WTA Strasbourg Tennis Odds, Picks, Predictions: Parry to Challenge Kerber (May 16)
Mondadori Portfolio/Getty. Pictured: Angie Kerber hits a backhand at the Italian Open.
Players are in Strasbourg this week as they’re desperate to get more match play before Roland Garros begins next week in Paris.
I’ve found value on two of Monday’s WTA Strasbourg matches, including Angelique Kerber’s first match.
Read on for two plays to think about from Monday in Strasbourg.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Marta Kostyuk (-118) vs. Karolina Pliskova (-104)
6:30 a.m. ET
Marta Kostyuk qualified for Rome, but was unable to continue her form in the main draw. Kostyuk lost to Madison Brengle 4-6, 3-6.
She struggled on serve against Brengle, winning just 42% of her service points, including 8% on her second serve. While Kostyuk won 48% of her return points, this failure on serve was ultimately too much for Kostyuk to handle. Luckily for Kostyuk, her opponent in Strasbourg plays with a much different style than Brengle.
Kostyuk has traditionally done well on clay, winning 70% of her professional matches on the surface. She can hit big groundstrokes from both wings, while typically still maintaining the consistency necessary to succeed. Kostyuk’s movement around the court is also quite good.
Karolina Pliskova is just 2-6 on the season and lost in her first match in Rome. Pliskova fought hard, but ultimately lost 2-6, 6-4, 4-6 to Jil Teichmann.
Against Teichmann, Pliskova struggled to create anything with her serve. She hit 12 double faults, was broken eight times and only won 49% of her service points overall. And while Pliskova was able to win 47% of her return points, it’s weird to see the normally big-serving Czech struggle so much with her serve.
Pliskova has still yet to win 50% of her second-serve points in any match this season, getting broken 37 times in these eight matches. Pliskova has the lowest career-winning percentage on clay of any surface, having won under 60% of her clay-court matches. Pliskova typically plays flat, first-strike tennis, which doesn’t lend itself to the dirt.
Kostyuk is playing better tennis at this point in time. She’s steadier from the baseline, can control her groundstrokes better and moves smoother than Pliskova right now.
Last year’s Wimbledon finalist is playing on her weakest surface and she hasn’t served well all season, so I want to see her have a good serving performance before trusting her. While Kostyuk’s loss to Brengle was troubling, this is a completely different matchup from what the American brought to the table.
Kostyuk also hasn’t left a tournament winless (including qualifying) since early January.
Pick: Kostyuk ML (-118 via FanDuel)
Angelique Kerber (-275) vs. Diane Parry (+210)
11:45 a.m. ET
Kerber has struggled as of late. In Rome, she fell in the first round to Coco Gauff 1-6, 4-6.
Against Gauff, Kerber won just 53% of her first-serve points and 47% of her service points overall. She faced 11 break points in the match, getting broken five times. And Kerber, once an excellent returner, failed to neutralize the Gauff first serve. The American won 77% of her first-serve points.
The loss to Gauff was Kerber’s fourth since the start the clay season and she’s lost six matches in a row overall. In all six matches, Kerber has failed to win 50% of her second-serve points and has been broken a combined 32 times. At her best, Kerber’s flatter, consistent game was tough to beat. However, Kerber has always struggled (relatively) on clay, winning under 60% of clay-court matches in her career.
19 year-old Diane Parry is an underrated teenager on the WTA Tour. Parry played in the Paris Challenger last week, losing in the second round to Magdalena Frech 1-6, 6-3, 6-7(6).
After a dominating first-round display against Maddison Inglis which saw Parry win 82% of her service points and 48% of her return points, Parry struggled a bit more against Frech. She only won 56% of her service points, getting broken five times, and 36% of her return points.
Last season, Parry came into her own on clay, winning four clay-court (Challenger or ITF) titles, including the $125k Challenger in Montevideo. Parry won over 70% of her clay matches last season. Her game is built for the dirt, having heavy groundstrokes on both her forehand and one-handed backhand.
Parry can create angles well with her groundstrokes and controls her aggressive shots at a high level.
Kerber’s flatter game does not translate well to clay and she’s struggling to create offense on the surface. For Kerber, her counterpunching ability has declined as she doesn’t have the burst she once had.
Parry is playing at home and is naturally a clay courter. Parry’s one-handed backhand is stable-enough where Kerber, with her lefty forehand, won’t be able to exploit it. Parry will also use her heavy forehand to push Kerber back and create offense.
Pick: Parry +4.5 games (-115 via BetMGM)