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WTA Cincinnati Semifinals Betting Preview: Simona Halep Seeks Second Straight Premier Final

  • The WTA Cincinnati Semifinals start at noon ET on Saturday, Aug. 18.
  • We have two intriguing (and unexpected) matchups: Simona Halep (-330) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (+270) and Petra Kvitova (-160) vs. Kiki Bertens (+140).
  • After winning Montreal last week, Halep is seeking to win her second consecutive Premier title.

We saw multiple upsets on a chaotic Friday, but we have two very intriguing semifinals in store for today. Simona Halep is looking to make back-to-back Premier finals, which would be incredibly impressive. Let’s hope the rain stays away and we can get two uninterrupted semis.

Here’s a closer look at each from a betting perspective.

Petra Kvitova (-160) vs. Kiki Bertens (+140)

Time: Noon ET
H2H: Kvitova leads 2-1 (Bertens 1-0 on hard courts)

The first semifinal of the day is a rematch of last week’s Montreal quarterfinal — a match Bertens dominated by a score of 6-3, 6-2.

 

I have never seen Bertens display this type of confidence on a hard court in her career. The Dutch 26-year-old has found something this summer and is finally playing within herself outside of clay season. She’s playing great defensive tennis and waiting for her opponents to make errors — which both Elina Svitolina and Anett Kontaveit did plenty yesterday.

However, Kvitova has the power and ability to push Bertens around more than Svitolina could. Kvitova appeared a bit fatigued at times on Friday during her three-set win over Elise Mertens, which could become a factor since the Czech will play in the early match today.

This line is spot-on to me, but I wouldn’t fault anybody for taking a shot on a confident and in-form Bertens as a +140 underdog.

Simona Halep (-330) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (+270)

Time: 4 p.m. ET
H2H: Halep leads 1-0 (2018 Shenzhen-hard)

The two hottest players on Tour meet in the second semifinal match. Halep seems to never get tired, as she is trying for an impressive back-to-back Premier event double — a much tougher feat than winning a major.

Sabalenka finds herself in the midst of a career run, having beat six top-20 players in the past two months. During Sabalenka’s impressive 11-5 run over that span, she went to three sets in every match except for last night’s. That is insane. Regardless, she didn’t look tired in her win last night over Madison Keys.

We know Halep will bring all of the tools to the table. The Romanian plays a beautiful style of tennis, utilizing a potent mix of defense and aggressiveness. Conversely, Sabalenka plays with one aggressive speed but has recently competed with a little more margin and has cut down on the unforced errors.

Sabalenka can certainly win this match if she peaks for two of three sets, but Halep will throw every type of shot at her and play better defense than anyone she’s seen thus far.

After Halep played two matches yesterday, I have to fade the Romanian here as a HEAVY favorite. I’ll take a half shot on Sabalenka +270.

Saturday Best Bet

Sabalenka +270 (half unit)

Credit:

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Simona Halep

Follow Brett Farrenkopf on Twitter
@bmf1314
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