Madrid Open Odds & Predictions: 2 Thursday Picks for Veronika Kudermetova vs Iga Swiatek & Maria Sakkari vs Aryna Sabalenka

Madrid Open Odds & Predictions: 2 Thursday Picks for Veronika Kudermetova vs Iga Swiatek & Maria Sakkari vs Aryna Sabalenka article feature image

Robert Prange/Getty Images. Pictured: Aryna Sabalenka.

  • The semifinals of WTA Madrid are upon us.
  • David Gertier has turned his attention to two matchups: Veronika Kudermetova vs. Iga Swiatek and Maria Sakkari vs. Aryna Sabalenka.
  • Check out Gertier's full WTA Madrid semifinals betting breakdown below.

The semifinals in Madrid are here, and we have two outstanding matches on deck. Where I saw the most betting value is in the Aryna Sabalenka vs. Maria Sakkari and Iga Swiatek vs Veronika Martic matches.

Read on for my Madrid Open picks and predictions.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.

WTA Madrid Odds, Picks

Aryna Sabalenka (-280) vs Maria Sakkari (+215)

10 a.m. ET

Sabalenka recovered from a slow start to beat Mayar Sherif, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. While Sabalenka won just 56% of her first serves overall, she did win 71% of her service points and didn't face a break point in the third set.

The Belarusian won 50% of her overall return points and broke on six occasions.

Sabalenka has a solid 61-41 career record on clay. The altitude in Madrid helps Sabalenka to hit through the slower surface and effectively control the baseline. This season, Sabalenka finds herself in the top three for aces, percentage of first serves won, service points won and service games won. And behind that serve, the Belarusian hits with extreme power and pace.

Sabalenka can occasionally lose her rally tolerance, but she's been playing with much more control this season.

Sakkari defeated Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2 to advance in Madrid. Sakkari won 57% of her service points and was broken five times, although she won 70% of her service points and wasn't broken in the third set. The Greek also won 49% of her return points and broke eight times.

Sakkari has a strong 173-105 record on clay as a professional. The Greek hits her spots on serve and dictates play with her heavy forehand, which she dragged Begu around the court with.

Sakkari attempted to use her backhand to control the baseline as well, but with varied success. While Sakkari played within her comfort zone against Begu, she can struggle when rushed, and her backhand is not stable.

Sabalenka won't allow Sakkari to dictate often in this matchup. Much like in their fairly-recent duel in Indian Wells, Sabalenka should be in charge of the baseline, rushing Sakkari from the ground and pounding her backhand wing.

Unlike her match against Begu, Sakkari should be on the defensive, reacting to Sabalenka's power.

At world No. 9 with just one WTA Tour title, Sakkari is also known for coming up short toward the end of tournaments.

Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Sabalenka's overall Elo is 130.5 points higher than Sakkari's, and her clay-court Elo is 101.4 points above the Greek's.

Pick: Sabalenka 2-0 in Sets (-110 via PointsBet)

The must-have app for Soccer bettors

The best soccer betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Iga Swiatek (-1200) vs Veronika Kudermetova (+680)

3 p.m. ET

Iga Swiatek destroyed Petra Martic, 6-3, 6-0, to reach the semifinals of this tournament.

Swiatek won 70% of her service points and wasn't broken while also winning an impressive 56% of her return points and breaking serve on four occasions.

Swiatek is now 100-14 on clay as a professional, including an 8-0 record on dirt this season.

Swiatek places her first serve beautifully and hits with controlled aggression from the baseline. Her forehand is very heavy, and she can overwhelm her opposition with a combination of pace, spin and placement. Swiatek's backhand is also a weapon. The Pole moves well, absorbs pace effectively, has a high tennis IQ and has an excellent variety.

And while the Madrid altitude should theoretically allow an opponent to rush her, she looks at home in the conditions.

Veronika Kudermetova beat Jessica Pegula, 6-4, 0-6, 6-4, in a topsy-turvy match to reach the semifinals. Kudermetova struggled on serve, winning just 48% of her service points and getting broken seven times. However, the Russian won 47% of her return points and broke on six occasions.

Kudermetova has an impressive 83-58 record on clay for her career.

The Russian hit through Pegula's defenses with her heavy forehand, controlling the baseline from this wing. She also did a great job with court positioning, not allowing Pegula to push her back.

However, there were plenty of stretches where Kudermetova struggled with her rally tolerance and made a boatload of unforced errors. Kudermetova lacked patience on the court and showed suspect shot selection.

This is a mismatch. Kudermetova was too erratic Wednesday and won't be able to get away with that level of play against Swiatek. Swiatek has the better forehand of the two and should be the one dictating play from the baseline.

Kudermetova should be on the defensive way more than she wants. Even when she gains control of points, Swiatek's defense and counterpunching should neutralize Kudermetova's attacks and allow the Pole to turn points around.

There's a chance Kudermetova gets frustrated that she's doing so little damage with her groundstrokes, which may make her start to press. Swiatek's variety should further frustrate the Russian.

Pick: Under 18.5 Games (-112 via FanDuel)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.