WTA Rome Odds, Picks | Expert Betting Predictions For Kalinina vs Kenin and Zheng vs Bondar (May 13)
Robert Prange/Getty. Pictured: Sofia Kenin.
WTA Rome is heating up and Saturday’s action surely won’t disappoint!
I’ve found value on two of Saturday’s matchups — Kalinina vs Kenin and Zheng vs Bondar.
Read on for my WTA Rome picks and expert betting predictions.
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WTA Rome Odds, Picks
Anhelina Kalinina (-110) vs Sofia Kenin (-110)
Anhelina Kalinina snapped a four-match losing streak last time out, opening Rome with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Anna Blinkova. Kalinina won 66% of her service points and saved all seven break points she faced. The Ukrainian was all over Blinkova’s serve, winning 52% of her return points and breaking on four occasions.
Kalinina has an impressive 166-67 career-record on clay, although she’s just 1-2 on the dirt this season. The Ukrainian plays solid baseline tennis, as she’s quick, anticipates well and gets consistent depth on her groundstrokes.
Recently, Kalinina has too-often had periods of matches where she loses her patience and focus on court, with her play being more patchy than last season. Despite her clutch play on Blinkova’s break-point opportunities, Kalinina’s serve is also a vulnerability in her game.
Sofia Kenin continues to excel in Rome, beating Madrid champion Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(4), 6-2 to set up this showdown with Kalinina. While Kenin won just 46% of her second serves, the American won 73% of her first serves and was broken just twice. And, Kenin won 45% of her return points, including 69% on Sabalenka’s second serve, breaking four times.
Kenin, a former Roland Garros finalist, has a strong 74-49 record on clay as a professional. The American perfectly balances offense and defense, getting consistency and depth on her groundstrokes while waiting for her opportunity to strike from the baseline.
She is quick on her feet, absorbs pace well and counterpunches effectively, as was clear during her victory over Sabalenka. She is an excellent ball striker with a high tennis IQ and good variations to her baseline game, not allowing her opponents to feel too comfortable.
While some might want to “sell high” on Kenin, I don’t think her performance against Sabalenka was mirage. While Kalinina is a solid baseline player and can hit into a target, Kenin can match her consistency while also having a more dynamic baseline game.
Kalinina won’t be able to outlast Kenin and the American can quickly neutral-ball rallies in her favor.
I also don’t trust Kalinina mentally at all right now and one win over Blinkova doesn’t change that. Kenin – one of the most mentally tough players on tour – won’t allow the Ukrainian to get away with mental lapses.
Pick: Kenin ML (-110 via FanDuel)
Qinwen Zheng (-390) vs Anna Bondar (+300)
Qinwen Zheng won a hard-fought match 6-3, 7-6(2) over Alize Cornet to open her Rome campaign. Zheng won 74% of her first serves and was only broken twice. She also won 48% of her return points, generated 14 break points and broke on four occasions.
Zheng has an incredible 57-19 career-record on clay, which is somewhat surprising (and might level off over time), as clay doesn’t particularly play to Zheng’s strengths. She has a huge first serve and plays with aggressive style from the baseline, particularly with her forehand.
However, Zheng does lack some patience, sometimes pulling the trigger at the wrong time during rallies. And her rally tolerance comes and goes.
Anna Bondar continued her great form in Rome, beating Karolina Pliskova 7-6(5), 6-2. Bondar won 67% of her service points and was only broken twice. On return, the Hungarian won 75% of her second-serve return points and broke on four occasions.
Bondar has an impressive 253-113 record on clay as a professional. The Hungarian’s clay success has come on the back of her heavy forehand, which allows her to dictate play and drag her opponents around the court. Bondar does an excellent job of clay-court point construction and doesn’t easily get pushed too far behind the baseline. In addition, Bondar effectively absorbs her opponents’ pace.
While Bondar’s backhand wing is more prone to inconsistencies, she’s still fairly solid from this wing.
Zheng will likely try to overpower Bondar from the baseline, but the Hungarian has reached this point from qualifying for a reason. Bondar is a very effective clay courter and should absorb Zheng’s pace and extend rallies.
Zheng should lose patience and start pressing on her groundstrokes.
But, unlike against Cornet, Zheng won’t able to completely direct baseline play. Bondar, with her clay-court sense, court positioning and powerful forehand should be able to keep Zheng on the move at times, testing her defense and counterpunching ability.
Given Bondar’s clay prowess and form, this line is off.
Pick: Bondar +4.5 games (-106 via FanDuel)
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