I know everyone is excited about college football, but don’t forget about the U.S. Open. Despite favorites dominating the past few days (8-0 yesterday), I think two WTA underdogs hold significant value on Day 6.
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Lesia Tsurenko (-205) vs. Katerina Siniakova (+175)
Time: 1 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting
After cruising through No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki, many may think Tsurenko should do the same against Siniakova — but I don’t think this match will be a walk in the park for the Ukrainian.
One major factor to note is Tsurenko’s fitness level; she had to take a medical timeout versus Wozniacki for a right arm injury.
In Siniakova’s first two U.S. Open victories, her opponents had opportunites to serve for the match (but failed). For a player that has been a bit unhinged at times throughout her young career, Siniakova showed strong mental fortitude in both. She should also play very loose as a result of still being alive.
Her defense really came through against both Alja Tomljanovic and Anett Kontaveit. Considering Tsurenko does not possess great power, Siniakova should continue to play superior rallies and turn defense into offense.
In what should be a very grueling and competitive matchup, there’s value in Siniakova, who I have priced closer to +145.
Petra Kvitova (-180) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (+158)
Time: 7 p.m. ET
H2H: Kvitova leads 1-0 (2018 Miami hard court)
In my eyes, this is the match of the day. Two of the bigger hitters on tour meet for the second time in 2018.
Since the start of grass season, Sabalenka has an impressive 20-7 record. She has looked like a top-10 player at times with her dominating forehand.
Just look at some of the big names she has taken out during her recent run:
- Madison Keys
- Caroline Wozniacki
- Karolina Pliskova (twice)
- Caroline Garcia
- Elise Mertens
- Julia Goerges
That list includes not only some of the top names on tour, but also some who have similar power games to Kvitova.
In addition to her power, Sabalenka has shown the ability to change the pace of some of the biggest hitters. Her defense has taken a massive step forward in the latter half of 2018.
Kvitova will represent a major challenge on a big stage at Armstrong stadium, but I’d only have her as a -155 favorite. Even though Sabalenka has never been this far in a Grand Slam, you just can’t ignore her current form and the mental strength she has shown this summer.
For an example of that mental toughness, look no further than her 18-10 record in three set matches in 2018, including a 12-3 recent stretch.
Saturday Best Bets
- Aryna Sabalenka +158
- Katerina Siniakova +175