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Madrid Open Odds, Picks | Expert Predictions For Sabalenka vs Sherif, Sakkari vs Begu (May 2)

Madrid Open Odds, Picks | Expert Predictions For Sabalenka vs Sherif, Sakkari vs Begu (May 2) article feature image

Via Robert Prange/Getty Images. Pictured: Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in action against Alexandra Eala of the Philippines during her first-round match on Day 3 of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium on March 21, 2023 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Madrid Open is heating up, and we are on to the quarterfinals!

I’ve found value on two fascinating quarterfinal matches — Aryna Sabalenka vs Mayar Sherif and Maria Sakkari vs Irina-Camelia Begu.

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.

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WTA Madrid Odds, Picks

Aryna Sabalenka (-1200) vs Mayar Sherif (+720)

7 a.m. ET

Aryna Sabalenka overpowered upstart Mirra Andreeva 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals. Sabalenka won 69% of her service points and was only broken once. On return, the Belarusian won 54% of her return points, breaking five times.

Sabalenka is now an amazing 26-4 overall on the season, including 6-1 on clay. As a professional, the Belarusian is 60-41 on the dirt. She can take the racquet out of her opponents’ hands with her huge serve and massive groundstrokes. Sabalenka has overwhelming power from both wings and can turn neutral points in her direction very quickly.

However, especially in the altitude conditions where balls fly, Sabalenka has periods of time where she loses control of her groundstrokes.

Mayar Sherif continues to surprise in Madrid after beating Elise Mertens 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 in the round of 16. Sherif won just 47% of her service points and was broken eight times. Nonetheless, the Egyptian won 52% of her return points, including 71% on Mertens’ second serve, breaking on seven occasions.

Sherif is a clay-court specialist with an unbelievable 157-49 career record on the dirt. Sherif has a high clay-court tennis IQ, understanding point construction on the surface. She controls the baseline with her heavy forehand, dictating play and forcing her opponents on the defensive. Sherif’s backhand is solid, and it’s difficult to back her up off the baseline. The Egyptian anticipates well and gets excellent consistent depth.

While Sherif’s serving against Mertens was disturbing, her return and baseline play were impeccable. Sabalenka should find it tough to push Sherif off the baseline, and the Egyptian should push Sabalenka around with her heavy forehand.

Sabalenka won’t consistently overwhelm Sherif with pace. The Egyptian, with her anticipation, consistency, court positioning and clay-court craft should somewhat blunt Sabalenka’s power by extending rallies and coaxing unforced errors out of the Belarusian.

5.5 games are too many against an excellent clay-courter in Sherif.

Pick: Over 18.5 games (-130 via FanDuel)

Maria Sakkari (-150) vs Irina-Camelia Begu (+120)

2 p.m. ET

Maria Sakkari picked up a big victory when she defeated home-favorite Paula Badosa 6-4, 6-4 in the round of 16. Sakkari won 73% of her service points and wasn’t broken. On return, the Greek won 54% of her second-serve returns and broke on two occasions.

Sakkari is now an impressive 172-105 on clay for her career. She is dictating play from the baseline with her heavy forehand and keeping her opponents on the defensive. While Sakkari’s backhand has been solid so far this week, it’s prone to breaking down. In addition, opponents sometimes rush Sakkari from the ground, particularly in quicker altitude conditions.

While Sakkari has only been broken four times in three matches this week, she’s had to face 30 break points.

Irina-Camelia Begu beat Liudmilla Samsonova 6-4, 6-4 to advance in Madrid. Begu won 64% of her service points and was broken twice. The Romanian also defused Samsonova’s big serve, winning 45% of her return points, including 52% on Samsonova’s second serve. This allowed her to break four times.

Begu has now made the quarterfinals of Madrid on three occasions and is an incredible 278-136 on clay as a professional. Begu is clearly comfortable in the Madrid conditions and has utilized the altitude to provide the extra pop on her groundstrokes that make her dangerous. She hits her spots on her serve and plays with consistent depth from the ground. So when she’s able to ramp up the pace on her groundstrokes, she becomes a very dangerous player.

In this clay-court season, Begu has already beaten Sofia Kenin, Karolina Muchova and finally Samsonova. She’s taken Jessica Pegula to the brink on clay this year, as well.

Begu is solid from both wings, and Sakkari should find it difficult to hit through the Romanian. The Romanian should get better consistent depth than Badosa did, keeping Sakkari from attacking.

Begu has the direction on her groundstrokes to pin the ball on the Greek’s backhand, as well.

Begu also effectively utilizes the altitude to give herself more weapons from the baseline. She should utilize these aggressive groundstrokes to rush Sakkari and, once again, make it harder for the Greek to dictate play.

Begu’s fitness is at a level where Sakkari won’t be able to wear her down, either.

Pick: Begu +2.5 Games (-125)

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