The WTA 1000 event in Cincinnati begins today, and according to the draw, we’re in for an incredible week of tennis.
I’ve found betting value on two games in Monday’s order of play, and give my best bets – with full breakdowns – below.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Petra Kvitova (-128) against Jil Teichmann (+104)
3 p.m. ET
Petra Kvitova lost 2-6, 6-4, 3-6 to Alison Riske in her opener against Toronto. Kvitova, known for her big left serve, won just 47% of her service points and was broken seven times in the match. On the return, while Kvitova broke four times, she didn’t generate a break point in the first or third sets.
Kvitova doesn’t move well and has struggled with her consistency this season. However, when in good form, Kvitova can take the racket out of her opponents’ hands with her huge serve and powerful groundstrokes.
While Kvitova can attack opponents effectively, she has struggled to maintain it throughout matches this season.
This decline in 2022 is shown in her hard-court results, as Kvitova is 376-185 on hard courts in her career but only 9-9 this season.
Jil Teichmann improved her form in Toronto, reaching the round of 16 before eventually losing 2-6, 5-7 to Simona Halep. In this game, Teichmann only won 54% of his service points and 29% of his return points.
However, Halep eventually won the tournament and Teichmann earned at least 70% of her first-serve points and more than 55% of her second-serve points in victories over Venus Williams and Anett Kontaveit last week.
Overall, as a professional, Teichmann is 91-86 on hard courts and 10-10 this season. But Teichmann made the final in Cincinnati last season and is clearly at home on those faster courts.
The Swiss absorbs power well and has excellent movement. She hits with good depth and places the ball in precise targets. Teichmann’s backhand can sometimes be a handicap, however.
Kvitova will appreciate the faster conditions, but Teichmann showed last year that she can still effectively absorb the pace on these courts. And his own groundstrokes also get a bit more pop.
Teichmann is very consistent from the baseline and will force Kvitova to press her groundstrokes. This, along with Teichmann’s placement, will also expose the Czech’s lackluster movement and contribute to wearing her down.
And, given Kvitova’s poor service recently, she can’t count on as many free service points as she has in the past.
Take: Teichmann ML (+104 via FanDuel)
Victoria Azarenka (-176) against Kaia Kanepi (+142)
7 p.m. ET
Victoria Azarenka had visa issues that kept her from playing in Toronto last week. However, Azarenka played on hard courts in Washington the previous week, reaching the quarterfinals before fall to Xiyu Wang (take a wound in the process).
Azarenka is known for her hard-court game, with two Majors on the surface and a 398-142 record as a professional. When the Belarusian plays well, she serves big and dictates play from both wings, striking with controlled aggression.
However, while Azarenka is 10-6 on hard courts in 2022, she hasn’t been at her best this year. Azarenka was a bit more erratic and her groundstrokes didn’t have the impact they had in the past.
After reaching the final in Washington the previous week, Kaia Kanepi ran out of steam, losing 4-6, 4-6 to Garbine Muguruza in the second round in Toronto. While Kanepi won 71% of her first serve points, she only won 33% of her second serve points and 26% of her first serve return points.
In his career, Kanepi is 295-178 on hard courts and 14-6 in 2022. Kanepi serves big and is very aggressive from the baseline. The Estonian’s powerful groundstrokes often overwhelm opponents with pace.
However, it is not the best driving force.
Kanepi is in good shape, and having been released early in Toronto, he will be better rested this week. Azarenka has also made just three appearances since Roland Garros in a season in which she has already struggled to find her rhythm from the baseline.
Both players are uncomfortable in more defensive positions on the pitch, and both have the offensive abilities to dictate play for periods of this game.
But I don’t think Azarenka will be able to push Kanepi and get away from the Estonian in this one. Kanepi’s first serve and controlled aggression from the baseline is too strong right now.
Take: Kanepi +3.5 Games (-115 via BetMGM)