WTA Melbourne Summer Set 2 Predictions: How to Bet Anisimova vs Kasatkina Semifinal Match (Jan. 7)
Credit: Kelly Defina, Getty. Daria Kasatkina hits a forehand at the Melbourne Summer Set.
We are into the final four for the WTA fields in Australia. It’s been an incredible week of tennis and each WTA tournament is now in its semifinal round. There are fewer matches to choose from, but the value is still there.
Both of tonight’s matches come from the Melbourne Summer Set 2 tournament. Amanda Anisimova will try to build on yesterday’s comeback victory against the always-tough Daria Kasatkina while Ann Li collides with Aliaksandra Sasnovich in a battle of two players that haven’t dropped a set all week.
Where are the opportunities to attack these matchups? Let’s dive in.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on watching tennis matches.
Amanda Anisimova (-120) vs Daria Kasatkina (-109)
7:00 p.m. ET, Melbourne Summer Set 2
Amanda Anisimova survived a scare in her quarterfinal matchup against Irina Begu. She went down 5-0, triple break, very early on in the match, but only lost six games from there, coming back for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory. Anisimova only won 43% of her service points in the first set, but won 74% and then 80% in the next two sets (respectively).
Anisimova had a tough 2021 but ended the year fairly strong and she brought that momentum with her into 2022. Still, she can have patches in matches where she is an unforced error machine. Not only in the first set against Begu, but she was also a mess during the second set of her first round match against Alison Van Uytvanck. She only won 22% of return points and 41% of her service points during that set.
Daria Kasatkina is on a five-match winning streak dating back to last season. On her way to the semifinals, Kasatkina had to beat her nemesis, Madison Keys. When Kasatkina beat Keys in the second round, it was the first victory for Kasatkina over the American in eight matches.
Kasatkina’s returning has been excellent so far this tournament. She’s held all three of her opponents to under 45% second serves won, and no opponent has even won 65% of their first serves against her.
Kasatkina’s consistent game and ability to turn defense into offense should drive Anisimova crazy. Kasatkina does a great job of coaxing errors out of opponents and I don’t think Anisimova will be able to get away with any dips in level. And, it’s worth noting that Kasatkina’s overall Elo and hard-court Elo are both above Anisimova’s.
The wrong player is favored here.
Pick: Daria Kasatkina (-109 with PointsBet)
Ann Li (-190) vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (+146)
11:00 p.m. ET, Melbourne Summer Set 2
Ann Li had a strong 2021 in Australia, co-winning the Grampains Trophy (co-win due to the coronavirus) and making the third round of the Australian Open. And this year seems no different for Li, rolling through her draw without losing a set so far.
In her last match against Kamilla Rakhimova, Li won 57% of her return points, nearly as high as the 61% of service points that she won! In fact, no opponent so far in Melbourne has won 40% of their second serves against Li.
Now, you might think that this means that she will roll through tonight’s match, but I wouldn’t say that.
Li’s opponent, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, has had an impressive run of her own to the semifinals. Despite having to qualify for the main draw, Sasnovich has also had very few issues, winning all five her matches at this tournament without dropping a set.
Like Li, Sasnovich has also returned well, with only one opponent winning over 50% of her second-serve points (Tjandramulia in Sasnovich’s first match of the season).
And, while Sasnovich’s service numbers don’t jump off the page, she has only been broken five times in her five matches combined, which is not terrible at all in the modern landscape of women’s tennis. She’s saved 26/31 break points this week, showing her “clutch” play throughout the week.
In short, both players are performing well. And while Li is the clear favorite here, Sasnovich continues to surprise and play above what many expect from her.
Sasnovich will make this match close, and while 2.5 games seems a bit too low, and -175 too steep on Sasnovich to win a set, the Belarusian can absolutely push Li over 20.5 games.
Pick: Over 20.5 games (-120 via PointsBet)