WTA Finals Tennis Picks, Predictions: Gauff on Upset Alert Against Kasatkina (November 3)
Matthew Stockman/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff.
The WTA Finals continue to excite and we have more group-play action on tap for Thursday.
\ I’ve found more value on both singles matches on Thursday’s order of play.
Read on for my best bets and predictions!
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
Iga Swiatek (-600) vs. Caroline Garcia (+370)
6:05 p.m. ET
Iga Swiatek defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-3 in her first group-stage match. Swiatek hit 72% of her first serves into play, won 82% of her first-serve points and did not get broken. The Pole also won 49% of her return points.
Swiatek, the World No. 1, is now 65-8 on the season and won two majors. She is 45-6 on hard and has won 15 of her last 16 matches on the surface. Against Kasatkina, Swiatek was not quite as steady as she usually is (relative to her normal), but shewas able to stick with the Russian in rallies.
Her forehand was a massive weapon, and Swiatek hit with controlled aggression from this side, which was especially the case for short balls.
Caroline Garcia played excellent, aggressive tennis in beating Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3. Garcia’s first serve was firing, winning 77% of her first serves and allowing her to get ahead of points early. She did well to be aggressive on return, even on Gauff’s first serves, winning 46% of her first-serve return points.
Garcia’s success is largely due to her first serve and controlled aggression from the baseline.Opponents are immediately under pressure, both on serve an on return, against the Frenchwoman. This is especially the case when she gets a forehand to crack.
During the fleeting times that Swiatek has struggled this season, it’s largely been against power players that can rush and hit through her from the baseline. Garcia has the game to do this.
Garcia will effectively attack Swiatek’s serves and can use her forehand to pin Swiatek in her backhand corner, which is still the Pole’s weaker wing. Garcia, a two-time doubles Major champion, can also cut off floaters at the net and keep Swiatek out of her comfort zone.
Pick: Over 20.5 Games (-118 via PointsBet)
Coco Gauff (-154) vs. Daria Kasatkina (+116)
8 p.m. ET
Coco Gauff struggled during her 4-6, 3-6 defeat against Caroline Garcia. She won just 54% of both her first serves and overall service points, getting broken on four occasions. The American only won 33% of her return points, hitting 12 winners compared to 14 unforced errors.
Gauff has gone an impressive 38-20 on the year, including a 23-14 hard-court record. However, Gauff’s forehand looked incredibly poor against Garcia. She completely lacked rally tolerance from this wing and often struggled when attempting to create offense. And her backhand didn’t do enough damage to overcome these issues.
Kasatkina’s matchup nightmare with Swiatek was once again exposed, but this is a better stylistic angle for her.
As a whole, Kasatkina has had a strong season, posting a 40-21 overall record, and 24-14 record on hard, in 2022. The Russian works the ball around the court nicely, is very fast and uses her variety to keep her opposition off-balance. Kasatkina’s heavy forehand is placed excellently and she usually can get consistent depth on her groundstrokes.
Given her match against Garcia, there is no way to trust Gauff’s forehand at the moment. It’s erratic and cannot be trusted at the moment.
In addition, given how well Kasatkina defends, Gauff will struggle to hit through the Russian with her backhand and the rally tolerance on her forehand will be tested.
Finally, as Kasatkina’s placement is excellent, she will keep the ball pinned on the Gauff forehand, finding a lot of success in the forehand-to-forehand exchanges.
Pick: Kasatkina ML (+116 via FanDuel)