WTA Ostrava Tennis Picks, Predictions: Bets for Muchova vs. McNally and Alexandrova vs. Kasatkina (October 6)
Credit: Kelly Defina, Getty. Daria Kasatkina hits a forehand at the Melbourne Summer Set.
It's been a fascinating week of tennis in Ostrava and round-of-16 action continues on Thursday!
And I've found value on two matches on Thursday's slate.
Read on for my analysis and prediction!
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
Karolina Muchova (-310) vs. Caty McNally (+240)
7:30 a.m. ET
Karolina Muchova defeated Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of her home tournament of Ostrava . Muchova won 69% of her first serves and, facing Haddad Maia's big, lefty serve, Muchova won 46% of her return points. This allowed Muchova to break on four occasions.
Muchova, who has struggled with her health this season, finally looks to be regaining her form. Muchova is a strong hard-court player, with a 6-3 record this season and a 110-53 record as a professional. While the Ostrava conditions are a bit slow for Muchova, she handled them well against Haddad Maia.
The Czech plays an attacking game, hitting her spots on-serve and playing with controlled aggression with her groundstrokes. She also has excellent variety, whether it be her backhand slice or drop shots.
Caty McNally qualified for Ostrava without losing a set and beat Anna Blinkova 6-1, 6-2 in the opening round. Against a passive Blinkova, McNally won 73% of her service points and was not broken. She also won 55% of her return points, breaking the Russian's serve five times.
McNally hasn't been great this season, going 20-20 overall and 12-11 on hard courts, but she's played well this week. The American has an attacking game, taking the initiative whenever she can. McNally, a two–time doubles Slam finalist, is also strong at the net. However, McNally doesn't defend particularly well and can become inconsistent with her groundstrokes.
Both players would prefer quicker courts, but Muchova's weapons are better-suited to hit through the slower conditions in Ostrava. Muchova was striking the ball very well against Haddad Maia, placing the ball beautifully and pulling Haddad Maia around the court.
Given that Muchova has the bigger serve and ground game, McNally will be on the defensive much more than she is comfortable with and won't be able to dictate, like she did against Blinkova.
Finally, Muchova's overall Elo rating is 263.9 points better than McNally's and her hard-court Elo is 264.9 points better than the American's.
Pick: Muchova 2-0 in Sets (-110 via FanDuel)
Ekaterina Alexandrova (-120) vs. Daria Kasatkina(+100)
1:30 p.m. ET
Ekaterina Alexandrova is currently on a six-match winning streak, having won the WTA tournament in Seoul and now having beaten Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the opening round. While Alexandrova only won 46% of her second serves, she won 73% of her first serves and hit 12 aces. On return, she broke Azarenka's serve six times.
Alexandrova is in-form and playing with controlled aggression at a high level. The Russian has had a strong 2022 season, with a 33-16 record, including a 14-10 record on hard courts. The conditions in Ostrava are a bit too slow for Alexandrova to be at her best, but when she's hitting her spots on serve and controlling the baseline with her groundstrokes, she's very tough to stop.
Daria Kasatkina played well to defeat Emma Raducanu 7-5, 6-4 in the first round. Kasatkina won 64% of her service points, with the slow surface giving her that little bit of extra time she needed to recover when Raducanu hit an aggressive return. In addition, Kasatkina broke Raducanu four times and didn't give up many free return points.
Kasatkina is now 22-10 on hard courts this year and 38-17 overall for the season. Kasatkina doesn't have much power, but she places the ball with incredible precision, is fast around the court and counterpunches effectively. Kasatkina's heavy forehand is particularly effective and she has excellent variety.
The slow courts in Ostrava suit Kasatkina's game much better than Alexandrova's. Alexandrova's power won't be as effective and the court speed will allow Kasatkina to more effectively defend and counterpunch against Alexandrova's aggressive play. This will frustrate Alexandrova and she will lose her rally tolerance.
Kasatkina is also excellent on return in 2022, having won the fourth-highest percentage of return points won and sixth-highest percentage of return games won on the WTA Tour this season.
Kasatkina's overall Elo is 141 points better than Alexandrova's and her hard-court Elo is 152.2 points better than Alexandrova's.
Pick: Kasatkina ML (+100 via FanDuel)