Racquetball Betting

Jessica Pegula will not dominate the match against Hailey Baptiste (August 1)

The US Open is approaching and WTA players are looking to Washington as a great hard-court warm-up event.

I found betting values ​​for two games on Monday and have provided my best bets and full breakdowns below.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Jessica Pegula (-770) vs. Hailey Baptiste (+470)

2 p.m. ET

Jessica Pegula is comfortable in Washington, having beaten Camila Giorgi to win the title in 2019. Additionally, Pegula has had great success on hard courts this season, reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the WTA 1000 event in Miami. The American is 207-124 on hard courts in her career and 12-8 on the season.

Pegula has not played since losing in the third round of Wimbledon. Her game works well on hard courts as she has flatter groundstrokes that cut through the court. She also understands the right time to come to the net. However, Pegula can become erratic when rushed and pushed out of her comfort zone, which has been the case in many losses this season.

Hailey Baptiste hasn’t played since hurt herself in the first round of Roland Garros after qualifying for the tournament. Baptiste, however, is 58-42 as a hard-court professional and, like Pegula, is 12-8 in 2022. It’s also important to note that Washington DC is Baptiste’s hometown and that ‘she will have a lot of support and motivation to succeed.

Baptiste plays an aggressive style. She attacks whenever she can and has a big forehand that she uses to control the baseline. Baptiste is also very willing to come to the net and has great variety, disrupting opponents’ basic rhythm.

Baptiste’s first serve is also a good shot as the American has won at least 70% of her first serve points in four of her last five completed WTA matches. However, Baptiste’s rally tolerance is not very high and his physical condition is not great.

This match will feature first strike tennis with both players looking to get on the front foot. Baptiste will probably get a little rusty, but she can earn some free points on her serve, which will ease her base game a bit.

Baptiste’s style won’t allow Pegula to find a rhythm from the baseline. Pegula will feel rushed and be in defensive positions for many points and will struggle to dictate play at times.

Take: Baptiste +6.5 Games (-150 via PointsBet)

Elise Mertens (-200) against Liudmilla Samsonova (+160)

8:15 p.m. ET

Elise Mertens kicked off her hard-court summer season with a thump against Magda Linette in Prague, falling in three sets. Mertens won just 52% of her service points, including just 38% on her second serve, which was all the more important considering she only fielded 52% of her first serves. The Belgian had to defend 13 break points and was broken eight times.

Despite the loss to Linette, Mertens is still 252-126 on hard courts in her career, despite being just 10-8 on the year. While Mertens’ consistency and movement are impressive, in Prague she followed a recent trend of playing very passively from the baseline. Mertens hit solid groundstrokes and was, generally, erratic when trying to take chances during points.

Liudmilla Samsonova hasn’t played since losing Bad Homburg in the first round to Kamilla Rakhimova. However, although grass is the Russian’s best surface, she is very competent on hard courts. His career record on hard courts is 89-56, despite going just 6-7 this season.

Samsonova can take the racket out of her opponents’ hands thanks to her aggressive style of play. Samsonova has won more than two-thirds of her first serves in her last six games. She also tries to play offensively whenever she can and has a huge forehand that can get through her opponents.

Mertens’ tolerance and rally movement will frustrate Samsonova at times, but I think the Russian has the weapons to make Mertens very uncomfortable.

Samsonova has a clear advantage with her first serve and will get a lot more free points over Mertens with her first delivery. In addition, Mertens does not have the weapons to hurt Samsonova from the baseline, which gives him time to launch himself on the Belgian’s sure groundstrokes.

Given his struggles in Prague, I also don’t trust Mertens’ current ability to put away shorter balls effectively.

Take: Samsonova +3.5 Games (-115 via BetMGM)

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