Wimbledon Match Analysis: Best Bets For Saturday Matches
Julian Finney/Getty. Pictured: Anastasia Potapova.
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We're just about caught up at Wimbledon! After days of rain, the third round is scheduled to wrap up on Saturday – the day it was intended to conclude in the first place.
As we near the midway point of the year's penultimate Grand Slam, let's delve deeper into the matchups featuring Ekaterina Alexandrova and Dalma Galfi, as well as a pair of Russian youngsters in Anastasia Potapova and Mirra Andreeva.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing Wimbledon matches.
Wimbledon Match Analysis
Ekaterina Alexandrova (-525) vs Dalma Galfi (+390)
6 a.m. ET
Talk about catching a player at their lowest and due for some positive regression (of course, that can't be assumed). Alexandrova wasn't just bad in her win over American Madison Brengle – she hit more unforced errors than any player I've personally watched in a best-of-three sets match. 91 is a remarkably high number. Kudos to her for managing to survive that and moving onto the third round.
That's why I'm confident we'll see a better version of the Russian on Saturday. It's tough to be near-historically bad in back-to-back matches.
I'm also a proponent of fading Galfi, especially considering she picked up an obvious physical knock in her match on Friday against Jule Niemeier. Somehow, the German couldn't capitalize, despite having been within five points of victory with a break point deep into the second set. Her 56 unforced errors probably didn't help matters.
In the end, Alexandrova has the bigger weapons, the better tour-level pedigree, the better form on grass and doesn't have a serious concern with one of her limbs. I'll lay the games here, with Alexandrova being about three breaks better than Galfi on grass to begin with, let alone with Galfi potentially not at her best physically.
Picks: Alexandrova -4.5 games (-132 via DraftKings)
Anastasia Potapova (-137) vs Mirra Andreeva (+114)
9:30 a.m. ET
What an incredible 2023 season the younger of the two Andreeva sisters has been having. The 16-year-old has skyrocketed up the rankings and will make her entry into the world's top-100 when the post-Wimbledon rankings come out and it shouldn't come as a surprise.
Much like fellow phenom Brenda Fruhvirtova, her game is founded on a rock-solid baseline game that coughs up very few unforced errors. Where she's made leaps since last fall when I first started watching her at tennis' lower levels is in the aggression and power departments. She is no longer the defensive-oriented player in her own service games, looking to hit her first forehand big after landing her serve. When you consider her natural abilities with regards to consistency and hitting into smaller windows, that makes her groundstrokes even more potent.
The problem is, she's still just 16 years old. It's important to remember that while strides have been made, when she's come up against some of the best – particularly those with power at the upper echelons of the game, she's faced her fair share of trials and tribulations.
Consider her runs at big events. She reached the fourth round in Madrid, the third round at the French Open as a qualifier and now the run at Wimbledon – again as a qualifier.
All impressive results, but look at who she's beaten. Only one player near the top of the women's rankings that boasts some power to her game. That was the win in Madrid over Beatriz Haddad Maia. The rest have all afforded her time from the baseline.
Her losses? Aryna Sabalenka in lopsided fashion and a three setter to Coco Gauff that ended in a nine-game margin of loss.
I have Potapova – a top-25 player with massive groundstrokes – far closer to the type of player that is able to beat her and one step too far for the extremely talented youngster.
Pick: Potapova ML (-137 via FanDuel)