken twice. And, despite winning just 29% of her first-serve returns, Haddad Maia won 60% of her second-serve returns and broke on four occasions.

She is an impressive 28-14 on grass as a professional. The Brazilian's game adapts well to grass, as she is strong at the net and has a great understanding of when to move forward. Haddad Maia also does a great job of flattening out her groundstrokes, hitting with the level of controlled aggression necessary for success on the surface. In addition, she spreads the court well and mixes up the pace of rallies effectively.

Haddad Maia's problem, however, is that her backhand can sometimes break down under pressure.

Sorana Cirstea upset Jelena Ostapenko 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 in the second round. Cirstea won just 47% of her second serves and was broken on three occasions, but did win 73% of her first serves. On return, despite winning just 23% of Ostapenko's first serves, the Romanian won 53% of her second-serve returns, breaking three times.

Cirstea has a mediocre 36-38 career-record on grass. While Cirstea certainly has a lot of experience and can play with decent levels of controlled aggression, she's not totally comfortable on grass. While Cirstea absorbs pace effectively, on grass her rally tolerance and movement suffer a bit and the Romanian can look a little underpowered at times. Cirstea's net play and variety are also not strengths of her game.

Though Ostapenko has more power than the Brazilian, Haddad Maia has a significantly higher rally tolerance. She won't give nearly as many unforced errors as the Latvian.

Haddad Maia is just the better grass-court player compared to Cirstea. She has a better understanding of point construction on the surface, has the better net game and cane more easily adapt her ground game.

I don't believe that Cirstea has enough offense to effectively exploit Haddad Maia's weaker backhand, whereas the Brazilian should successfully target Cirstea's backhand with her lefty, cross-court forehands.

Pick: Haddad Maia ML (-140 via BetMGM)

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Elena Rybakina (-600) vs Katie Boulter (+420)

12 p.m. ET

Elena Rybakina comfortably defeated Alize Cornet 6-2, 7-6(2) to move into the third round. Rybakina won 68% of her service points, including 78% of her first serves, and wasn't broken once. On return, the Kazakh won 43% of her return points, breaking twice.

Rybakina, who is Wimbledon's defending champion, has an incredible 25-8 record on grass as a professional. The Kazakh's biggest weapon is her serve. This year, there's nobody on the WTA Tour with more aces or a higher percentage of 1st-serve points won than Rybakina. She plays aggressively behind the serve, putting her opponents on the defensive, particularly with her forehand.

With that said, Rybakina's return is mediocre, her movement is not great and she can leak errors at times.

Katie Boulter beat Viktoriya Tomova 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 to continue her Wimbledon campaign. Boulter won 70% of her first serves, getting broken twice. The Brit won 45% of her return points, generating 15 break points and breaking Tomova's serve on five occasions.

Boulter, who won a WTA Tour grass event in Nottingham earlier this season, is now 10-3 in 2023 on grass. For her career, Boulter is a strong 43-29 on the surface. The Brit has a big first serve and tries to maintain an offensive position from the baseline. Boulter is especially tough from her forehand wing. Her groundstrokes do become erratic from time to time, however.

Rybakina has the edge here, but this line is a little steep. Rybakina should be largely dominant on serve, but she has not returned particularly well lately. This is a problem as Boulter has good pace on her first serve and the Kazakh should struggle to get into Boulter's service games.

Boulter also has the tennis IQ and offensive capabilities to not allow Rybakina to tee off on her groundstrokes and completely dominate the baseline. Boulter should have stretches where she's able to direct play, putting Rybakina in defensive positions and exposing her mediocre movement.

The Brit should have the home crowd on her side, willing her on and creating nerves for Rybakina.

Pick: Over 20.5 games (-110 via PointsBet)

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