WTA Abu Dhabi Odds, Picks | Best Bets For Zheng vs. Kasatkina, Rybakina vs. Haddad Maia (Friday, Feb. 10)
Will Murray/Getty. Pictured: Elena Rybakina.
WTA Abu Dhabi continues on and we’re down to eight competitors left!
I’ve found value on two of the quarterfinal matches for us to exploit, featuring Zheng vs. Kasatkina and Rybakina vs. Haddad Maia.
Read on for my WTA Abu Dhabi odds and picks!
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
WTA Odds, Picks
Qinwen Zheng (-145) vs. Daria Kasatkina (+114)
7:30 a.m. ET
Zheng defeated Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(10), 6-1 to advance in Abu Dhabi. Despite winning just 41% of her second serves, Zheng won 74% of her first serves and was broken just twice.
She improved to 7-3 in 2023, with all matches coming on hard courts. In 2022, Zheng went 27-12 on hard and is now 90-41 on the surface in her career.
Zheng plays with controlled aggression from the baseline, taking the racquet out of her opponents’ hands with punishing groundstrokes. This allows Zheng to dictate play, although she can overhit at times.
Kasatkina beat Jil Teichmann 1-6, 6-0, 6-2 in the round of 16. Kasatkina won just 64% of her first serves, 21% of her second serves, and was broken four times. But, the Russian did win 53% of return points and broke on seven occasions.
She has had a mixture of good and poor performances, going 3-3 so far this season. However, as a professional Kasatkina has gone 117-114 on hard courts, including a 25-15 record last season.
The Russian places the ball very well, especially with her heavy forehand. Kasatkina’s variety is world-class and her return is excellent. But, Kasatkina’s serve is weak and she can get overpowered from the baseline.
Zheng is yet to drop a set this week, having won over 70% of her first serves in her two matches and getting broken just two times combined. Her first serve will be huge in neutralizing Kasatkina’s return game.
Kasatkina has left too many shots short in the court this season. Zheng will step up and crack groundstrokes, pushing Kasatkina around the court and hitting through the Russian.
Pick: Zheng ML (-145 via PointsBet)
Elena Rybakina (-280) vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia (+200)
10 a.m. ET
Rybakina continued her excellent form from the Australian Open, defeating Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals. Rybakina won 73% of her service points, including 79% of her first serves, and wasn’t broken.
Rybakina has gone 8-3 in 2023 (all on hard), making the final of the Aussie Open. She has long been a strong hard court player, with a 163-80 career-record and a 23-14 record last season on the surface.
The Kazakh has a big first serve, as showcased by her being in the top 10 for aces, percentage of first-serve points won, service points won and service games won in 2022. She also plays with impressive controlled aggression from the baseline.
Haddad Maia survived a tough test in the last round, beating Yulia Putintseva 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(4) in over three hours. Haddad Maia won just 53% of her service points and got broken seven times. However, the Brazilian won 49% of her return points and broke eight times.
Haddad Maia is now 6-2 on the year. Historically, Haddad Maia is strong on hard courts, with a 196-92 record on the surface as a professional, and a 25-16 record last season. She likes to stay on the front foot with her heavy, lefty forehand.
But, the Brazilian’s backhand is a liability and she might have heavy legs after the battle with Putintseva.
This match will be a change of pace for Haddad Maia, as the Brazilian has played two grinders so far this week in Putintseva and Marie Bouzkova.
Haddad Maia’s serving against Putintseva was brutal, and Rybakina should pounce on any weak serves. In addition, Rybakina’s continued fantastic serving, in both the short and long-term, should ensure that Haddad Maia’s return performance against Putintseva is not repeated.
Rybakina will control the baseline with her massive groundstrokes, pushing Haddad Maia around the court. I’m also not convinced that Haddad Maia will have the fitness to hold up here after her encounter with Putintseva.
Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Rybakina’s overall Elo is 125.7 points above Haddad Maia’s and her hard-court Elo is 143.8 points higher than the Brazilian’s.
Pick: Rybakina -3.5 games (-138 via FanDuel)
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