Aryna Sabalenka vs Madison Keys Wimbledon Odds, Pick | Expert Quarterfinal Preview
Rob Newell/Getty. Pictured: Madison Keys.
Sabalenka vs Keys Odds
|Over/Under||22.5 (-110 / -115)|
|Time | How to Watch||Wednesday, 8 a.m. ET | ESPN2|
|Odds via PointsBet. For tips on how to watch the Wimbledon, click here.|
No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4, 6-0 to advance to the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
But, how will Sabalenka fare against Madison Keys' firepower on serve and from the baseline?
Read on for my expert preview below!
Sabalenka Finding Form on Grass
Against Alexandrova, Sabalenka won 77% of her first serves and didn't face a break point. In addition, the Belarusian won 49% of her return points, including 58% on Alexandrova's second serve, breaking the Russian on four occasions.
The World No. 2, a former Wimbledon semifinalist, is now a strong 32-17 for her career on grass. Sabalenka took a little while in 2023 to get re-adjusted to the surface, but she has really excelled at Wimbledon. In fact, the Belarusian has dropped just one set in London so far, winning her last six sets.
Sabalenka has a huge first serve that is very difficult to return on any surface, but particularly on grass. In 2023, Sabalenka is a top-five player in the following service categories: aces, percentage of first serves won, service points won and service games won.
In addition, the Belarusian's massive groundstrokes cut through the court well and are a nightmare for her opponents to try to defend against. Sabalenka can overwhelm her opponents with pace, dictating from the baseline and forcing her opponents to play much more defense than they would like.
Sabalenka has also returned well, winning over 40% of her return points in all four matches this week. She has broken serve a combined 17 times, generating 43 break points across the nine sets that she's played.
The main concern for Sabalenka at this point, as was the case in the first set of her second-round match against Gracheva, is if she just can't find her range from the baseline. When Sabalenka is off, the unforced errors can flow from her racquet, although she has really steadied herself from the ground this season compared to years' past.
Keys Continuing Grass Success
Keys came back to defeat Mirra Andreeva 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in the round of 16. She served 71% of her first serves in and won 68% of her first-serve points, but she only won 47% of her second serves, getting broken on four occasions. The American, despite winning just 33% of her first-serve returns, won 53% of her second-serve returns, breaking four times.
She has a 9-0 record on grass in 2023, having won a grass-court WTA title in Eastbourne the week before Wimbledon. Keys has only dropped the one set (to Andreeva) this grass season, although she has still played a lot of tennis lately, with all nine matches coming since June 26th.
Keys' grass court success is far from a recent phenomenon. The American is a spectacular 46-16 on grass for her career.
Her grass court success aligns with her game. While she is not top-10 in any relevant WTA service category this season, the American has a massive first serve. And Keys follows up her serve with aggressive groundstrokes that she can flatten out and which cut through the court nicely. She is usually able to effectively dominate from the baseline, keeping her opponents on the move.
With that said, Keys is "only" World No. 18 because she can lack consistency from the ground. The unforced errors can come in bunches for the American and she's also not the best mover. This mediocre movement affects Keys' ability to defend and counterpunch.
Sabalenka vs Keys Pick
Sabalenka and Keys will both look to control the baseline and maintain an edge in court positioning. However, Sabalenka does everything just a little bit better than Keys.
Statistically-speaking, and in terms of the reliability of the shot, Sabalenka's serve is a step above Keys'. The American has won under 50% of her second-serve points in her last three matches, which is problematic given Sabalenka's aggression on second-serve returns.
In addition, Sabalenka has more control over her aggressive groundstrokes compared to Keys. The Belarusian is able to hit into targets with better consistency compared to Keys and, at least in 2023, her ground game is less likely to break down under pressure.
Sabalenka should be the one in charge of the baseline, forcing Keys on the defensive, which is a position the American doesn't want to be in.
Finally, Keys has played a lot of tennis recently and Sabalenka is the fresher player of the two. When it comes to the players' ability to defend and counterpunch, an area where Keys' is already fairly weak, slight fatigue matters.
Pick: Sabalenka -2.5 games (-130)