2023 Wimbledon Predictions | Vondrousova vs Bouzkova, Azarenka vs Svitolina Pick
MIchael Regan/Getty. Pictured: Victoria Azarenka.
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The round of 16 at Wimbledon is here and there are plenty of fascinating matchups on Sunday!
I’ve found value on two of Sundays' matches —Vondrousova vs Bouzkova and Azarenka vs Svitolina.
Read on for my 2023 Wimbledon predictions.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Wimbledon matches.
2023 Wimbledon Predictions
Marketa Vondrousova (-225) vs Marie Bouzkova (+175)
6 a.m. ET
Marketa Vondrousova took down Donna Vekic 6-1, 7-5 in the third round. Vondrousova won 74% of her service points, including 77% on her first serve, getting broken just once. The Czech also won 74% of her second-serve returns, breaking serve on four occasions.
Vondrousova is now 5-1 this season on grass, although she's has a 10-12 professional-record on the surface. Vondrousova's game doesn't naturally suit the surface, as she likes to grind from the baseline and has a slightly elongated take-back on her heavy, lefty forehand. But, Vondrousova absorbs pace very effectively, moves well on grass and can largely maintain her rally tolerance. In addition, Vondrousova's variety and high tennis IQ make the transition to grass easier.
Marie Bouzkova beat Caroline Garcia 7-6(0), 4-6, 7-5 to advance to the round of 16. Bouzkova won 66% of her service points, including 71% of her first serves, getting broken twice. In addition, the Czech won 49% of her second-serve returns, breaking twice.
Bouzkova, who was a set away from the Wimbledon semifinals last season, has a solid 19-15 career-record on grass. Bouzkova's game adapts surprisingly well to grass in the sense that her groundstrokes aren't too topspin-based and she's able to flatten out her groundstrokes, especially her backhand – with the surface giving both her serve and baseline game some extra pop. Bouzkova also moves well on grass, absorbs pace with success and has excellent shot selection.
This should be a baseline-centric match between two players who can rally all day and who enjoy absorbing the pace of power players. Bouzkova has proven over the past two summers that she can effectively adapt her game to grass, defending well but also having the ability to hit with pace into targets.
She has the foot speed and comfortability on the surface to track down Vondrousova's variety and shouldn't give her the free points that previous opponents, such as Vekic, have gifted her this tournament. Bouzkova also has the pace on grass to rush Vondrousova's forehand at times.
While Vondrousova's overall Elo rating is well-above Bouzkova's, interestingly enough, her grass Elo is actually slightly below Bouzkova's. On grass, the strengths of Vondrousova's slow-surface game are mitigated while the surface actually can help Bouzkova's level of play.
Pick: Bouzkova +1.5 sets (-145 via BetMGM)
Victoria Azarenka (-142) vs Elina Svitolina (+118)
12 p.m. ET
Victoria Azarenka rolled past Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-4 to advance in London. Azarenka won 58% of her service points, getting broken on two occasions. In addition, the Belarusian won 51% of her return points, including 69% of her second-serve returns, breaking five times.
The two-time Wimbledon semifinalist is now an impressive 56-25 for her career on grass. Azarenka's game translates well to surface, as she has a big first serve and hits with controlled aggression behind the serve. Azarenka positions herself well on the baseline and hits through the grass well, particularly with her big forehand. The Belarusian understands how to move and construct points on grass, although her rally tolerance sometimes lets her down, especially in recent times.
Elina Svitolina defeated Sofia Kenin 7-6(3), 6-2 in the third round. Svitolina won 68% of her service points and was only broken once. The Ukrainian also won 62% of her second-serve returns, breaking on three occasions.
Svitolina, who made the Wimbledon semifinals in 2019, has a mediocre 20-21 career-record on grass. The Ukrainian's game doesn't work particularly well on the surface, but she does move well and maintain her baseline consistency. But, while the Ukrainian's backhand can be a weapon at times, she struggles to play the aggressive brand of tennis necessary for grass-court success. Svitolina also doesn't have a huge serve, isn't totally comfortable moving forward and her variety is suspect.
Azarenka leads the head to head 5-0, having won the last six sets between the two and 10-of-12 sets overall. The Belarusian is very comfortable in this match, as like Kasatkina, Svitolina puts very little pressure on Azarenka from the baseline. This allows Azarenka to dictate and until she finds an opening, overwhelming the Ukrainian with pace.
And Svitolina's weaker serve should allow Azarenka to tee off on return, as well.
While none of their previous meetings have been on grass, the surface should further favor Azarenka, as Svitolina cannot defend and counterpunch nearly as effectively on grass as on other surfaces.
Pick: Azarenka ML (-142 via FanDuel)