WTA Tennis Picks, Predictions: Trust Samsonova to Power Through Raducanu (August 5)
Boris Streubel/Getty. Pictured: Liudmilla Samsonova.
It's been an incredible week of WTA tennis so far in Washington and San Jose, with the action continuing on Friday.
I’ve found betting value on two of the matches and I give my best bets and full breakdowns below!
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Aryna Sabalenka (-125) vs. Daria Kasatkina (-103)
2 p.m. ET, WTA San Jose
Aryna Sabalenka beat Caroline Dolehide 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 in the round of 16 of San Jose.
She won 61% of her second-serve return points and broke seven times. And while the Belarusian won 74% of her first serves, she won just 37% of her second-serve points, hit 23 double faults and was broken on five occasions.
While Sabalenka has a 214-96 record on hard courts in her career, she's gone just 7-7 this season. When she's playing well, Sabalenka hits a huge first serve and massive groundstrokes, allowing her to dominate from the baseline.
However, this season there have been stretches where Sabalenka's hit many unforced errors. In addition, double faults have been a recurring issue and hitting 23 in 16 service games yesterday was tough to watch.
Against Townsend, Kasatkina put 79% of her first serves into play, won 70% of those points and was only broken once all match. So, while Kasatkina only won 33% of her second serves, she only had to hit 12!
On return, Kasatkina won 56% of her return points and broke five times. It was a well-rounded performance for the Russian.
Kasatkina has won over 50% of return points in both matches so far and showcased great rally tolerance. Kasatkina doesn't have a lot of pace on her shots, but she's able to dictate play at times because of how well she places the ball around the court.
Her variety is also outstanding. It's no surprise that Kasatkina is 162-103 on hard courts as a professional.
Sabalenka is struggling with her serve again and her baseline game is also not reliable right now. Kasatkina should be able to effectively bait her into errors.
Pick: Kasatkina ML (-103 via PointsBet)
Emma Raducanu (-132) vs. Liudmilla Samsonova(+100)
5 p.m. ET, WTA Washington
Emma Raducanu survived a tough match in Washington against Camila Osorio, scraping out a 7-6(5), 7-6(4) victory in two hours, 46 minutes.
Raducanu won 60% of her second-serve return points and broke four times. However, she won only 56% of her own first serves, served nine double faults and was broken four times.
Last year's US Open champion is a very good hard-court player. In her career, Raducanu is 75-24, although she's just 4-5 this season. The Brit strikes the ball cleanly into small targets, moves well and has a high tennis IQ. However, Raducanu's serve is not a strength and she can get overpowered, losing control of the baseline at times.
Liudmilla Samsonova's good form continued with her 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Ajla Tomljanovic. Samsonova won 59% of her second-serve return points and broke on five occasions. On her own serve, she hit an impressive 13 aces and won 75% of her first-serve points.
Samsonova is a strong hard-court player, having a 91-56 record as a professional. However, like Raducanu, she hasn't been great on hard this season, going just 8-7 so far.
She can take the racquet out of her opponents' hands with her huge serve and powerful, well-placed groundstrokes – particularly her forehand. There are times, though, when Samsonova's rally tolerance can decline.
Raducanu was on court longer in yesterday's extreme heat and had to see the trainer regarding a blister issue on her hand. She looked much more fatigued than Samsonova did and could struggle physically today.
Samsonova is in a groove this week and has the power to push Raducanu around. The Russian is controlling her power well. She can get a lot of free points on her serve, which is important in this heat, and keep Raducanu in defensive positions behind the baseline.
Pick: Samsonova ML (+100 via FanDuel)