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WTA Birmingham Tennis Odds, Predictions: Not Much Separating Ostapenko & Yastremska (June 16)

WTA Birmingham Tennis Odds, Predictions: Not Much Separating Ostapenko & Yastremska (June 16) article feature image

Stephen Pond/Getty. Pictured: Jelena Ostapenko.

The WTA Birmingham tournament has continued to produce incredible tennis and Thursday promises more exciting action.

There are two matches on Thursday’s order of play where value has presented itself.

Read on for my best bets and previews.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Jelena Ostapenko (-176) vs. Dayana Yastremska (+136)

7:30 a.m. ET

Jelena Ostapenko lost six games in a row against Rebecca Marino in the first round of Birmingham, but eventually beat the Canadian 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

Ostapenko won 81% of her first serves, but only put 45% of her first serves into play and hit ten double faults. On return, Ostapenko did a great job of attacking Marino’s second serve, winning 57% of her second-serve returns.

She now has a 33-16 professional record on grass, with her laser groundstrokes cutting through the court well and allowing the Latvian to dominate from the baseline.

However, Ostapenko’s second serve does sit up and she can become erratic from the baseline.

Dayana Yastremska ended a four-match losing streak, defeating Magda Linette in straight sets to kick off her Birmingham campaign. Yastremska won 81% of her first-serve points and was only broken once all match.

On return, Yastremska struggled on Linette’s first serve, but she did pummel the Pole’s second serve. Yastremska won 13-of-19 points on Linette’s second delivery.

While Yastremska is just 16-11 in her career on grass, her big-hitting game works well on the surface.

She has a huge first serve and goes for her groundstrokes, giving her opponents no rhythm and allowing her to control the baseline. However, like Ostapenko, Yastremska plays with little margin and can go on stretches with terrible unforced errors.

This will be a hard-hitting match between two players who go for their shots. Both players have good first serves, weaker second serves and powerful, yet low-margin, groundstrokes.

Yastremska and Ostapenko have wide gaps in terms of the level they produce in a given match, with stretches of excellence mixed in with times where both can’t find the court with their groundstrokes.

The topsy-turvy nature to both players’ games, combined with how both can get red-hot from the baseline at times, makes me think this will be a long match with lots of twists and turns.

Pick: Over 21.5 Games (-125 via PointsBet)

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Beatriz Haddad Maia (-304) vs. Magdalena Frech (+225)

9:30 a.m. ET

After winning Nottingham last week, Beatriz Haddad Maia upset Petra Kvitova 7-6(4), 6-2 in the first round of Birmingham this week.

Haddad Maia served well, winning 71% of her first-serve points and only getting broken twice in the match. And on return, Haddad Maia effectively defused Kvitova’s big serve. The Czech only won 61% of her first serves.

She has now won six matches in a row – all on grass – and her professional record on grass now standing at 19-10. Haddad Maia made the doubles final of the Australian Open this season and is comfortable coming into net, which is very important on grass.

In addition, Haddad Maia handles the bad bounces on grass well as she patiently waits for her opportunity to nail a huge groundstroke winner.

Magdalena Frech had a successful start in Birmingham, defeating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3. Frech served 70% of her first serves into play and won 66% of those points, only getting broken twice all match.

On return, Frech held Parrizas-Diaz to only 58% of her first serves won, breaking the Spaniard’s serve five times.

Frech is an impressive 27-15 on grass in her career, which is somewhat surprising given her defensive game. However, the Pole moves very well on grass and has a high rally tolerance on the surface. With that said, Frech can still be overpowered on the surface and lacks sufficient finishing power.

She is a feisty competitor, but Haddad Maia should be able to push her around from the baseline in this match and the Brazlian has the rally tolerance to wait out Frech’s defensive shots until she has the opportunity to put the ball away.

Haddad Maia should also get more free points on her serve and is more comfortable at the net.

When looking at Elo ratings, Haddad Maia has a 177.9-point overall Elo advantage compared to Frech and a 213.2-point advantage in grass-court Elo.

Pick: Haddad Maia -3.5 games (-143 via PointsBet)

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