WTA Adelaide 2 Odds, Predictions: Finding an Edge in Martincova vs Yastremska
Credit: Icon Sportswire, Getty. Dayana Yastremska hits a forehand at the Kremlin Cup.
We are into the week before a Slam, which means wacky results and tons of withdrawals. But, can we still find value in tonight’s WTA slate? Yes, we can!
While there’s a 500-level event in Sydney and Aussie Open qualifying also taking place this week, I am choosing to focus in on the second-consecutive WTA event in Adelaide. More specifically, I am looking at Maddison Inglis taking on Danka Kovinic and Tereza Martincova battling former world number 21 Dayana Yastremska.
Where are the opportunities to attack these matchups? Let’s dive in.
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Maddison Inglis (-132) vs Danka Kovinic (+100)
7:30 p.m. ET, Adelaide 2
Danka Kovinic did not have the start to the season that she was looking for in the first Adelaide event last week. After beating overmatched Aldila Sutjiadi in her first match, Kovinic lost to Heather Watson 6-1, 6-4 in a match where she was broken six times in nine service games.
It was a miserable service performance that saw her win only 46% of her overall service points, including 33% of the service points on her second serve. The service struggles really date back to the second set of her straight-sets win over Sutjiadi, where even against an opponent she was significantly better than, Kovinic was still broken twice in that set.
Maddison Inglis does nothing exceptional, but everything fairly well. This formula has worked well for her on hard courts, where she has played 236 matches in her career with a 61% winning percentage. She has much more hard court success than success on other surfaces. During Inglis’ career, she has played 58 matches on non-hard surfaces, with only a 53% winning percentage.
This past week, Inglis played in Adelaide 1 as well, qualifying without losing a set before falling to Shelby Rogers in the first round of the main draw. This was certainly a tough first-round matchup for the Aussie. While Inglis served reasonably well during qualifying against Alexandra Bozovic and Irene Burillo Escorihuela, Rogers destroyed her serve, breaking Inglis 5 times and holding her to 3/15 points won on the second serve.
However, Kovinic is certainly closer to the level of Bozovic and Burillo Escorihuela than Rogers, especially on hard courts. Kovinic is definitely a clay-courter, playing the most matches on clay out of any of the surfaces over the course of her career (364 clay-court matches) and having a 67% winning percentage on clay, compared to 43% on hard courts.
It might be no surprise, then, that while Kovinic’s overall Elo rating is better than Inglis’s, Inglis has the better hard-court Elo.
One last important thing to note. The weather in Adelaide calls for a high of 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Inglis is an Aussie who grew up playing in conditions like this, while Kovinic is from Montenegro, with conditions nothing like Australia. I trust Inglis to deal with the heat better than Kovinic.
If this match were on European clay, Kovinic would be the overwhelming favorite. But on hard courts under the hot Australian sun? I think Inglis is the clear play.
Pick: Maddison Inglis (-132) via FanDuel
Tereza Martincova (-110) vs Dayana Yastremska (-120)
9 p.m. ET, Adelaide 2
World No. 48 Tereza Martincova did not have the best start to the 2022 season, falling 6-4, 6-4 to Ana Konjuh in Melbourne. Martincova won only 56% of her first serves and 48% of her second serves during that match, getting broken four times.
Martincova also had a tough time converting break point opportunities on Konjuh’s serve, converting only 2/11 break point chances. For a player without a big serve and whose game is centered around the baseline, this isn’t good enough.
Dayana Yastremska had a rough first match of the season, winning four games in a straight-sets loss to Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove in Melbourne. However, she seems to have found her groove in Adelaide, taking down Joanne Zuger and Alison Van Uytvanck to qualify for the tournament.
Throwing aside her performance against the overmatched Zuger, Yastremska’s win over Van Uytvanck, who had won six of her previous seven matches, was very impressive. Yastremska did well to protect her second serve, winning 62% of the points when she missed her first serve. And she was very good at converting break points, going 3/3 on break-point opportunities.
As I mentioned earlier, Yastremska used to be world No. 21, far from her current ranking of world No. 102. However, don’t let that ranking fool you, as Yastremska missed over half of the 2021 season with a drug ban.
Yastremska plays power tennis and loves to dictate from the baseline with her huge forehand. Playing such an aggressive style can help explain why she needed a match to calibrate her groundstrokes coming into the new season. Therefore, I expect a similar performance to how she played against Van Uytvanck tonight, as opposed to a repeat of how she played against Pattinama Kerkhove.
If Yastremska can play like she did in the previous round against Van Uytvanck, she has too much power and game for Martincova. Martincova is a solid player with good movement, but she does nothing special that can take the Ukranian out of her comfort zone. While Martincova beat Yastremska in their previous meeting, Yastremska was only 17 years old during that match and far from the player she currently is.
And in the hot conditions, I trust the player moving less and dictating more than the one having to scramble around the court.
Yastremska is the right play.
Pick: Dayana Yastremska (-120) via FanDuel
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