Jessica Pegula (2.14) v Maria Sakkari (1.86)
Due to start around 10 pm
Sakkari won their only previous meeting. That was on grass in June 2019 and she won in straight sets.
Long term overall win percentages are better for Pegula. She has won 35 of her last 50. She also has the lead in the last 12 months. On hard courts Pegula has won 36 of her last compared to 31 from 50 for Sakkari. They both have very strong results on hard courts in 2021. Pegula’s results are a little better.
Pegula has played a lot of tennis in the last 2 months. She reached the semi final in Doha as a qualifier and the quarter finals in Dubai the week after. In February she got to the quarter finals of the Australian Open and the third round of the Yarra Valley Classic. I expected her to tire a little in this tournament. In the last round against Karolina Pliskova that appeared to be the case. She had beaten Pliskova easily in their last 2 recent meetings but this time Pegula won 6-4 in the deciding set.
Sakkari has been a little inconsistent this season but when she hits form she is tough to beat. She reached the fourth round of the US Open in August. In January she reached the semi finals in Abu Dhabi. In one of the Australian open warm up tournaments she got to the semi finals but then lost in the first round of the Australian Open to Kristina Mladenovic in 3 sets. She seems to be having alternate strong and weak tournament. She made it to the quarter finals in Doha and then lost in her first match in Dubai so she was due to have a good run this week!. She has been impressive so far this week and has not lost a set. She has not been broken.
I expect a close match. If Sakkari can maintain her high level she can win. There is a good chance of this going to 3 sets. Lay Pegula around 1.65 and remove or reduce your liability at 2.30. Lay the set 1 winner.
Update: Both players took a while to find their serve. Sakkari broke first but Pegula broke straight back. Sakkari broke again and held on for the set. In set 2 Pegula stepped up a little and Sakkari’s level dropped. Sakkari was broken 3 times in the set.
In the deciding set Sakkari took an early 3-1 lead. Pegula fought back to 3-3 and took another break to serve for the match at 5-3. She was broken. Sakkari served at 4-5 and saved 5 match points and held. They went into a tie break. Sakkari took a 5-2 lead in the tie break but Pegula won the next 4 points. She had 2 serves and led 6-5. She lost both her serves which gave Sakkari a match point which she converted.
Sakkari won 6-4, 2-6, 7-6.
Please note that in the second game of the match Pegula’s price hit 1.55 so our target price for the lay of 1.65 was easily hit.