Ons Jabeur vs. Jessica Pegula: How to Bet the Madrid Open Final (May 7)
Europa Press Sport/Getty. Pictured: Ons Jabeur gestures against Ekaterina Alexandrova at the Madrid Open.
- Ons Jabeur will battle Jessica Pegula for the Madrid Open title on Saturday morning.
- Tennis analyst David Gertler delivers his best bet for the match, as well as his tactical analysis.
- Read on to see all you need to know before betting the match.
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula Odds
|Time||1:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
Ons Jabeur is having the tournament of her life in Madrid. In the semifinals, Jabeur comfortably beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the final.
Jabeur dominated on her serve against Alexandrova, winning 72% of her service points, including 81% on her first serve, and only getting broken once. Jabeur was also effective against the powerful Alexandrova service game, breaking serve four times and winning 44% of her return points. Jabeur won 10-of-18 points on Alexandrova’s second serve.
The world No. 10 has had a tough road to the final, but she’s handled it well. Jabeur beat Belinda Bencic, Simona Halep, and Alexandrova all in succession. It’s important to note that Jabeur was a combined 3-10 against the aforementioned players in her head to head matchups before Madrid this season.
Given that this is the biggest final of Jabeur’s career, it’s clear that this tournament was a massive mental hurdle for the Tunisian to jump over.
There’s a few factors to Jabeur’s game that have made her very tough to face this week. She’s hitting her targets on serve, with three matches in a row now where she won over 75% of her first serves, her baseline game has been very solid, and she’s been able to ramp up the pace on her forehand.
Jabeur’s variety, especially her drop shots, have given opponents fits, as she disguises them well and hits them incredibly accurately. Alexandrova, for instance, often seemed surprised when Jabeur threw in a drop shot. In addition, Jabeur’s slice stays low to the court and is hard to attack.
Jessica Pegula survived a match point in the first round of Madrid against Camila Giorgi and hasn’t looked back since. In her latest victory, Pegula defeated Jill Teichmann 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals.
Against Teichmann’s tricky lefty game, Pegula put together a solid performance. She won 67% of her service points, only getting broken twice in the match. On return, she won 44% of her first-serve return points and 47% of her return points overall. Pegula’s clean ball striking and ability to easily change direction on her groundstrokes was apparent in the win over Teichmann.
Pegula hasn’t dropped a set since that opening round match against Giorgi and is currently on a nine-set winning streak. Like Jabeur, this is the first singles final for Pegula in a tournament as large as Madrid, a WTA 1000 event.
As I mentioned before, there’s a smoothness to which Pegula rallies, but her game is much more than that. Pegula has had a lot of recent doubles success, winning three WTA Tour doubles tournaments this season. Pegula even won the WTA tournament in Doha, alongside Coco Gauff.
This doubles success has had a positive effect on Pegula’s singles game, as she’s confident at the net and a highly effective volleyer. Opponents have to hit precise passing shots to beat Pegula at the net.
And as we saw from Pegula in the quarterfinals against Sara Sorribes Tormo and against Teichmann in the semis, her patience on court is outstanding.
Pegula is doing a great job in Madrid’s altitude of not overhitting against great defensive players like Sorribes Tormo and Teichmann. She constructs rallies at a high level and waits for the right moment to strike.
It’s hard to go against Jabeur given her level in Madrid. She has the variety to drag Pegula around the court, but also has the power to hit through the openings she creates for herself.
Jabeur’s serve will also be a huge asset in her match against Pegula. With Pegula’s baseline game as strong as it has been, if Jabeur can place her serve as well as she has in recent matches, this will be a huge advantage for the Tunisian.
And while I talked about Pegula’s great net play earlier, Jabeur’s variety allows her to have better control of when Pegula will be at the net. Jabeur will force the American to the net on her terms with her drop shots and limit the effectiveness of the Pegula net game.
In terms of Elo ratings, Jabeur’s overall Elo is 97.9 points better than Pegula’s and her clay Elo rating is 167.4 points better than Pegula’s clay Elo.
Pick: Jabeur -3.5 games (-114 via FanDuel)