Guadalajara Open Quarterfinals Preview
As the last WTA 1000 tournament of the year and the final event before the season-ending WTA Finals, the Guadalajara Open has been feisty, as expected. With WTA Finals spots on the line and players looking to end their season on a high, it was always going to be keenly contested.
So far, the tournament has lived up to expectations and it now intensifies with the quarterfinals upon us.
Victoria Azarenka v Coco Gauff
It has not been the best of seasons for veteran Azarenka, but the 33-year-old has come alive at Guadalajara.
After a straight sets win over World No.130 Elina Avanesyan in the opening round, Azarenka went into the second round as the underdog against top seed and WTA Finals contender, Paula Badosa. Azarenka, however, dominated the first set 6-2 before Badosa retired from the match.
In the round of 16, Azarenka faced another WTA Finals contender, this time Madison Keys. The World No.37 was made to battle for it, but she eventually overcame Keys 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-1 to book a place in the quarterfinals.
For Gauff, it has been an easier route to the final eight. The 18-year-old beat both Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Martina Trevisan in straight sets and has now qualified for the WTA Finals for the first time, becoming the youngest player to do so since Maria Sharapova in 2005.
The young American now sets her sights on clinching a third WTA title.
Head-to-head: First meeting. This is a battle between two generations and while Azarenka is older, more experienced, and more accomplished, Gauff is the favourite here. The World No.7 enters the quarterfinals fresher, having spent less time than her opponent on court. She has also had quite an impressive year so far and can be backed at 1.55 odds to win on BetKing.
Jessica Pegula v Sloane Stephens
Top-ranked American, Pegula’s commendable season continues as she makes her fifth WTA 1000 quarterfinal of 2022.
It has been no easy run to get here as the 28-year-old faced this year’s Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu on the way.
Stephens was probably not one of the favourites to make a deep run in Guadalajara, but the 2017 US Open champion has produced some stunning results.
After taking out World No.14 Belinda Bencic in the second round, the 29-year-old backed it up by beating World No.10 Caroline Garcia 7-6(6), 7-5 to earn her first top 10 win of the year.
Head-to-head: Pegula leads 2-0. Both times these compatriots have met, Pegula has won in straight sets. She was the favourite then and she is the favourite now. The odds reflect this: the American is priced at 1.47 odds on BetKing
However, Stephens is on an eight-match winning streak in Guadalajara where she won a WTA 250 earlier in the year. She seems comfortable playing in the Mexican conditions and that is where she might have a slight advantage.
This match could go into three sets, and you can get odds as high as 2.35 on this outcome on BetKing.
Veronika Kudermetova v Maria Sakkari
This is probably the match of the quarterfinals. Both players are battling for the last available WTA Finals spot, and it is a must-win. Whoever wins makes the semifinals in Guadalajara and qualifies for the WTA Finals; it’s a winner-takes-all situation.
World No.12 Kudermetova has reached the quarterfinals by beating both Donna Vekic and Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets. The Russian has qualified for the WTA Finals in doubles alongside Elise Mertens and is now one win away from qualifying in singles as well.
In her round of 16 clash with Danielle Collins, knowing she could go one step closer to a WTA Finals spot, World No.6 Sakkari fought from a set down to take it 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Like Kudermrtova, she needs one more win.
Head-to-head: Sakkari leads 2-1. Sakkari has won their last two meetings. Kudermetova won their first clash back in 2019.
With a lot at stake here, this is a difficult one to call and it will definitely be a fierce game. The odds on this going to three sets are encouraging: 2.30 odds on BetKing.
“It was meant to be, for me and Veronika to be in that spot, fighting each other to get that last spot. We’re going to give it all.” Sakkari said ahead of the match.
“I think it’s going to be nice for tennis in general, for women’s tennis and for the spectators.”
Anna Kalinskaya v Marie Bouzkova
Kalinskaya is having an incredible week! One of the unlikeliest quarterfinalists, the World No.73 beat 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, World No.34 Elise Mertens and World No.11 Daria Kasatkina to reach her first WTA 1000 quarterfinal.
World No. 38 Bouzkova is through to her second WTA 1000 quarter final after beating in-form Liudmila Samsonova 0-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Head-to-head: Bouzkova leads 1-0. These two met in Cincinnati in 2020, with Bouzkova coming out on top in straight sets.
By ranking, it looks likely that the Czech will beat Kalinskaya again, and odds of 1.45 on BetKing reflect this.
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