WTA Stuttgart Tennis Odds, Predictions: Jabeur to Maintain Clay Form Against Vondrousova (April 19)
Matthew Stockman/Getty. Pictured: Ons Jabeur hits a forehand against Anhelina Kalinina.
WTA Stuttgart has started with fascinating tennis so far, and I’ve found two plays on Tuesday’s slate of matches where value has presented itself.
There are six matches on the docket, but I’ll be focusing on the Ons Jabeur vs. Marketa Vondrousova match as well as Coco Gauff vs. Daria Kasatkina.
Read on for the two plays to think about from Tuesday’s order of play in Stuttgart.
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Ons Jabeur (-130) vs Marketa Vondrousova (+102)
8:30 a.m. ET
Jabeur had a strong start to the clay-court season in Charleston. She made the final of the green-clay tournament but lost in three sets to Belinda Bencic.
Against Bencic, Jabeur only won 50% of her service points and 41% of her return points. It was the first time all week that Jabeur had won under 55% of her service points and under 45% of her return points. For most of the event, Jabeur played with excellent controlled aggression and utilized her variety well.
While Jabeur is at her best on grass, she does still have a 70% winning percentage on clay. And the “clay” courts in Stuttgart play about as close to grass as you’ll ever see, with fast conditions and skidding shots. Jabeur’s backhand slice will stay lower to the court and she will be able to effectively play her aggressive style of play without being drawn into long points.
Vondrousova had an incredible start to the clay-court season in the Billie Jean King Cup. She went 2-0, losing only three games combined to Harriet Dart and Emma Raducanu.
The lefty won at least 67% of her first-serve points and was only broken twice in the two matches combined. On return, Vondrousova held both Raducanu and Dart to under 33% of their first serves won, under 25% of their second serves won and she broke the pair eleven times.
It’s no surprise that Vondrousova has been great on clay, as she has won 75% of her matches on the surface and reached the 2019 French Open final. She uses her heavy lefty forehand effectively and understands how to construct points on the dirt. With that said, she can be rushed on faster surfaces, as it takes her a long time to set up on her groundstrokes.
Therefore, Stuttgart is one of the worst clay courts for Vondrousova’s game and one of the best for Jabeur. The Tunisian will be able to use her power to back Vondrousova off the baseline and her variety to keep the Czech off-balance.
On the other hand, Vondrousova will be rushed, especially on her forehand, and will struggle to find a rhythm from the baseline. Vondrousova is at her best on slow, higher-bouncing courts and that’s far from the conditions in Stuttgart.
Pick: Jabeur ML (-130 via PointsBet)
Coco Gauff (-260) vs Daria Kasatkina (+195)
2 p.m. ET
Gauff will be playing her first clay-court match of the season in Stuttgart. She last played in Miami, where she fell in the round of 16 to Iga Swiatek.
The American is a good clay-court player, having a 70% winning percentage on the dirt and even winning a WTA Tour tournament last season in Parma. Gauff moves around the court well and hits heavy groundstrokes. Her aggressive backhand is dangerous on any surface and is important to control the baseline.
However, as mentioned before, the conditions in Stuttgart are not your typical clay-court surface. It’s faster and slick, which is not necessarily ideal for Gauff’s game. The biggest area where this will hurt her is in her ability to defend. Gauff’s weak forehand is also a concern.
Kasatkina also has not played since Miami. She lost in her first match to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-7(5), 4-6.
Kasatkina is at her best on clay, emerging victorious in 71% of her clay matches since turning pro. Kasatkina won the green-clay WTA Tour event in Charleston, showing she can play in faster-clay conditions. Unlike Gauff, Kasatkina has also played in a previous version of Stuttgart and will be more used to the conditions.
The Russian has a heavy forehand and is one of the best movers on the WTA Tour. She also understands how to turn defense into offense. In addition, Kasatkina’s variety is a strength of her game, whether it be her drop shot, backhand slice or ability to pull opponents out wide using angles.
Like Gauff, the strength of Kasatkina’s movement will be blunted due to the faster conditions. However, she’s a wily competitor and will understand that she can rush Gauff’s weaker forehand and win the forehand-to-forehand exchanges.
While Gauff’s backhand is the biggest weapon on the court, Kasatkina can still do a decent job blunting her power and forcing her to play extra shots, along with putting the ball in uncomfortable positions on the court.
Pick: Kasatkina +4.5 games (-125 via PointsBet)
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