WTA Toronto Tennis Odds, Picks: Karolina Pliskova to Roll vs. Maria Sakkari? (Aug. 11)

WTA Toronto Tennis Odds, Picks: Karolina Pliskova to Roll vs. Maria Sakkari? (Aug. 11) article feature image

Tiziana Fabi/Getty. Pictured: Karolina Pliskova hits a backhand at the Italian Open.

  • WTA Toronto continues Thursday with round-of-16-matches.
  • Our analyst has found value on a pair of matches in what is expected to be an exciting day of tennis.
  • Continue reading for David Gertler's best bets.

WTA Toronto is showcasing high-quality tennis and the action continues Thursday.

I’ve found betting value on two of Thursday’s round-of-16 matches and will provide my best bets and breakdowns below.

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

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Yulia Putintseva (-129) vs. Alison Riske (+105)

1 p.m. ET
Yulia Putintseva defeated Paula Badosa 7-5, 1-0 (retirement) in her most recent match in Toronto. Putintseva won 83% of her first-serve points and was only broken once. The Kazakh also won 48% of the points on Badosa’s serves and generated 13 break points.

Putintseva is a competent hard-court player with a 215-178 record as a professional. She is consistent from the baseline, gets excellent depth on her groundstrokes and returns well. Putintseva’s forehand is a weapon as it is heavy and well-placed around the court. The Kazakh also has excellent variety, often bamboozling her opponents with drop shots.

However, Putintseva is volatile on court and can get pushed around when she loses her depth.

Alison Riske beat Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(2), 0-6 , 7-5 to reach the round of 16. Riske won 47% of her return points and broke four times, despite losing the second set 0-6. However, Riske was broken six times and will need to protect her serve better against Putintseva.

Riske is 272-213 in her career on hard courts and took down another big hitter in the first round as she beat Petra Kvitova in three sets. Riske is absorbing power well this week and not getting consistently pushed into more defensive positions on the court. The American has precise groundstrokes and can move her opponents around the court. There are occasions, though, when Riske becomes erratic and overhits her groundstrokes.

While Riske has already beaten Kvitova and Ostapenko this week, Putintseva is completely different opponent. Putintseva won’t give Riske the pace Kvitova and Ostapenko did, which will force the American to generate her own power, which will lead to Riske to pressing on her groundstrokes.

Putintseva is great at absorbing power, even if Riske does play with controlled aggression. Putintseva will also make Riske uncomfortable, mixing in drop shots and keeping the ball out of Riske’s strike zone with her backhand slice.

Pick: Putintseva ML (-129 via PointsBet)

Maria Sakkari (-141) vs. Karolina Pliskova (+115)

5 p.m. ET

Maria Sakkari beat Sloane Stephens 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to kick off her Toronto campaign. Sakkari won 71% of her first serves and was only broken twice in the match. The Greek also won 61% of her second-serve return points and broke serve on five occasions.

Sakkari has not been at her best recently, losing to Tatjana Maria in the third round of Wimbledon and to  Shelby Rogers in her opening match at San Jose (on hard courts). Sakkari has a 210-142 career record on hard courts and is 17-7 this season. When Sakkari is playing well, she can dominate the baseline with her heavy, well-placed forehand. She is also very fit and quick around the court.

However, players can pick on Sakkari’s weaker backhand. And, in recent matches, the Greek’s placement of her groundstrokes has been lacking.

Karolina Pliskova took down Amanda Anisimova 6-1, 6-1 in the second round. Pliskova won 69% of her service points and wasn’t broken all match. In addition, Pliskova won 57% of her return points and broke serve five times.

Counting Pliskova’s first-round match against Barbora Krejcikova, she has won over 50% of her return points in both Toronto matches, having broken serve a combined 10 times. Pliskova has struggled in 2022, but she seems to have gotten her mojo back this week. While just 3-3 on hard courts this season, the Czech is an impressive 359-189 on hard courts in her career.

Pliskova has a huge first serve and her flat groundstrokes are very well placed on the court. There are times, though, when Pliskova’s rally tolerance can dip.

Pliskova has the biggest weapon on the court in her serve and she’s played with controlled aggression from the ground in both matches this week.

Sakkari did well to beat an out-of-form Stephens, but her backhand is still a weakness and Pliskova’s flat groundstrokes to Sakkari’s backhand could make the Greek very uncomfortable. Sakkari’s forehand has also been more erratic recently and I don’t trust her from that wing either.

Finally, Pliskova has done a great job of controlling the baseline this week.

Pick: Pliskova ML (+115 via PointsBet)

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