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: