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WTA Citi Open Betting Preview: Rain and Travel May Impact Tuesday Play

Jul 31, 2018 9:25 AM EDT
  • We have 10 WTA matches to handicap on Tuesday's card at the Citi Open, starting at 2 p.m. ET.
  • Don't be surprised if we see delays once again with more rain in the D.C. area forecast.
  • A few players made the trip after playing in China this past weekend, which could impact play.

Disappointing handicapping results on Monday, as all three underdogs never really had a shot. After a five-hour rain delay yesterday and more rain in the forecast throughout the week, I may tread lightly at the Citi Open. I try to avoid matches that may have post-delay momentum swings as much as possible.

With that said, I do fancy one bet on today’s card. Let’s take a closer look at each of the 10 scheduled matches. (See yesterday’s column for Dolehide-Vekic and Bogdan-Makarova previews.)

Naomi Osaka (-300) vs Bernarda Pera (+250)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Osaka is the premier talent here and should hit Pera off the court. Pera is enjoying a career year, making her first two WTA quarterfinals — but both came on her preferred surface of clay. This is Osaka’s first appearance in Washington, but her powerful, flat game should fit this court well. I expect a routine Osaka victory.

The Pick: PASS

Yulia Putintseva (-170) vs. Tatjana Maria (+150)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: Putintseva leads 2-1 (all on clay)

Outside of the grass swing, Maria has had a very subpar season. The German owns an 0-7 record on hard courts and also underperformed on her preferred clay surface. There’s always a chance Putintseva beats herself with unforced errors, but she should advance.

The Pick: PASS

Sofya Zhuk (-135) vs. Nao Hibino (+120)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Zhuk has been the better player in 2018 — with notable hard-court wins over Alize Cornet, Qiang Wang and Camila Giorgi this past winter. While Hibino’s form has picked up recently at the ITF level (including a win at the $60k ITF Honolulu event), she has only one win on tour in 2018. I think 18-year-old Zhuk advances.

The Pick: Sofya Zhuk -135

Sloane Stephens (-545) vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands (+425)

Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
H2H: Stephens leads 4-1 (all on clay)

Stephens should advance, but she’s not infallible. After winning last year’s U.S. Open, she went on a horrid 3-12 streak before winning the Premier event in Miami. Sloane is a rhythm player who is vulnerable early in tournaments. However, while Mattek-Sands will fight, she hasn’t shown me enough since returning from injury in March to warrant a bet.

The Pick: PASS

Saisai Zheng (-155) vs. Katie Swan (+135)

Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Zheng travels in from China after retiring on Sunday in the second set of a final against Qiang Wang. Based on scant reports, Zheng was fatigued. Meanwhile, Swan received a wild card to compete in her first main draw hard-court event. I’m in no rush to back Swan, but traveling from China to the U.S. to play tennis two days after retiring with fatigue sounds like a tall order for Zheng.

The Pick:  PASS

Jennifer Brady (-115) vs. Natalia Vikhlyantseva (+100)

Time: 7:25 p.m. ET
H2H: Vikhlyantseva leads 1-0

Two big hitters who could make a decent run if they get in a zone. I’m more intrigued by Vikhlyantseva’s talent, but Brady has shown promise in bigger tournaments — making the fourth round at both hard court majors in 2017. Whoever can better limit unforced errors in a match that should feature plenty of ball-bashing should advance. A true coin flip.

The Pick: PASS

Magda Linette (-360) vs. Olivia Rogowska (+300)

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
H2H: Linette leads 1-0

Rogowska arrives in very poor form, having won only two matches since March. Last week, she won only one game in a loss to world No. 535, Alicia Barnet, in a Canadian ITF event. Yikes.

On the other hand, Linette comes off a semifinal appearance last week in China — where she lost to eventual champ, Wang. As long as fatigue isn’t an issue after flying across the globe, Linette should cruise.

The Pick: PASS

Caroline Wozniacki (-900) vs. Anhelina Kalinina (+650)

Time: 7:40 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Kalinina is 0-1 in main draw hard-court events and received the worst draw out of all the qualifiers. Wozniacki, who has had plenty of rest since her second-round loss at Wimbledon, should roll on her favorite surface.

The Pick: PASS

Credit:

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Caroline Wozniacki

Follow Brett Farrenkopf on Twitter
@bmf1314

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