The WTA Tour has showcased outstanding tennis this week and we’re down to the semifinal round in Hamburg and the quarterfinals in Palermo.
I’ve found betting value in two of Friday’s matches, which I unveil via my best bets and previews below.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Anett Kontaveit (-240) vs. Anastasia Potapova (+180)
7 a.m. ET, WTA Hamburg
Anett Kontaveit certainly had help in the quarterfinals, with Andrea Petkovic retiring down 0-6, 0-2 in their match. Kontaveit demolished the hampered Petkovic, winning 80% of her service points and 68% of her return points. In her matches against Petkovic, Irina Bara and Rebecca Peterson, Kontaveit won 54% of her return points.
Kontaveit is 96-47 on clay in her career, but has struggled in 2022. Before Hamburg, Kontaveit was just 2-3 on the surface. Since Doha in February, she was 4-6 overall. Kontaveit can control the baseline and play with controlled aggression when she’s on her game, but too often she has sprayed unforced errors.
And given that the highest-ranked player Kontaveit played was the injured world No. 67 Petkovic, I’m not convinced that Kontaveit has turned her season around.
Anastasia Potapova destroyed Barbora Krejcikova in a 6-1, 6-3 rout to reach the semifinals. Potapova won 67% of her return points, including 79% on Krejcikova’s second serve. She was able to break seven times in eight return games. However, the Russian struggled on her own serve, winning only 53% of her service points.
Potapova, who is 57-29 on clay as a professional, is having a great season on the dirt with an 18-6 mark in 2022. Last week, Potapova, who made the semifinals of Lausanne, is clearly in good form.
Potapova has done a great job of getting consistent depth from the baseline and finding the balance between offense and defense. When the Russian has been aggressive, in recent matches, she’s largely done so successfully.
Potapova is a massive step-up in competition for Kontaveit. She’s moving well around the court, counterpunching effectively and playing offense with precision. Kontaveit will likely press with her groundstrokes to hit through Potapova from the baseline.
Potapova’s ability to play offense is also the best that Kontaveit has played all week as well. This will put the Estonian in more defensive areas of the court than she’s comfortable with in my opinion. And, while Potapova’s serve is a concern, I still don’t trust that Kontaveit is in good enough form to take advantage of this weakness.
Pick: Potapova +3.5 Games (+100 via PointsBet)
Sara Sorribes Tormo (-190) vs. Anna Bondar (+146)
10 a.m. ET, WTA Palermo
Sara Sorribes Tormo had no problems in the round of 16, taking out Leolia Jeanjean in a 6-0, 6-2 victory. Sorribes Tormo won 67% of her service points and was broken just once. On return, Sorribes Tormo was dominant, winning 64% of her return points and breaking six times in seven return games.
Dating back to Sorribes Tormo’s first-round match against Ana Bogdan, the Spaniard has won 54% of her return points so far in Palermo. Sorribes Tormo wins on the basis of getting a lot of her consistent depth and due to her incredible movement. It’s very difficult for opponents to figure out ways to hit through Sorribes Tormo.
She is also very competent on clay, with a 221-110 career record.
Anna Bondar hasn’t dropped a set so far in Palermo, beating Panna Udvardy in 6-2, 6-4 win to reach the quarterfinals. Bondar won 74% of her first serves and was only broken on one occasion. On return, Bondar held Udvardy to 43% of her second-serve points won and broke four times.
Bondar is a good on clay courts, boasting a 242-105 professional record on the dirt. This season, Bondar has gone 21-8 on clay and made the final four in Budapest last week. Bondar doesn’t do anything special, but plays solid tennis from the baseline and has decent controlled aggression from both wings.
There’s nothing Bondar does that can hurt Sorribes Tormo. She doesn’t have the pace on her groundstrokes to power through the Spaniard. Sorribes Tormo should be able to retrieve many of Bondar’s groundstrokes, even when the Hungarian is in offensive positions.
Bondar’s rally tolerance isn’t quite as high as Sorribes Tormo’s either. Sorribes Tormo should be able to draw errors out of Bondar.
And Sorribes Tormo’s backhand slice will also make it difficult for Bondar to effectively attack.
Pick: Tormo -3.5 Games (-105 via PointsBet)