US Open WTA Fourth-Round Betting Preview: The Underdog to Bet on Sunday
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured:
- The fourth round of the WTA US Open gets underway Sunday morning in New York.
- Brett Farrenkopf breaks down today's slate of matches, including which bets are offering value.
Ashleigh Barty (-370) vs. Qiang Wang (+315)
Sunday, 11 a.m. ET
Ash Barty, who’s looking to add a second Grand Slam title amid her career year, will first have to get through the powerful Qiang Wang on Sunday.
Qiang isn’t the most heralded women’s tennis player, but is one of the WTA Tour’s better players from the baseline. When she has her timing is down, she can go on extended streaks. Last fall, Wang made the semifinals or better in five straight tournaments after the US Open (19-4 record).
The issue for Qiang on Sunday will be trying to deal with Barty’s wide repertoire of shots in her arsenal.
I thought Barty would be a bigger favorite, but the books are respecting Qiang’s game to some degree. I have Barty as a -380 favorite but hold a mostly dead 33-1 Qiang quarter ticket.
Maybe she can get lucky and hit 30+ winners but that’s a tall order against arguably the best player in women’s tennis right now.
Karolina Pliskova (-160) vs. Johanna Konta (+140)
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. ET
Two top-10 players will clash in a fourth-round match that should have no shortage of power.
Despite bringing no form to NYC (0-2 in two summer hard-court matches), Konta has certainly found her game at the US Open. The streaky Brit can beat anyone in the World when she’s in the midst of one of her good runs.
Pliskova has looked shaky at times this tournament, especially during her third-round victory over Ons Jabeur, whose big-hitting style is a little reminiscent to Konta’s game. Normally one of the quietest and calmest players on Tour, Pliskova even broke a racquet during the match.
It’s worth noting that Pliskova owns a 6-1 lifetime record against Konta. However, five of those meetings were very competitive three-set affairs, and they split their only two matches on a hard court.
Both players are going to try to hit flat, powerful groundstrokes and end points early. Neither excels in when it comes to defense, although I’d give Pliskova a slight edge in answering power strokes and slowing points down. Timing will be key in what should be competitive match full of power.
The betting value here lies with Konta, who has looked better this tournament and is always tempting as an underdog when she gets going at a tournament.
Serena Williams (-540) vs. Petra Martic (+445)
Sunday, 2 p.m. ET
Serena has looked solid in her first three matches in New York and that shouldn’t let up against Petra Martic on Sunday.
To her credit, Martic has once again upped her level to perform well in a Grand Slam. After a disappointing and almost non-existent summer, the Croat has played solid tennis and taken advantage of a favorable draw to make the fourth round at a third straight Slam this year.
While Martic is seeking to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time, Serena’s looking to extend her current streak of advancing to the quarterfinals (or further) in 10 straight US Open appearances. The six-time US Open champ has a spectacular 15-2 record in the fourth round here.
Serena is obviously the superior tennis player in every aspect, but she’ll also benefit from seeing a very similar opponent in Karolina Muchova last round. Neither Muchova or Martic are big-hitters, and both are crafty players who can put spin on the ball and rush the net.
Despite not having her A-game, Serena made pretty quick work of Muchova. As long as she simply has an average day at the office, we should see a similar result in the first-ever career meeting between these two.
Madison Keys (-140) vs. Elina Svitolina (+120)
Sunday, 7 p.m. ET
Oddsmakers price this 2017 US Open rematch as Sunday’s most competitive match.
After two overall disappointing 2019 campaigns, both Madison Keys and Elina Svitolina come into this match in fantastic form.
Keys is as hot as anyone right now, having won nine straight matches, including a title at Cincy. Her previous win over Sofia Kenin should also serve as effective preparation for Svitolina. Like Kenin, Svitolina is primarily a counter-attacker who will force Keys to hit multiple winning shots.
However, Keys wasn’t 100% in that match on Friday night with what seemed like some sort of viral illness. She was lucky to get out in straight sets as Kenin was incredibly poor on the eight break chances she blew in the second set. She’ll have to be healthy and play cleaner to get past Svitolina.
Meanwhile, Svitolina just took out powerful teenager Dayana Yastremska, a younger and not quite as powerful version of Keys. Svitolina played consistent defensive in that match, but the 6-2 6-0 scoreline also speaks the erratic play of Yastremska, who hit 36 unforced errors.
Keys certainly has the ability to go off the rails as Yastremska did, but I expect a much more competitive match with many momentum swings.
In their three previous meetings (all on hard courts), Keys came out the victor in two. There’s not much separating either player in terms of ability or career accomplishments. When they met in this same round at the 2017 US Open, Keys advanced 7-6(2) 1-6 6-4 in a match with plenty of ebbs and flows.
Svitolina did avenge that loss earlier this year at the Australian Open — also in the fourth round in another topsy-turvy match (6-2 1-6 6-1). I suspect a similar match on Sunday with each player going on a few mini runs.
While these two play vastly different games, I don’t have much of a difference between them, so always lean toward Svitolina on a hard court as an underdog, which she’s been in all three prior meetings. For what it’s worth, Svitolina won as a +140 underdog in Melbourne.
Bet to Watch: I can’t argue going with Elina here but I prefer the over 21.5 games or betting this will go three-sets at +125.