WTA Budapest Odds, Picks | Expert Betting Predictions For Juvan vs Sharma, Putintseva vs Liu (July 19)
Clive Mason/Getty. Pictured: Yulia Putintseva.
WTA Budapest is underway and the quality of tennis has been spectacular so far!
I’ve found value on two of Wednesday’s matchups — Juvan vs Sharma and Putintseva vs Liu.
Read on for my WTA Budapest picks.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
WTA Budapest Odds, Picks
Kaja Juvan (-160) vs Astra Sharma (+125)
5:15 a.m. ET
Kaja Juvan qualified for Budapest and now has defeated Kristina Kucova 7-5, 6-2 in the first round. Despite winning 39% of her second serves, Juvan won 84% of her first serves. The Slovenian also won 55% of her return points, breaking six times.
She is now 11-6 this season on clay, with an impressive 122-44 career-record on the surface. The Slovenian doesn't have huge weapons, but she moves well and has a high tennis IQ. Juvan places her groundstrokes effectively, getting good depth from the baseline. Additionally, Juvan's rally tolerance is strong, allowing her to wear down her opposition.
Astra Sharma also qualified for Budapest and is into the second round after a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Kamilla Rakhimova. Sharma served well, winning 72% of her service points and only getting broken once. In addition, the Australian won 49% of her return points and broke serve on four occasions.
Sharma has a 20-7 record this year on clay, with a 75-35 mark on the surface as a professional. The Australian has a big first serve and tries to dictate with her big forehand. Sharma is able to put ample pressure on her opponents with her aggressive play from the ground. With that said, Sharma's backhand is inconsistent and her rally tolerance comes and goes.
Juvan matches up well with Sharma. In her three matches so far in Budapest (including qualifying), Juvan has broken on 17 occasions. She's also won over 45% of her first-serve returns in every match this week. The Slovenian should neutralize Sharma's first serve, taking away a major strength of her game.
Her rally tolerance and placement of her groundstrokes should also come up big here. Juvan should fend off Sharma's big forehands and extend rallies before she's able to pin Sharma in her backhand corner. Expect Sharma to press on her groundstrokes, lowering the margins on her groundstrokes and resulting in errors.
Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Juvan's overall Elo is 155.3 points higher than Sharma's and her clay-court Elo is 137.1 points above the Aussie's.
Pick: Juvan -2.5 games (-120 via BetMGM)
Yulia Putintseva (-170) vs Claire Liu (+132)
9:30 a.m. ET
Yulia Putintseva survived a topsy-turvy affair in the first round, beating Kateryna Volodko 1-6, 6-2, 6-1. While Putintseva won just 22% of her second serves and was broken five times, she won 67% of her first serves. It's worth noting that the Kazakh was broken just twice after the first set. On return, Putintseva won 55% of her return points, breaking on seven occasions.
Putintseva is now a strong 12-6 on clay in 2023, with a 154-83 record on the surface for her career. While Putintseva doesn't have a big serve and no huge weapons from the baseline, she has a heavy forehand and places her groundstrokes well. The Kazakh is quick, has good anticipation and a high rally tolerance. In addition, Putintseva's variety is world-class, with her touch and drop shots keeping opponents off balance.
Claire Liu took down Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-4 to advance in Budapest. Liu won 66% of her service points and was only broken once. She also won 43% of her return points, breaking on three occasions.
Liu has a disappointing 5-7 record this season on clay, although she's an incredible 80-39 on the surface as a professional. She has a fairly big first serve and tries to dominate from the ground with powerful groundstrokes, particularly her forehand. However, this year Liu has been far too erratic with her shots from the baseline. Liu's backhand has been mediocre, her movement isn't great and she lacks variety. The American is just 15-19 overall in 2023 for a reason.
As was the case during their two prior meetings this year (both won by Putintseva in straight sets), the Kazakh's creativity and ability to extend rallies gives the 2023-version of Liu fits. Putintseva is more solid from the baseline than Liu and has the better variety. Putintseva is much more comfortable in cat-and-mouse exchanges compared to Liu.
Putintseva should direct a lot of shots to Liu's weaker backhand and allow Liu to self-implode as she tries to go for too much.
In addition, when looking at Elo ratings, Putintseva's overall Elo is 130.7 points higher than Liu's and her clay Elo is 121.7 points above the American's.
Pick: Putintseva -2.5 games (-120 via PointsBet)