Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Elina Svitolina
The better players dominated on Friday in four straight set victories in Montreal, which sets up two excellent semifinal matchups of top 10 players. With two of my three futures still alive in Simona Halep (+650) and Elina Svitolina (+1000), I won’t have any pre-match action. However, I may look for a potential live hedge spot. Let’s take a closer look at both intriguing matches from a betting perspective.
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Simona Halep (-200) vs. Ashleigh Barty (+185) | O/U: 21
Time: 1 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting
Halep had no issues yesterday with the blisters on her foot that ailed her on Thursday. The Romanian played with aggression and her movement was excellent in a professional straight-sets victory over Carolina Garcia
Barty, who defeated Kiki Bertens with ease in the quarterfinals, has many tools that can frustrate her opponents so you can count on lot of variety in this one. This will mark the second career Premier 5 semifinal (Wuhan 2017) for the Aussie, who will also play in the doubles semi later today.
As long as the blisters don’t flare up after a quick turnaround, I think Halep will advance to the Rogers Cup final — but Barty won’t make it easy. From a futures perspective, I will simply let this one ride.
The Pick: Pass (lean over 21 games)
Elina Svitolina (-106) vs. Sloane Stephens (-102) | O/U: 21
Time: 6 p.m. ET
H2H: Tied 1-1
This should be an absolute doozy. The two best counter-attackers on Tour duel for the first time since 2014. Both players have looked great in Montreal; there is no reason to suspect their forms dip today. And while they haven’t met in four years, Stephens did win their only meeting on a hard court at the 2014 Australian Open.
I think this matchup of two elite defenders comes down to who plays more aggressive tennis, as I don’t see a style edge for either player. Svitolina was very aggressive against Elise Mertens’ serve yesterday, but she was also extremely confident. If she doesn’t think she has an edge versus Stephens, she could become too timid on return.
I honestly have no idea which way this match will go. If you followed me on my Svitolina future, I would not oppose a hedge on Stephens here — especially if you can bet this match live, since I anticipate a lot of momentum swings. I’ll be personally looking for Sloane at +200 or better live as a small potential hedge.
Regardless of the outcome, this match should be a joy to watch.
The Pick: Pass (look for Stephens +200 live for small future hedge)