Both matches are potentially going to superb entertainment, but who’s going to win?
I’ll try to figure that out!
Pavlyuchenkova (1.64) v Zidansek (2.52)
Due to start at 14:00
This will be their first meeting.
Long term overall win percentages are a little better for Pavlyuchenkova. Their 12 month results are even. Zidansek has a better win percentage in 2021. Long term clay win percentages are even. Zidansek has slightly better 12 month clay results. Pavlyuchenkova has slightly better clay win percentages in 2021. Got that?
Zidansek has beaten some strong clay courters in this tournament. In the last round Paula Badosa was tired and didn’t serve as well as she has done this season. Zidansek won 8-6 in the third set. Zidansek beat in form Sorana Cirstea in the fourth round. Cirstea was injured and wasn’t competitive in the second set.
Pavlyuchenkova reached the semi finals in Madrid when an injury kept her from being competitive against Aryna Sabalenka. There has been no sign of the injury in this tournament. She had some revenge over Sabalenka in 3 sets in the third round and also beat Victoria Azarenka and Elena Rybakina in 3 sets.
This should be a tight match. I’ll be amazed if we don’t see 3 sets. As long as Pavlyuchenkova is fit, I favour her to win. Back her above 2.20 or if she loses the first set.
Update: Pavlyuchenkova was broken in the first game of the match. She broke back 3 games later and broke again for a 5-3 lead. She served for the set but was broken. She broke again when Zidansek served at 5-6 to take the set 7-5.
In set 2, Pavlyuchenkova was again broken in her first service game. She immediately broke back and was then broken again! She could not hold onto the lead and Zidansek broke her to get back on serve at 3-4. In the next game Zidansek was broken to 30 which gave Pavlyuchenkova to serve for the match. She held serve to 15.
Pavlyuchenkova won 7-5, 6-3.
Krejcikova (2.6) v Sakkari (1.62)
Due to start at 15:30
Krejcikova has won both their previous matches. Their last match was on a hard court in Dubai in March this year. She won in 2 sets. She won on clay in 2014 in an ITF final.
Overall win percentages are very close but favour Krejcikova. Both have excellent long term win percentages on clay. Krejcikova won 37 of her last 50. Sakkari won 34 of 50. This season Krejcikova won 13 of 16 on clay. Sakkari won 9 of 12.
Sakkari has had consistency issues at times this season but has really raised her level in this tournament. She has lost just 1 set which was against Elise Mertens in the third round. She beat defending champion Iga Swiatek in the last round. Swiatek was well below her best and had treatment for a thigh issue. in the fourth round. Sofia Kenin had a nightmare in their fourth round clash and just couldn’t cope with Sakkari’s power.
Stats for the tournament are very even. We have some value on Krejcikova. Lay Sakkari around 1.40 and remove some or all of your liability at 1.80. Lay the winner of the opening set.
This should be a great match and I give Krejcikova a slight edge to make the final.
Update: The first 3 games of the match were breaks of serve and left Sakkari leading 2-1. She held for a 3-1 advantage but Krejcikova would break back to get the score to 3-3. Krejcikova broke again to lead 5-3 and served for the set. She was broken but another break for Krejcikova late in the set gave it to the Czech player.
In the second set, Sakkari bounced back quickly and took a 4-0 lead. Krejcikova would get one of the breaks back but Sakkari took the set.
The third set saw Sakkari take an early lead with a break in the 3rd game. She held on to that lead until she served for the match at 5-4. She had a match point in that service game but was broken. Sakkari saved 3 match points while serving at 6-7. In her next service game she was broken and Krejcikova took the set and the match.
Krejcikova won 7-5, 4-6, 9-7.