WTA US Open Thursday Preview: Second-Round Betting Blurbs, Plus Picks

Aug 30, 2018 6:30 AM EDT
  • U.S. Open WTA betting action gets underway at 11 a.m. ET Thursday, as the ladies close out the second round.
  • While there are five significant favorites, the other 11 matches have potential intrigue on both sides of the net.

Wednesday looked like a very routine day on the WTA side of the draw, with 13 of the first 15 favorites moving on. However, that all changed in the last match of the night, when qualifier Karolina Muchova (+400) stunned Garbine Muguruza.

Kiki Bertens, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Madison Keys and Naomi Osaka are all significant favorites (-500 or greater) on Thursday, but the other 11 second-round matches all have a good amount of intrigue. Let’s take a quick view of all 11 from a betting perspective.


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Daria Kasatkina (-190) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (+165)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: Kasatkina leads 3-1 (1-0 hard court)

It took both players three sets to get through Tuesday, but Sasnovich breezed through Belinda Bencic in the final two sets, whereas Kasatkina had to fight back from a break down in the third set against Timea Babos.

Kasatkina has had a fairly disappointing summer. The young Russian isn’t playing as aggressively as she did earlier this season. Her second serve also continues to hold her back. She only won a paltry 14 of 36 second-serve points against Babos.

In contrast, Sasnovich has played more aggressively of late, which should benefit her against the defensive-minded Kasatkina.

Kasatkina has more talent, but I don’t think she deserves this price tag based on her current form.

Dominika Cibulkova (-235) vs. Su-Wei Hsieh (+195)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: Cibulkova leads 3-0 (2-0 hard courts)

Cibulkova struggled in her first-round win (4-6, 6-2, 6-3) over Arantxa Rus. Hsieh represents a much different opponent than the bigger-hitting Rus, though. Hsieh will work points and use slices to force Cibulkova to the net.

Cibulkova has only played two hard-court matches this summer and appeared rusty in both, which might not bode well against the unorthodox game of Hsieh.

The line is a little high, but I think Cibulkova gets through. Take a look at the over 20.5 games if you’re looking for some action in this one.

Aryna Sabalenka (-390) vs. Vera Zvonareva (+315)

Time: 11 a.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Sabalenka is the deserved heavy favorite, but this is only her second career second-round match at a Grand Slam (lost 2017 Wimbledon). Zvonareva, a former U.S. Open finalist in 2010, clearly has the experience edge. If the moment gets too big for Sabalenka, the veteran Russian can steal this match.

Fatigue may also become an issue for Sabalenka at some point. The Belarusian has played a ton of tennis recently, including 18 three-set matches since June 1. She does continue to find ways to win those marathons (14-4 record), but that’s a lot of tennis.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aryna Sabalenka at the 2018 U.S. Open

Caroline Garcia (-220) vs. Monica Puig (+180)

Time: 12:15 p.m. ET
H2H: Puig leads 3-0 (all hard courts)

After two dominant first-round performances, Puig and Garcia will meet for the second time in two weeks. Puig got the better of the Frenchwoman in New Haven in three sets.

Puig has won seven of eight matches and seems to be finding that rare form from her gold medal run in Rio. Her only loss came as a result of a retirement in New Haven after an ab injury. However, the Puerto Rican looked 100% healthy in the first round as she double-bageled Stefanie Voegele.

Puig also seems to thrive in the heat and humidity. She succeeded in Rio de Janeiro in similar conditions and beat Caroline Wozniacki in similar humid conditions earlier this year in Miami.

Confidence is so key for Puig, and she certainly has an abundance of it right now. She does bash a very flat ball, which spells disaster if she’s just slightly off, but I can’t pass up this price. (I make Puig +140.)

Jelena Ostapenko (-225) vs. Taylor Townsend (+190)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Townsend leaned on her heavy forehand in an impressive comeback victory over Amanda Anisimova on Tuesday, while the enigmatic and unpredictable Ostapenko struggled against Andrea Petkovic.

Give her inconsistent play and current form, I could never recommend Osti as a favorite, but I would prefer to bet on a more defensive player than Townsend.

Carla Suarez Navarro (-155) vs. Kristina Mladenovic (+135)

Time: 3:15 p.m. ET
H2H: CSN leads 2-1 (2-0 hard courts)

After a three-set loss to Sasnovich last week, Mladenvoic said she found something in her game. She apparently wasn’t lying, as she overwhelmed Tamara Zidansek in the first round. We’ll now see if that was more than an anomaly when she faces a more experienced opponent.

I was impressed with Suarez Navarro this summer. She moved well and constructed points intelligently, but the Spaniard didn’t look great in the first round. This line ultimately looks right for a match that won’t lack momentum swings.

Kirsten Flipkens (-130) vs. Aleksandra Krunic (+110)

Time: 2 p.m. ET

H2H: Krunic leads 2-0 (first meeting on hard court)

Flipkens played steady throughout her first-round victory over Coco Vandeweghe, despite a few medical timeouts from her opponent in the third set.

Krunic only won four total games over three matches during a horrendous summer hard-court season leading up to New York. She did finally get a win in the first round, but against a player who hasn’t won a match in 2018. Flipkens is simply in better form and should advance.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kirsten Flipkens at the 2017 Miami Open

Eugenie Bouchard (-165) vs. Marketa Vondrousova (+145)

Time: 2 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Less than two months after losing to world No. 183 Paula Badosa Gibert in the first round of an ITF event, Bouchard is now favored to make the U.S. Open third round. Things can change quickly on the WTA Tour.

Including qualifiers, Genie has only lost 11 games in four U.S. Open matches. Vondrousova will be a step up in class and does possess the forehand to move Bouchard off her preferred spot at the top of the baseline, but I think Genie will use her experience and crowd (which should get firmly behind the popular Canadian) to overcome the teenage Czech.

Katerina Siniakova (-120) vs. Ajla Tomljanovic (+100)

Time: 4:15 p.m. ET
H2H: First meeting

Siniakova plays with her emotions on her sleeves, but kept them in check enough to upset Anett Kontaveit in the first round. Siniakova can play very big at times, but has trouble maintaining a high level.

During a strong summer campaign, Tomljanovic only lost twice, to two of the hottest players on tour in Mihaela Buzarnescu and Simona Halep. She even won a set off Halep in a competitive match.

Siniakova might hit higher peaks in her game, but Tomljanovic is much sounder and more composed. If she can stay positive during Siniakova’s peaks, I expect her to advance.

Neither player has ever reached the U.S. Open third round, so you could see extra nerves toward the end of sets.

Caroline Wozniacki (-300) vs. Lesia Tsurenko (+250)

Time: 9 p.m. ET
H2H: Wozniacki leads 1-0 (2013 Australian Open)

Wozniacki came to New York with leg injury questions, but those were all answered Tuesday against an over-the-hill Samantha Stosur. The Dane moved well and  served impressively.

Caro will face a tricky opponent in Tsurenko, who plays strong defense and hits angles that Stosur can’t even dream of. The Ukrainian has six career top-10 wins, including one in Cincinnati over Muguruza a few weeks ago.

After watching Tuesday’s match, Wozniacki looks fit enough to advance — but I can’t back her at -300. She could be a nice moneyline parlay piece or worth a shot to win the quarter (+400). Her draw looks very reasonable.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Caroline Wozniacki at the 2018 U.S. Open

Maria Sharapova (-370) vs. Sorana Cirstea (+310)

Time: 9 p.m. ET
H2H: Sharapova leads 1-0 (hard court 2012)

If you watched Tuesday’s late night match on Armstrong, you’d understand why you can’t back Sharapova as a favorite right now. This line is simply too high for a player who struggled against 39-year-old Patty Schnyder.

I don’t have much confidence in Cirstea, but Sharapova could easily mess this up herself. That said, she is 21-0 in U.S. Open night matches in her career.

Thursday Best Bets

  • Ajla Tomljanovic +100
  • Monica Puig +180
  • Kirsten Flipkens -130
  • Aliaksandra Sasnovich +165 (.5 unit)

If you’re looking for a longshot or two, consider Townsend and Cirstea.

Credit:

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Monica Puig

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