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tennis | Friday, June 17, 2022 7:54 AM

Friday's WTA Tennis Best Bet: Birmingham, June 16th

Friday's WTA Tennis Best Bet: Birmingham, June 16th
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WTA Birmingham Best Bet: CIRSTEA VS VEKIC

Friday, June 17th, TBD

The return for Donna Vekic to the WTA Tour finally appears to be yielding some success, as the Croatian has now cleared four hurdles to reach the quarterfinals in Birmingham. Using that signature massive serve and pacy forehand, Vekic has managed her way through qualification and a pair of main draw matches to take on Sorana Cirstea.

Make no mistake about it though, the likes of Katie Swan, Gabriela Lee, Coco Vandeweghe and Katy McNally do not equate to the likes of Cirstea.

While Vandeweghe is a solid grass courter and McNally also prefers quicker surfaces, neither is the most athletic, and Vandeweghe is well past her prime, with McNally being a talent level or two behind the Romanian.

Cirstea has demonstrated she has no issues dealing with pace, after she dispatched a big-hitting Shelby Rogers in impressive fashion. She can also generate her own pace from the get-go with a strong first serve (which she’s backed up by winning 75% of her first serve points in her two matches on the grass so far this season).

The books seem rather eager to believe Vekic is back to her level of old, but I’m not nearly as convinced. For starters, after a long injury layoff, she does not look fit enough physically to jump back to competing at the upper echelons of the game. She also saw her first serve win percentage dip a tad against McNally, as she faced a sterner test in the second round.

With Cirstea by far and away the best player she’s seen to this point, one has to wonder if that number won’t creep down a bit more. If that’s the case, she’s in big trouble, considering her second serve is relatively pedestrian and Cirstea has the power to hit into open spaces and exploit her lack of mobility.

With Cirstea’s form being superior to Vekic, the talent level being superior, the statistics being equal to – or stronger than – Vekic’s (despite playing tougher competition), an edge in movement and athleticism, as well as a win over another power player already this week, I have Cirstea as a strong favourite.

To see her priced up as a pick ‘em in the betting markets means it’s a position worth attacking aggressively. While it’s entirely possible that Vekic serves her way to what I would deem an upset, that seems to be her lone path to victory at this point.

  • Selection: Cirstea to win
  • Odds: 2.02 (Pinnacle)
  • Stakes: 6/10

More tips for CIRSTEA VS VEKIC

Odds are valid as of 10:00 am on 17th June 2022. Odds may now differ. 

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