WTA Tennis Odds, Picks, Predictions: Trust Ekaterina Alexandrova to Continue Good Form Against Victoria Azarenka (October 3)

WTA Tennis Odds, Picks, Predictions: Trust Ekaterina Alexandrova to Continue Good Form Against Victoria Azarenka (October 3) article feature image

Photo by SANDER KONING/ANP/AFP via Getty Images. Pictured: Ekaterina Alexandrova

A new week of WTA tennis is upon us and we'll be exclusively on the hard courts at Ostrava and Monastir.

There are a pair of matches on Monday's slate that present betting value, so let's get to my analysis and predictions.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.

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Ekaterina Alexandrova (-136) vs. Victoria Azarenka (+112)

7:30 a.m. ET, WTA Ostrava

Ekaterina Alexandrova won the WTA title in Seoul (hard court) in her most recent tournament. Alexandrova took the final nine sets of the tournament and won at least 70% of her first-serve points in all five matches she played. On return, Alexandrova broke serve 28 times and held each opponent to under 55% of their service points won.

While Alexandrova is just 13-10 on hard courts this season, she's 188-109 in her career on the surface. Alexandrova has a big serve that she uses to get ahead and also has huge groundstrokes that dominate from the baseline. When Alexandrova is in a groove — like she was in Seoul — she is able to hit with excellent control.

Victoria Azarenka hasn't played since falling in the round of 16 to Karolina Pliskova at the US Open (hard court). Azarenka's serve was a bit messy in that match and she only won 41% of her second-serve points. Azarenka had both stretches of high-level play and times where she lost the range on her groundstrokes.

That patchy play is symbolic of Azarenka's 2022 season as she's lost some of the consistency that allowed her to win two hard-court Slams. Azarenka has won 74% of her hard-court matches as a professional, but has won just 64% (a respectable rate) this year.

The Belarusian still has a solid serve and can dominate from the baseline when given the opportunity, but her rally tolerance, court coverage and ability to play with controlled aggression have declined.

Alexandrova is in good form and, given that she's had a week's rest from Seoul, fatigue should not be an issue. Alexandrova is serving well and hitting with the controlled aggression necessary to beat a player of Azarenka's caliber.

Azarenka wants to be on offense, directing play. However, given Alexandrova's recent level, the Russian will force Azarenka to become much more defensive than she would like. Alexandrova will often be the one dictating play, testing Azarenka's speed and taking her out of her comfort zone.

Pick: Alexandrova ML (-136 via FanDuel)

Alize Cornet (-950) vs. Laura Pigossi(+550)

1:05 p.m. ET, WTA Monastir

Alize Cornet will be looking to improve on her last match, a 6-7(5), 3-6 first-round defeat to Kaja Juvan in Portoroz (hard court). Cornet only won 49% of her service points and was broken four times. The Frenchwoman also struggled to hit through Juvan from the baseline.

While Cornet is 12-15 on hard courts in 2022, she did make the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this season and is 258-233 on hard courts in her career. Cornet plays solid tennis from the baseline, limits her unforced errors and utilizes her strong backhand to control baseline exchanges. While Cornet's forehand is not a strength, she is consistent from that wing.

Laura Pigossi hasn't played on hard courts since the US Open qualifying tournament. Pigossi has also lost six of her past seven matches. Most recently, Pigossi fell in the opening round of Parma (clay court) to Ana Bogdan, only winning 45% of her service points and 26% of her return points. That's not a winning combination.

Pigossi is just 4-8 on hard courts this season, although she is 110-97 as a professional. The Brazilian is fast around the court, has a heavy forehand and is consistent from the baseline. However, her backhand can break down under pressure because she doesn't get great depth and possesses little power.

Cornet is miles better than Pigossi in almost every facet of the game. Cornet is just as consistent as Pigossi, but gets better depth on her groundstrokes. In addition, Cornet has much better controlled aggression and will be better able to take advantage of openings to hit winners.

The Frenchwoman will especially dominate in the backhand-to-backhand exchanges and should be able to dismantle Pigossi's backhand. And Pigossi doesn't have the power to rush Cornet on her forehand.

This one will be quick.

Pick: Under 18.5 Games (-125 via PointsBet)

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