WTA 250 Guadalajara – Final Preview

WTA 250 Guadalajara – Final

(4) Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. (wc) Eugenie Bouchard

Form: Eugenie Bouchard is a totally unexpected finalist in Guadalajara. It would have seemed reasonable for the Canadian to bomb out in the opening round after arriving from France just one day before her opening match. Bouchard has played at a decent level, higher than expected, though it must be said that she has had a lot of help from her opponents to get to this stage. None of her opponents have played great tennis, in fact most of them played quite poorly. Sorribes Tormo will be a big step up in opposition for the Canadian, one that will make the Canadian work for every single point, no gifts here. Sorribes Tormo has been extremely solid all tournament and heads into her first ever WTA final fresh from an impressive straight set win over Marie Bouzkova.

H2H: Sorribes Tormo won the only previous meeting between the pair, a 7-6 6-3 victory in 2017. That match was also played on a hard court in Mexico, in Monterrey.

Analysis: I’m going to side with the Spaniard here. I don’t think Bouchard can consistently play at a high enough level to get the better of such a solid opponent, especially under pressure in a final. Bouchard hasn’t played a solid baseline player all tournament, each of her previous opponents have hit a heap of unforced errors, that isn’t going to happen here. Sorribes Tormo plays with the right mix of consistency and versatility to make life very tough for Bouchard, the odds are well and truly against Bouchard winning a 5th match in 5 days.

Pick: Sorribes Tormo – 5 units @ $1.72 (bet365)

 Tips based on a 10-unit betting system

WTA1000 Dubai – SF Betting Analysis

WTA 1000 – Dubai – SF betting analysis

(9) Garbine Muguruza vs. (10) Elise Mertens

Muguruza and Mertens are two of the hottest players throughout the first couple of months of the 2021 season. Muguruza holds a 17-4 head-to-head record in 2021 whilst Mertens has amassed an impressive 12-1 record. The pair both enter this clash battle hardened having both come from a set down in their quarter-final victories. Muguruza overcame a red-hot Aryna Sabalenka 3-6 6-3 6-2, whilst Mertens saved 3 match points in her 5-7 7-5 6-0 win over an in-form Jessica Pegula. This will surprisingly be the first H2H encounter between Muguruza and Mertens in over 4 years, the Spaniard won that match 6-2 0-6 3-6 over an inexperienced Mertens at the US Open in 2016.

I think the slight value is with the Belgian in this semi-final. Muguruza is the rightful favourite but Mertens is very capable in this match-up, she has the right mix of power, defense and versatility to really push the Spaniard. Plus, Mertens heads into this match with essentially nothing to lose given she probably should have been out of the tournament yesterday, often players respond well to winning from match points down. Muguruza has mainly been playing fellow aggressive players in her last few events (Sabalenka X2, Kvitova, Kudermetova, Anisimova), Mertens will present a different challenge, a tougher challenge for the Spaniard, one of the best counterpunchers on tour.

Pick: Elise Mertens – 2 units @ $3.03 (Pinnacle)

Barbora Krejcikova vs. Jil Teichmann

An unexpected semi-final match-up sees Krejcikova and Teichmann both competing in their first SF at this level, a huge opportunity for both to reach a 1000 level final. Both players have stormed into the final 4 without dropping a single set. Not only have the pair not dropped a set, but they have also barely been troubled, Krejcikova has dropped just 11 games in her last 3 matches, whilst Teichmann has only once conceded more than 3 games in a set. Krejcikova easily defeated Teichmann 6-3 6-2 in their only previous meeting, a qualifying match in Ostrava late last year, there will be much more at stake on this occasion.

Key signs are pointing to a Krejcikova victory here. Can’t ignore Krejcikova’s dominant win in their only previous match, given it was also on a hard court, and not too long ago. Krejcikova has been steadily improving and seems ready to make the biggest final of her career. The Czech hasn’t deviated from her solid level all tournament. On a hard court, the consistent but aggressive flat hitting of Krejcikova wins in this match-up more often than not. Some value with Krejcikova as just a slight favourite.

Pick: Barbora Krejcikova – 3 units @ $1.78 (Pinnacle)

* Tips based on a 10-unit betting system:

Dubai Day 3 – Betting Analysis

WTA 1000 – Dubai – Day 3 betting analysis

(2) Karolina Pliskova vs. Anastasija Sevastova

Sevastova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Pliskova and looms as a tricky first-up opponent for the second seed in Dubai. Pliskova’s form over the last few months and even going back over the last year has been not been convincing, consistently losing in matches where she is favoured to win. This could be another one of those matches. Sevastova’s versatile game is problematic for Pliskova, that has proven to be the case in the past. Sevastova won their most recent meeting in straight sets, that was back in 2017 on clay in Madrid, a while ago but it highlights the problems Pliskova can have here. Sevastova’s recent from has been bad, but she has recently shown some signs that she could be turning things around, it is the Latvian who heads into this match with nothing much to lose, which could also work in her favour.

Pick: Anastasija Sevastova H2H – 3U @ $3.75 (bet365)
(6) Belinda Bencic vs. Veronika Kudermetova

Bencic wins in this match-up more often than not, I believe… she is a class above Kudermetova and always has been. Granted, the H2H advantage is actually in favour of Kudermetova, but I think that is misleading. Bencic is more solid and usually does well in these matchups against big, flat hitters. Bencic absorbs and redirects pace better than just about anyone on tour, that comes in handy in this match-up against Kudermetova who strikes the ball very hard and flat. Bencic made a slow start to the year but showed signs of a form reversal with a run to the final in Adelaide. Bencic is a former champion in Dubai, winning the tournament in 2019, a surface that suits her game well. Surprised to see Kudermetova starting as the favourite here.

Pick: Belinda Bencic H2H – 6U @ $2.1 (bet365)
(12) Marketa Vondrousova vs. Cori Gauff

Gauff is consistently overrated by bookmakers, it has been that way for a while. The value almost always with her opponent, good value with Vondrousova here who should be able to get the job done. Vondrousova is a smart player and is starting to find some good form, she has the solid, versatile game to pick on the weaknesses of Gauff. Vondrousova has a great return of serve, previously ranked at the very top of the tour, while the Gauff serve is very vulnerable, this could be a key factor in this match-up with Vondrousova continually putting pressure on the Gauff serve.

Pick: Marketa Vondrousova H2H – 6U @ $1.8 (bet365)

(3) Aryna Sabalenka vs. Alize Cornet

Sabalenka has lost 2 matches in a row, a position she isn’t used to these days. Sabalenka therefore comes into this match under a bit of pressure, a tough opponent awaits her. Cornet is an awkward opponent for Sabalenka, drop shots, slice, different spins and paces will be used by Cornet to try and draw errors from Sabalenka. Cornet has a history of pulling off surprises in these types of matches and seemingly has a decent chance here with Sabalenka playing her first match of the tournament after receiving a bye in the opening round. Worth a shot at these odds.

Pick: Alize Cornet H2H – 3U @ $5 (bet365)

^ based on a 10-unit betting system.

Petra Kvitova vs. Garbine Muguruza, Doha Final Preview

🇶🇦 Qatar Total Open, Doha – Final Preview + Prediction:
🇨🇿 (4) Petra Kvitova vs. 🇪🇸 Garbine Muguruza

Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza go head-to-head in Saturday’s Qatar Total Open final, a rematch of the 2018 championship match in Doha. It was Kvitova who emerged victorious in Qatar in 2018 and in each of their last 4 meetings. However, it is Muguruza who has been one of the most consistent performers in 2021 and therefore enters this clash as the favourite despite her poor record in this match-up.

Kvitova and Muguruza arrived in Doha in contrasting form. Kvitova had a disappointing Australian summer, defeated by Nadia Podoroska in the second round of the Melbourne warm-up event before losing to Sorana Cirstea in the second round of the Australian Open. Conversely, Muguruza arrived in Doha fresh from a strong showing in Australia, but with unfished business to attend to. The Spaniard reached the final in the Melbourne summer series event, losing to Ash Barty, before reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open, succumbing to eventual champion Naomi Osaka from double match point up. Both Kvitova and Muguruza have overcome difficult opponents on route to the final this week, both are in great shape heading into Saturday’s finale.

Petra Kvitova’s route to the final:
R2: def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 6-3
QF: def. Anett Kontaveit 6-3 3-6 6-2
SF: def. Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-4
Garbine Muguruza’s route to the final:
R1: def. Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 7-6
R2: def. (3) Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-7 6-3
QF: def. Maria Sakkari 6-3 6-1
SF: def. (8) Victoria Azarenka WALKOVER

Kvitova holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Muguruza. It was Muguruza who won the first meeting between the pair, a 3-set win at the WTA Finals in 2015, Kvitova has won all 4 matches since then, the last 3 were all on a hard court, 2 in straight sets, but most recently a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win in the Doha final in 2018.

Expecting a tight, high quality final. Muguruza’s recent form is stronger but Kvitova has the head-to-head edge. I’m going to side with Muguruza here, she has been impressive over the last month and I don’t believe this is necessarily a bad match-up for the Spaniard despite the negative head-to-head record. If anything, Muguruza should enjoy playing a lefty, her strong backhand gives her an edge in these matchups. Muguruza has shown in recent times that she has the game to handle top level, powerful opponents, a win over the red-hot Sabalenka this week and almost beating Naomi Osaka in Melbourne are proof of that. Kvitova’s form is still questionable despite her run to the final this week, playing an in-form Muguruza is a big step up in opposition.

Prediction: Garbine Muguruza to defeat Petra Kvitova in 3 sets

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