WTA Cincinnati Tennis Odds, Picks, Predictions: Swiatek Won’t Run Away From Stephens (August 17)
Robert Prange/Getty. Pictured: Sloane Stephens celebrates winning her match at the Miami Open against Panna Udvardy.
- The WTA Cincinnati tournament marches on with Wednesday matches.
- David Gertler breaks down his best bets and analysis for the slate ahead.
- Read on for his picks and predictions.
WTA Cincinnati continues on and the second round promises to be chock-full of exciting tennis.
I’ve found betting value on two of the matches on Wednesday's order of play and I give my best bets and full breakdowns below.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Iga Swiatek (-1000) vs. Sloane Stephens (+550)
3 p.m. ET
Most recently, she lost 4-6, 6-3, 5-7 to Beatriz Haddad Maia in the round of 16 in Toronto. Swiatek only won 45% of her second serves in that match, facing 19 break points.
Swiatek hits her targets on serve and has a heavy, well-placed forehand that dominates the baseline. The Pole's movement and tennis IQ are superb and her backhand has become more solid this season.
However, since the Cornet match at Wimbledon, Swiatek has been less consistent, her backhand has experienced regressed, and she's pressing more often on her groundstrokes.
Sloane Stephens easily defeated Alize Cornet in the first round, 6-1, 6-0. Stephens won 68% of her return points and broke serve in every return game.
She also put 78% of her first serves into play and won 71% of those points, but Stephens does need to improve on her second serve, as she only won 3-of-11 second-serve points.
Stephens finally seems to be rounding into form. In Toronto, she snapped a four-match losing streak against Sofia Kenin and she played excellent tennis versus Cornet. Stephens, a former US Open champion, is 201-157 on hard courts in her career.
The American has excellent movement and anticipates where the ball is going very well. Stephens utilizes easy power from both wings and counterpunches at a high level. She can mentally go in-and-out of matches, however,
Swiatek will look to control the baseline with her forehand, but Stephens is motivated and counterpunching very well. Stephens' court coverage will allow her to stay in points until she's able to pin Swiatek in her backhand corner.
The world No. 1 has been more erratic from the baseline in recent matches and, like against Cornet at Wimbledon, she will become impatient when faced with Stephens' defense. Stephens will shrink the court against Swiatek and force the Pole to press on her groundstrokes.
Pick: Stephens +6.5 Games (-140 via BetMGM)
Petra Kvitova (-186) vs. Sorana Cirstea(+152)
11 a.m. ET
Petra Kvitova saved a match point to beat Jil Teichmann 6-7(2), 7-6(6) ,6-3. Kvitova won 83% of her first serves and hit eight aces. However, the Czech only won 36% of her second-serve points and hit 11 double faults.
On return, Kvitova generated 15 break points and broke serve five times.
Nowadays, Kvitova is slow-moving and inconsistent from the baseline, trading incredible winners with terrible unforced errors. But, Kvitova's first serve and raw power from the baseline still make her a dangerous opponent. Historically, she's also quite good on hard courts, with a 377-185 hard-court record as a professional.
Sorana Cirstea played very well to defeat Belinda Bencic 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4. Cirstea won 50% of her second-serve return points and broke serve five times. On her own serve, Cirstea won 70% of her first serves and was only broken twice in the match.
Cirstea is 281-223 on hard courts in her career and is comfortable on the surface. Cirstea plays with controlled aggression, especially from the forehand, and can dictate play.
In addition, the Romanian is fit and quick around the court, efficient when turning defense into offense. Cirstea can become erratic from the ground on occasion.
Cirstea is the fitter player with the higher rally tolerance. She will be able to defend against Kvitova's big groundstrokes fairly well and, unlike Teichmann, step up in the court and play with controlled aggression when she has the opportunity.
Kvitova was able to dictate play for much of the Teichmann match, but Cirstea won't allow Kvitova that luxury, testing the Czech's fitness.
Cirstea's serve also makes more of an impact than Teichmann's, so it will be harder for Kvitova to tee off on the Romanian's serve and win quick return points.
Pick: Cirstea +3.5 Games (-130 via FanDuel)