Sunday US Open Picks | Bencic vs Cirstea, Gauff vs Wozniacki
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff
We're into the second week at the US Open, as the final 16 men and women have been decided!
For round of 16 action from the women's side of things, we have Bencic vs Cirstea and Gauff vs Wozniacki. Let's delve into a pair of Sunday's women's matches!
Here are my Sunday US Open picks.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing US Open matches.
Sunday US Open Picks
Belinda Bencic (-165) vs Sorana Cirstea (+135)
12:30 p.m. ET
I'm going to go back to the well with Belinda Bencic here after a gritty performance against Lin Zhu that saw her scratch out a three-set win after committing over 50 unforced errors.
In fact, the recency bias in this matchup plays both ways, as the Romanian veteran played an incredible match Friday night that saw her topple Elena Rybakina in what I thought was one of the matches of the year, let alone the opening week of the US Open.
A few notes for this matchup. First, Bencic is the superior player. She is near the top of the game and is one of the few players out there that can have a terrible day at the office and still advance.
Second, this matchup may be a bit more to her liking. Where she was just a bit better at everything than Zhu last round, Zhu also played a more counterpunching style that didn't give Bencic a lot of pace to work with. We know Bencic likes playing against powerful baseliners, and she'll get that against Cirstea.
Finally, she's far more reliable statistically, with a 5% edge over the last 52 weeks on hard courts in hold plus break percentage (despite playing higher-level tournaments and opponents consistently) and a higher Elo on hard courts, whether one looks at the blended or raw data.
Picks: Bencic ML (-165 via DraftKings) | Bencic -2.5 games (-110 via DraftKings)
Coco Gauff (-555) vs Caroline Wozniacki (+400)
2 p.m. ET
Last time I bet on Coco Gauff, she struggled mightily early on before dominating Elise Mertens towards the end of the match and running away with it. Unfortunately, I took the under in that contest and paid the price.
This time I won't make the same mistake. I actually like her more against the returning Caroline Wozniacki more than I did in the previous round against Mertens, seeing as at the very least Mertens had a respectable first serve of her own to find some cheaper points.
Wozniacki has done well to beat another returning player in Jennifer Brady (though she outlasted the American, more than she actually beat her) and upset an erratic Petra Kvitova. I have still yet to see anything that would indicate she is ready to upset one of the top players in the game, who is in form to boot.
Gauff has the rally tolerance and patience to play the extended baseline exchanges with her Danish counterpart and her forehand shouldn't be rushed at any point either.
Her serve is far bigger and her backhand is surely the best shot on the court from the baseline.
With her title-winning form this summer and a great matchup against a fairly weaponless opponent, I'm big on her to win this one by a fairly large margin.
Pick: Gauff -5.5 games (+110 via DraftKings)