WTA US Open Round 3 Betting Preview: Will Coco Gauff Roll Over Timea Babos?

WTA US Open Round 3 Betting Preview: Will Coco Gauff Roll Over Timea Babos? article feature image

Geoff Burke, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Coco Gauff

  • WTA US Open second-round action rolls along on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET in New York.
  • Brett Farrenkopf previews what should be a marathon day of tennis action.

Almost every match from Wednesday’s slate was postponted until Thursday thanks to rainy conditions in New York. While that put a damper on Day 3, it makes for a marathon day of betting on Day 4, starting at 11 a.m. ET.

Make sure to keep an eye on the order of play as scheduling this many matches in one day will likely push things around quite a bit.

Iga Swiatek -115 vs. Anastasija Sevastova

Thursday, 11 a.m. ET

I’ve long been high on the 18-year-old Polish teen, Swiatek. who’s one of the more talented and bold players on Tour. I think she’s backable here — even though she’ll take on a more accomplished in Sevastova.

Swiatek served very well in Round 1, making 67% of her first serves. That’s her best mark of the year and a positive sign ahead of her second-round match. We’ll likely see some regression in that number but if she can serve in the 62% range, she can play and beat anyone on Tour.

Meanwhile, Sevastova played a solid first-round match against the completely off-form Eugenie Bouchard.

Despite getting too emotional at times, Sevastova owns a very consistent game and has thrived in New York in recent years, making the quarters in three straight appearances. She isn’t the most powerful player on Tour but excels at constructing points and playing angles. The slower hard courts here at the US Open definitely suit her game.

That said, I’m not keen on Sevastova’s overall form this summer. She went 0-2 on hard-court lead ups and hasn’t had a great 2019 season overall.

On the other hand, Swiatek appears to be peaking just in time for the year’s final Grand Slam. She was 8-3 in the summer hard-court events, with one of those losses coming against world No. 1 Naomi Osaka in a tight straight-set loss in Toronto.

Swiatek is a streaky and tends to rally in matches after starting slow, so you could also opt to wait for a better number in the live market.

*I’d bet Swiatek up to -130

Ana Bogdan +175 vs. Petra Martic

Thursday, 11 a.m. ET

Despite advancing in the first round over clay-court specialist Tamara Zidansek, Martic’s form and health is very worrisome. The Croatian only played in two events after Wimbledon and lost both matches in straight sets.

After starting the year cold on hard courts, she had a big spring and early summer on clay and grass, but I suspect she might not have much left in the tank. This seems to be a trend with the Croat, who has never made it past the second round at the US Open in nine tries.

Martic is far from the healthiest player on Tour, too. The 28-year-old has battled injuries throughout her career.

While Bogdan isn’t as talented as Martic, the Romanian seems to be peaking at the perfect time. She played extremely consistent tennis in her first-round victory over Harriet Dart. She overwhelmed he Brit and repeatedly took advantage of her weak second serve.

At this price, I’ll take the more fit player who should relish the opportunity to make the third round in New York.

*I bet Bogdan at +205 but would still back her down to +170

Photo credit: Luttiau Nicolas/Presse Sports via USA TODAY NETWORK. Pictured: Ana Bogdan

Ekaterina Alexandrova (-145) vs. Shuai Zhang

Thursday, 11 a.m. ET

I’ve long been a fan of the big-hitting game of Alexandrova, who takes on an opponent she handled with ease three weeks ago.

Sometimes you can factor in a potential “revenge spot” for a quick turnaround second meeting, but Alexandrova beat Zhang so soundly in Toronto that I suspect a similar result in NYC.

The scoreline of that match (6-4, 6-3) might not look that overwhelming but it took the Russian just 66 minutes. And the point discrepancy shows more dominance. Alexandrova won 67/114 points (59%).

It’s worth noting that Zhang has struggled with big hitters all summer, losing to Kristyna Pliskova and Andrea Petkovic as well. This match should firmly be on Alexandrova’s racquet throughout.

Zhang did take care of Viktorija Golubic in the first-round with ease. But Golubic is more an ITF-level counter-attack player. This match is a big step up.

Alexandrova owns an impressive 6-3 record this summer, especially considering her three losses all came against high-quality competition: Serena, Simona Halep and Maria Sakkari. The Serena match was a close 7-5 6-4 loss, and she battled Halep to three sets losing 3-6 7-5 6-4. Playing anything close to her recent form should lead to a rather straightforward victory.

The in-form Alexandrova should handle a weaker Zhang here.

*I’d bet Alexandrova up to -170

Magda Linette +220 vs Naomi Osaka

Thursday, 12:30 p.m. ET

Defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka moved on to Round 2 in a tricky three-set match against Anna Blinkova on Tuesday. It was far from a pretty performance, much like her entire summer.

There’s some fitness concerns worth noting with Osaka, who suffered an apparent knee injury in Cincinnati that forced her to retire mid-match. There’s no clear word on the specific injury or severity, but she did have her knee wrapped in the first round.

Knee aside, Osaka will meet a red-hot opponent in Magda Linette, who’s on a nine-match win streak. That includes a hard-court title last week in the Bronx — an event she came through qualifying at.

Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Magda Linette

I would normally worry about fatigue, but she easily dispatched Astra Sharma on Tuesday in just over an 90 minutes. This match will only be her second match in five days. That’s not a lot to ask.

Linette also can draw on the fact that she beat Osaka on a hard-court last year in Washington DC. Although, Osaka did avenge the loss in Australia earlier this year in their only other career meeting.

Clearly, Osaka is the much more talented player. However,  between Linette’s current form and Osaka’s knee concerns, I believe the Pole holds value at this number.

*I’d bet Linette down to +200

Danielle Collins (+147) vs Caroline Wozniacki

Thursday, 7 p.m. ET

The Fade Wozniacki train got stopped on Tuesday, but it came close to pulling into the station. I’m hopping back on again with a bigger-hitting opponent in Danielle Collins.

Wozniacki started very slow against Yafan Wang in the first round and seemed completely out of it. Her level picked up considerably in the second set but dropped again in the third. The veteran experience of the Dane ultimately helped her pull through what was basically a coin flip match.

Similarly, Collins didn’t look great on Tuesday but fought admirably to beat a talented big-hitting Polona Hercog. And like Wonzniacki, the American hasn’t been in the finest form this summer.

That said, Collins doesn’t generally need to show form heading into a tournament. Earlier this year, she headed into the Australian Open at just 2-2 in her last four matches (and 4-9 over her last 13). She proceeded to make her deepest run in a Grand Slam by getting to the semifinals.

In regards to their head-to-head, Collins and Wozniacki have split career meetings but both came on clay. Wozniacki won at the 2018 French Open in straight sets after taking the first-set tiebreak. And Collins took their matchup this year in Rome when Wozniacki retired after dropping another first-set breaker.

Wozniacki is far and away the more accomplished player, but nothing about her current game gives me any confidence she can make a deep run here. Collins has the big-hitting game to pull off the mini upset.

*I’d bet Collins down to +135

Cori Gauff -150 vs Timea Babos

Thursday, 7 p.m. ET

This line opened at Gauff -130 overnight and has been steadily climbing since. I’m not entirely sure why oddsmakers were so high initially on Babos.

Yes, Babos made it through qualifying and had some decent wins this summer, albeit against  ITF-level competition. But she’s far from a consistent player on Tour, especially against higher-level talent. Gauff is a higher-level talent who will have the entire New York crowd on her side.

On Tuesday, Gauff’s match with Anastasia Potapova lived up to the hype. Both talented teens were hitting super big, but when it came down to the business end of the third set, Gauff’s backhand and unwavering mental strength won the match.

Meanwhile, Babos had an easy victory over a clearly hampered Carla Suarez Navarro, who had to retire after one set. Despite Navarro having zero zip on her passing shots and hitting 65 MPH serves, Babos still struggled to secure the first set prior to CSN’s retirement.

The streaky Hungarian does possess the power to reel off 4-5 straight games when she gets hot, but I think she’s far too inconsistent to outlast a very consistent and mentally tough Gauff over the course of three sets.

Ultimately, Gauff’s defensive movement and backhand should win the day. Babos is a similar big-hitter to Potapova with inferior movement. Gauff will have an enormous mobility edge and her defensive skills should wear down Babos and force multiple errors.

*I’d bet Gauff up to -180

Editor’s Note: The match below already started and was interrupted by rain after one point.

Fiona Ferro +130 vs. Kristina Mladenovic

Thursday, 11 a.m. ET

Is Mladenovic really a favorite in the second round of a Grand Slam in 2019?

Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but, regardless, Mladenovic is a great fade candidate as a favorite. Since the 2017 US Open, Mladenovic is just 11-14 as a favorite on hard courts in WTA-level events. Fading her has been a bettor’s paradise ever since she reached the 2017 French Open quarterfinal.

She has not even been that strong this summer. She won two tough matches in Washington DC before losing as a -165 favorite to Anna Kalinskaya. Then she lost back-to-back matches to Magda Linette and Jennifer Brady, neither of whom are top-level players. Seeing her as a decent-sized favorite here screams value on the other side..

I backed Ferro on Day 1 against an unfit and off-form Daria Gavrilova. While Mladenovic is not quite in Gavrilova’s realm of off-form, she’s arguably not that far off.

Additionally, Mladenovic was experiencing back pain during her upset of Angelique Kerber. She took one MTO and saw the trainer three times. We don’t know the full extend of the injury but it’s far from a positive indicator.

As mentioned in Monday’s piece, Ferro arrived in New York in solid form. Hard courts may not be her preferred surface but she has a steady enough game to hang with Mladenovic.

Ferro has lost their only two prior meetings but both came on clay courts when Mladenovic was in much better form.

*I’d bet Ferro down to +110

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