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WTA Guadalajara Tennis Picks, Predictions: Our 2 Best Bets for Saville vs. Stephens & Bouzkova vs. Sorribes Tormo

WTA Guadalajara Tennis Picks, Predictions: Our 2 Best Bets for Saville vs. Stephens & Bouzkova vs. Sorribes Tormo article feature image
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Cesar Gomez/Jam Media/Getty Images. Pictured: Sara Sorribes Tormo.

It’s been a fascinating week of tennis in Guadalajara and we’re down to the final eight competitors fighting for the winner’s trophy.

While all four matches on Friday are sure to be fun, I have two matches in mind where value sticks out to me.

Read on for analysis of two strong plays from Guadalajara.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on watching tennis matches.  

Daria Saville (+148) vs Sloane Stephens (-200)

8:00 p.m. ET, WTA Guadalajara

Daria Saville has displayed excellent form in Guadalajara, and this continued with her second-round win over Caroline Dolehide. She beat the American in straight sets.

Saville won 65% of her service points, including 71% of her second-serve points, during the match. In fact, the Australian only got broken once all match. On the other hand, Dolehide was broken on five occasions, which only makes sense, as she won 47% of her service points during the match.

Saville’s court coverage and consistent depth were just too much for Dolehide to handle.

It was a great follow-up performance for Saville after a big upset in the first round over Emma Raducanu. Raducanu retired down 3-4 in the third, but she wasn’t injured for most of the match and Saville still had to play very well to even reach the point of the match in which Raducanu retired.

Saville’s grit, foot speed, and anticipation were on full display, tracking down countless Raducanu groundstrokes and, despite the Brit serving for the match in the second set,  keeping her out there for nearly 3.5 hours before the retirement.

Sloane Stephens hasn’t played her best tennis, but she hasn’t had to. In her latest win in Guadalajara, she defeated Chloe Paquet 7-5, 6-4. It was another straight sets win for Stephens after taking down 14 year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova in the first round.

Stephens’ return game was on-point during the Paquet match, winning 51% of her return points and breaking Paquet’s serve five times. From the baseline, Stephens was clearly the better player, with much higher rally tolerance, easy power, and more versatility in terms of the shots she can produce.

However, Stephens doesn’t seem to have kicked it out first gear so far this tournament. Her footwork is sloppy, shot selection at times puzzling, and despite her world-class rally tolerance when she’s mentally engaged in the match, too often she went for low-margin shots on short balls. It’s a weird conundrum with Stephens: Her rally tolerance is one of the best in the game when she’s locked into a match, but she also loses patience and can turn into an error machine when she’s not in the mood to be out there.

This match will be won from the baseline, as neither player is going to ace the other off of the court. When she’s focused, Stephens can match Saville’s rally tolerance while also showing the ability to ramp up the pace on her groundstrokes in a way that the Australian can’t.

However, Stephens, as I mentioned before, can often look disengaged on the court and her rally tolerance and footwork suffer. This can lead to unforced errors and patches of play where opponents can run off a bunch of games quickly.

Ultimately, given the intensity that Saville has played at, the counterpunching she’s shown this week, and her consistent depth, I think she can trouble the American. Stephens looked so lackadaisical against Paquet  and she often seemed like she was so ready to end points that she put less margin on her groundstrokes than she needed to.

And against a player with Saville’s defensive and counterpunching abilities, that is worrisome.

Trust Saville to cover this spread.

Pick:  Saville +3.5 games (-124 via FanDuel)

Marie Bouzkova (+130) vs Sara Sorribes Tormo (-175)

9:00 p.m. ET, WTA Guadalajara

Marie Bouzkova has had a strong start to the tournament in Guadalajara. The Czech took down Lucia Bronzetti in her latest match, winning 7-6(2), 6-2.

Bouzkova won 52% of her return points during the match and broke Bronzetti’s serve on five different occasions. Bouzkova’s relentlessness from the baseline and her ability to draw out rallies has made her a nightmare to play this week.

The straight-sets win against Bronzetti was a nice continuation of the final two sets of her first round victory against Misaki Doi. Bouzkova recovered from a set down in that match, once again, largely due to her return game.  The Czech won 53% of her return points and broke eight times, generating 17 break points.

Sara Sorribes Tormo has great memories in Guadalajara, having won the title in this event last season over Eugenie Bouchard. In this year’s tournament, the Spaniard is yet to drop a set in wins over Katie Volynets and Magdalena Frech.

In Sorribes, Tormo’s dominated in a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Frech, having won 63% of her return points and breaking in six of Frech’s seven service games during the match. Frech only won 26% of the points on her second serve.

In contrast, Sorribes Tormo won 60% of the points on her second serve and was only broken once all match.  This week has been classic Sorribes Tormo: great consistent depth, good variety, and incredible court coverage.

This match will feature long rallies, as both players are known for their consistency and speed around the court. However, Sorribes Tormo has more to her game than Bouzkova and that will help push her over the finish line in this match.

Sorribes Tormo’s net play, slices, and ability to change the pace of rallies are all superior to what Bouzkova can bring to the table in those areas. Sorribes Tormo also does a better job than Bouzkova at accurately moving the ball around the court.

When looking at Elo ratings, Sorribes Tormo’s overall Elo is over 100 points better than Bouzkova’s. On hard courts, Sorribes Tormo’s Elo is nearly 90 points better than Bouzkova’s rating.

A spread of 1.5 games for this match seems too low and Sorribes Tormo’s spread is definitely the play in this match.

Pick: Sorribes Tormo -1.5 games (-125 via PointsBet)

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