Tuesday US Open Analysis, Best Bets: Krueger Will Compete Against Azarenka (August 30)
Dylan Buell/Getty. Pictured: Victoria Azarenka.
- Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova get their US Open campaigns underway on Tuesday.
- David Gertler breaks down the matches of the former Slam winners.
- Read on for his best bets and analysis.
11The US Open is off to an incredible start and more exciting matches are slated for Tuesday.
The good news is that I’ve found more value on Tuesday’s order of play.
Read on for my US Open best bets and previews.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.
Victoria Azarenka (-1250) vs. Ashlyn Krueger (+740)
4:15 p.m. ET
Victoria Azarenka went 3-2 during the summer hard-court season. However, most recently in Cincinnati, Azarenka lost 0-6, 2-6 to Emma Raducanu.
Azarenka won only 37% of her service points and 32% of her return points in that match.
While Azarenka has two Slam titles and an 11-7 record on hard this season, she has shown more vulnerability than in years past. The Belarusian tries take the initiative in points and play offense whenever she has the opportunity to do so, but she has much less control over her groundstrokes than she used to.
In addition, Azarenka’s second serve is faltering recently, losing over 60% of her second-serve points in her past four matches.
Ashlyn Krueger won her last six sets in qualifying to reach the main draw of the US Open. Krueger had to defeat tough opponents in Katie Boulter and Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove in order to qualify.
Krueger did an excellent job attacking her opponents’ second serves, winning 66% of her second-serve return points across qualifying and breaking serve 16 times.
The 18 year-old American is 39-31 in her career on hard courts, and while many of those matches were at lower levels of the sport, she’s rapidly improving.
Krueger plays with controlled aggression and does a great job of holding on to the baseline. She’s also defends well when necessary. However, Krueger is still inexperienced at this level.
Given Azarenka’s inconsistencies from the baseline, Krueger feels undervalued. Azarenka is not the player she once was, as she is not as fit as she used to be and can’t control the baseline as effectively as in years past.
Krueger has had time in qualifying to get used to the conditions and is a dangerous ball striker from the baseline. She will force Azarenka to play more defense than she’s comfortable with, along with using her foot speed to force Azarenka to play extra groundstrokes within rallies.
Pick: Krueger +6.5 Games (-125 via FanDuel)
Petra Kvitova (-710) vs. Erika Andreeva (+490)
1 p.m. ET
Petra Kvitova is coming into the US Open in good form, having made the Cincinnati final in her most recent tournament before falling to Caroline Garcia in the final. Kvitova overpowered her opposition in Cincinnati, taking out high-ranking players such as Ons Jabeur and Madison Keys.
However, Kvitova won a Wimbledon tune-up event in Eastbourne and then lost in the first week at the All England Club, so it’s no guarantee she coasts in New York City.
While Kvitova is 14-10 in 2022 on hard courts, she was just 9-9 coming into Cincinnati. The Czech has incredible power that, when she can control it, does major damage to her opponents.
However, often this season, Kvitova has been erratic from the baseline. When she’s not able to dictate, Kvitova is slow around the court and doesn’t defend effectively.
Erika Andreeva qualified for the US Open, defeating world number 90 Kamilla Rakhimova 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final qualifying round. Andreeva did an excellent job on return in qualifying, winning over 50% of her second-serve return points in every qualifying match. Andreeva broke serve 15 times in the qualifying tournament.
The 18 year-old Russian has won six of her last seven matches and is now 34-13 as a professional on hard courts. Andreeva absorbs power well and is fast around the court. In addition, she can step up in the court and play offense effective, especially with her forehand. However, like Krueger, she is inexperienced at this level.
Kvitova is hot-and-cold this season and, as we saw at Wimbledon, a lead-up tournament doesn’t necessarily reflect her level long-term. Historically, Kvitova doesn’t like the hot and humid conditions in New York, with the US Open being her worst major results-wise.
Andreeva defends well and effectively absorbs power, meaning that she can hang in there against Kvitova and extend points. Kvitova will become erratic when she’s not easily putting balls away.
In addition, Andreeva’s forehand is a weapon and can keep Kvitova on the move.
Pick: Andreeva +5.5 Games (+106 via FanDuel)
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