WTA Finals Tennis Picks, Predictions: Swiatek Will Pick On Gauff’s Forehand (November 5)
Robert Prange/Getty. Pictured: Iga Swiatek.
I’ve found more value on both singles matches in Saturday’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.
Caroline Garcia (-150) vs. Daria Kasatkina (+120)
4:35 p.m. ET
Garcia fell 3-6, 2-6 to Swiatek in her last match. She needed to dominate with her first serve to beat Swiatek, but only made 61% of her first serves, winning 64% of those first-serve points.
The Frenchwoman has had a strong second-half of 2022, which includes making the semifinals of the US Open. Garcia goes huge on both her serves and returns. She plays aggressively from the baseline too, using her forehand to punish opponents.
The problem for Garcia is that she doesn’t always dial her game back when the situation calls for it.
Kasatkina defeated Gauff 7-6(6), 6-3 to set up this showdown for the semifinals. She won an impressive 57% of her return points and broke six times in ten return games. However, the Russian struggled mightily on serve, winning just 55% of her first-serve points and 52% of her service points overall.
She moves the ball around the court well, particularly with her forehand. Kasatkina’s variety is also elite and allows her to take opponents out of their comfort zones. However, Kasatkina is underpowered both on her serve and from the baseline, struggling with her court positioning at times.
Garcia, with her aggressive mindset, should have a field day. She will tee off on Kasatkina’s weak serves and immediately put Kasatkina on the defensive, even on the Russian’s own serve.
Given Kasatkina’s lack of power and court positioning struggles, Garcia should be able to dictate from the baseline. Kasatkina’s balls often sit up, which will further help the Frenchwoman to control play and push her around.
Pick: Garcia -2.5 Games (-103 via PointsBet)
Iga Swiatek (-670) vs. Coco Gauff (+370)
8 p.m. ET
Swiatek defeated Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-2 to clinch her spot in the semifinals. She won 74% of her first-serve points and was only broken once. Swiatek also won 50% of her return points, allowing her to break four times.
The world No. 1 is now a ridiculous 66-8 on the season, and 46-6 on hard courts this year. Swiatek’s forehand has done an excellent job of controlling the baseline this week and she’s utilized controlled aggression on her backhand, as well.
And while Swiatek has qualified for the semifinals, there is still plenty of prize money and ranking points at stake.
Gauff lost 6-7(6), 3-6 to Kasatkina. The American greatly struggled on serve, winning just 45% of her first-serve points and 43% of her service points overall.
But, even worse than Gauff’s serve versus Kasatkina was her forehand, which was an unforced-error machine.
Gauff has gone 38-21 on the year, but her form has fallen off of a cliff during her current three-match losing streak. As mentioned before, Gauff’s forehand has been a disaster, with the American especially struggling to generate pace from that wing. Her serve is also much less of a weapon than it was earlier in the season and her strong backhand is not quite good enough to make up for these flaws.
This is a matchup nightmare for Gauff, who has won 11 games combined in three matches against Swiatek in 2022. Swiatek has the best forehand in the women’s game and she can dominate Gauff in the forehand-to-forehand exchanges.
Swiatek’s movement, counterpunching, and ability to absorb pace allow her to fend off Gauff’s backhand rockets. The Pole can then gain control of rallies and lock Gauff into her forehand corner, where the unforced errors should flow for the American.
This should be quick.
Pick: Under 19.5 Games (-118 via FanDuel)