WTA Madrid Open Tennis Picks, Predictions: Anisimova Will Surge to the Semifinals (May 4)
Patrick Hamilton/Getty. Pictured: Amanda Anisimova hits a forehand at the Australian Open.
It’s been an incredible tournament full of high-quality tennis in Madrid and we are down to eight players competing for the title on the women’s side.
I’ve found value on two of Wednesday’s quarterfinal matches, including a bout between Ekaterina Alexandrova and Amanda Anisimova
Read on for two WTA plays to think about from Wednesday in Madrid.
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Amanda Anisimova (-186) vs. Ekaterina Alexandrova (+150)
7:30 a.m. ET
Alexandrova survived a topsy-turvy match in Madrid’s round of 16. She came back from a set down to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-7(4), 6-0, 7-5.
Despite excellent returning and defense from Bouzkova, Alexandrova only lost serve three times in the match, while breaking Bouzkova’s serve seven times and generating 22 break points. Overall, Alexandrova won 49% of her return points. The Russian had to be very patient given how Bouzkova was scrambling around the baseline.
Control and patience have been hallmarks of Alexandrova’s game in recent weeks. While Alexandrova has a big first serve and powerful groundstrokes, she’s done a great job of reining in her shots from the ground and not pressing to a fault.
Anisimova had a dominant round of 16 appearance in Madrid. She defused Victoria Azarenka’s game, winning 6-1, 6-4.
Facing Azarenka, Anisimova had a superb returning performance. Anisimova won 52% of her return points, including 71% of Azarenka’s second serves. Anisimova broke Azarenka’s serve five times, generating 13 break points. The American was steadier from the baseline and did well to not let Azarenka dictate play.
Anisimova is playing excellent tennis this week in Madrid. She’s not ceding her court positioning and is trying to be aggressive when she sees an opening to hit through.
This is a good matchup for Anisimova. Alexandrova is striking the ball very well at the moment, but Anisimova won’t allow Alexandrova to dictate play and will force Alexandrova on the defensive.
Anisimova’s ability to absorb the aggressive groundstrokes of her opponent will be huge in this match and she’s playing with a level of controlled aggression herself that will be hard for Alexandrova to handle.
In terms of Elo ratings, Anisimova’s overall Elo is 66.6 points better than Alexandrova’s and her clay Elo is 85.2 points better than Alexandrova’s.
Pick: Anisimova -3.5 games (-105 via PointsBet)
Jessica Pegula (-186) vs. Sara Sorribes Tormo (+150)
2:00 p.m. ET
Jessica Pegula pulled away in her round of 16 battle. Pegula beat Bianca Andreescu 7-5, 6-1 in a match that had 36 combined break points.
Against Andreescu, Pegula won 75% of her first-serve points and saved 12-of-15 break points. On return, Pegula played extraordinarily well. She won 56% of her return points and generated 21 break points, breaking six times. Pegula was aggressive on return and took advantage of weaker serves from Andreescu.
Pegula is a clean ball-striker who has played herself into form this week. The American survived a match point in the first round against Camila Giorgi and hasn’t looked back, dropping zero sets in wins over Kaia Kanepi and now Andreescu. Pegula holds onto the baseline well and hasn’t let opponents push her around this week.
Sara Sorribes Tormo pulled off another upset in the round of 16. Sorribes Tormo defeated Daria Kasatkina in a streaky match, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
She played an excellent match on return against Kasatkina, creating 17 break points and breaking nine times. Sorribes Tormo won 57% of her return points, including 55% of Kasatkina’s first-serve points. She needed to play this well on return too, as she was also broken nine times in the match.
Sorribes Tormo is incredibly consistent from the baseline and is getting better depth on her shots than she did earlier this season. She also has excellent variety, particularly utilizing the cutting backhand slice, which takes opponents out of their comfort zones.
With the altitude in Madrid, opponents are overhitting more often when faced with Sorribes Tormo’s excellent defensive work. The Spaniard will bait Pegula into overhitting in the altitude at times during the match.
Sorribes Tormo, between her baseline game and ability to change the pace of play with her slice, angles, and drop shots, will make life difficult for Pegula and take away her clean ball striking. Pegula will be forced into longer rallies and she will struggle to finish rallies against Sorribes Tormo’s defenses.
In addition, while Sorribes Tormo has a lower overall Elo rating than Pegula, she has a higher clay-court Elo compared to the American.
Pick: Sorribes Tormo +3.5 games (-129 via PointsBet)