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tennis | Friday, March 17, 2023 9:05 AM (Revised at: Friday, March 17, 2023 9:06 AM)

Friday Tennis Best Bet: WTA Indian Wells, Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina

Friday Tennis Best Bet: WTA Indian Wells, Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina
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Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina Best Bet: Friday, March 17th

Well that is a bittersweet result from Thursday’s women’s match. We had Karolina Muchova as much more competitive than the odds indicated, and in the end, we were right. The Czech had a set point on her serve in the opening and landed a first serve, but sailed one of the easiest shots in tennis – the overhead smash – and ended up losing itt.

Thankfully, the over 21.5 games came in so the losses were minimal. For Friday, it’s semifinal day for the women at Indian Wells and we’ll look at the matchup between Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina.

In this article:

Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina Preview

March 17th, 22:00 (UK Time)

The world No. 1 has picked up where she left off last March at the Sunshine Double events.

After winning at both Indian Wells and Miami in 2022, Swiatek has blitzed through her opening four matches, yet to drop a set, and with only one going longer than nine games.

The courts play perfectly for her topspin-heavy style. Whether it be the high bounce that allows her shots to kick through the ground or the slower courts that allow her to use her incredible defending to extend rallies until she has an opportunity to turn them on their heads, the Pole is clearly at her best on these particular hard courts when not on the red dirt.

Rybakina has been somewhat of a surprise, never having reached the semifinals at the tournament in the past.

As a serve and forehand-centric player, her game style is the polar opposite of Swiatek and much less effective.

Her path to reach this stage has also been much more tumultuous. In her opening match, she struggled to put away Sofia Kenin. In another, former champion Paula Badosa really should have won the second set.

Finally, in her most recent match, she dropped a set 6-2 and was one overhead smash from having lost the opening set as well.

Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina Best Bet

This price point is giving Rybakina the benefit of the doubt by only being at about -4.5 games.

This is likely because Rybakina has beaten Swiatek in the past and does have the profile that typically gives Swiatek problems. A big serve, the ability to rush her and not let her turn the table in rallies from the baseline.

That, however, is on quicker courts. It’s a different story on slow courts, where the power doesn’t skip the courts nearly as quickly and where her lack of movement can be exploited by the most dominant player in the women’s game.

I’ll happily back Swiatek to extend her win streak in the desert on Friday, especially with this being the night match in the slowest conditions of all.

  • Selection: Swiatek -4.5 Games
  • Best Odds: 1.96 (Pinnacle)
  • Stakes: 3/10

Odds as at 4:00 am on March 17th, 2023. Odds may now differ.

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