Adelaide International and WTA Melbourne Summer Set Tennis Odds and Predictions (Jan. 3)
Credit: NurPhoto, Getty. Iga Swiatek trains ahead of the WTA season.
Women’s tennis is back for the 2022 season as three separate WTA Tour tournaments are taking place simultaneously in Australia.
With a WTA 500 event in Adelaide and two WTA 250 events in the Melbourne Summer Set series, there are plenty of chances to profit on women’s tennis tonight.
Let’s dive in with two matches that stand out among tonight’s card.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Daria Saville (+310) vs Iga Swiatek (-425)
9 p.m. ET, Adelaide International
Daria Saville, formerly Daria Gavrilova before recently getting married to ATP player Luke Saville, has not seemed rusty at all in Adelaide, despite this being her second match since February.
Saville, a feisty competitor whose movement and counterpunching abilities once had her as high as world number 20 in 2017, made it through qualifying in Adelaide, largely on the back of her return game. Saville won 47% of her return points against Caty McNally in the first round of qualifying and 44% of her return points against Katie Boulter in the final qualifying round.
Iga Swiatek is playing her first match of the season. She ended last season with a shaky WTA Finals performance which saw her leave the tournament with a 1-2 record in the group stage. She seemed to be struggling with her confidence late last season, and it will be interesting to see if the world number nine is back to her normal self in Adelaide.
Swiatek’s strength is her heavy forehand, where she does a great job moving her opponents around and keeping the ball deep in the court. This was the shot that won her the French Open in 2021, and it has been one of the best shots in women’s tennis ever since. The question is, in her first match of the season, how homed in will Swiatek’s forehand be?
While Swiatek did win the title Adelaide last year, the tournament was in a different position in the calendar, being played after the Australian, as opposed to the first tournament of the season. Given the first tournament of the year can bring some rust, I think there’s a good chance Swiatek can have a slow start and Saville (who played in qualifiers) can take advantage.
In addition, playing in her home country and being used to the Australian conditions can only help Saville, as well.
Pick: Over 19.5 games (-120 via DraftKings)
Caroline Garcia (-120) vs Anastasia Sevastova (-105)
11:30 p.m. ET, Melbourne Summer Set
Caroline Garcia might be down to world number 74 in the WTA rankings, but she’s working hard to try to change that. The Frenchwoman played a WTA Challenger event in December and made the quarterfinals before falling in straight sets to Vera Zvonareva.
If Garcia were playing higher-level competition, however, she probably would have been out of the tournament much sooner. Garcia struggled greatly in pulling away from world number 202 Ankita Raina and world number 272 Elsa Jacquemot in the first two rounds of Limoges, playing tight three-set encounters with each.
In Limoges, Garcia was the definition of hit-and-miss. She had sets where she was winning over 40% of her first-serve return points and others where she won just a smattering of first-serve returns throughout the entire set. The fast conditions in Limoges helped boost her serve, but once rallies began, I almost sat there waiting for her unforced errors.
I say all of this because I can’t imagine, given what we saw in Limgoes, that Garcia is the favorite tonight against Anastasija Sevastova. And it’s not like Garcia was great before Limoges, losing five of her previous seven matches before the event.
As for Sevastova, she didn’t end 2021 well either, losing seven of eight matches. However, she showed some life in her last event in Indian Wells (beat Hercog, lost in three to Jabeur) and should come out rejuvenated after the off-season.
It’s important to keep in mind that Sevastova, with her slices, angles, variety and off-pace tennis, is the perfect foil for the type of hyper-aggressive tennis that Garcia has resorted to as of late. The ball won’t be in Garcia’s strike zone often, and the unforced errors should pile up.
Pick: Anastasija Sevastova (-105 via DraftKings)