High-quality tennis action continues in Stockholm and Guadalajara today. The quick courts in Stockholm provide an excellent display of power tennis for ATP fans. The WTA Finals continue in Guadalajara. The top eight women are squaring off in a fantastic round-robin format. There’s great tennis to be watched today, let’s find the winning tennis picks.
Denis Shapovalov vs. Arthur Rinderknech
Thursday, November 11, 2021 – 01:20 PM EST at Center Court
Denis Shapovalov has had mixed results since his breakthrough semifinal appearance at Wimbledon this summer. Shapovalov is 5-5 since Wimbledon. The Wimbledon performance is illustrative of Shapovalov’s preferred surface, the quick playing courts. The surface at Stockholm will oblige him as it is playing close to the fastest I have seen this season.
Not surprisingly, the ultra-quick court contributed to Shapovalov’s victory in round 1 over Andrea Vavassori. Shapovalov struggled in the first set going to a tiebreaker. But after winning the tie-break 7-1, he then won the second set 6-1. Shapovalov is rounding into form on a surface that accentuates his positive qualities.
Arthur Rinderknech is one of the winningest players on tour this season if you count Challenger victories. Including Challengers, Rinderknech is 53-28 on the season. Rinderknech opened the tournament with a 6-1, 2-0 victory over Alexander Bublik, who retired with a shoulder injury.
He followed that up with an impressive win over Josev Kovalik 6-4, 6-1. Rinderknech has the type of game that translates well to the surface with his big serve and powerful groundstrokes. Give credit to Rinderknech for his development this year. He is truly grinding his way to becoming a better player.
In this match, however, I do think the darling of the Challenger tour will realize the level of the elite play in the ATP against Shapovalov. Shapovalov is finding his form on a surface that highlights all of his strengths while minimizing some weaknesses. Shapovalov excels in quicker points and quicker-paced matches. Everything is lining up for him to have a deep run here in Stockholm. For my best bets, I like the Shapovalov to get the win and cover the game spread of -2.5.
Paula Badosa Gibert vs. Aryna Sabalenka
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 08:30 PM EST at Akron Tennis Stadium
Aryna Sabalenka is seeded number one in this year-ending WTA Finals tournament. World number one Ash Barty is not playing in the event, so world number 2 Sabalenka headlines the event. Sabalenka is featured in a field that contains a couple of wily veterans and 6 up and coming top players. Sabalenka is definitely one of these top players. She has been racking up ranking points but has failed to win a coveted Grand Slam title. Sabalenka is the favorite here, and if she were to win, this would be the most impressive tournament win on her resume to date.
Sabalenka plays a power game and hits one of the hardest balls on tour. Even other power players such as Madison Keys and Karolina Pliskova are impressed with Sabalenka’s ability to hit the cover off the ball. Sabalenka has a fantastic serve. She does not have the strongest return game, and can sometimes be passive and erratic while returning serve. She also has a tendency to miss too many first serves and play it safe on her second serve. Sabalenka plays with a higher margin for error, so she can be widely varied in her results, often during the course of one match.
Paula Badosa Gibert is having a breakout season. Her most recent tournament was in Indian Wells, where she claimed victory and earned her first Masters 1000 title. It was Badosa’s second WTA tour-level tournament win. Her first was at the Belgrade Open in Serbia in May.
Badosa can also dial up the power with her groundstrokes, but not nearly to the level of her opponent today, Aryna Sabalenka. Badosa will rely on her consistency and defensive strength. She definitely has the quickness advantage which provides her with greater court coverage.
Badosa will need to be on her A-game in order to match ground strikes with a powerful Sabalenka. Badosa has shown in the past that she can get it done. Badosa has triumphed in their only previous meeting, winning 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 on the ultra-quick courts in Cincinnati this season.
Looking at the WTA odds, Badosa is the pick here. Badosa is a sizable underdog. She is coming into the match in great form and she should not be negatively affected by the high altitude or the quicker outdoor surface. Sabalenka will be feeling the pressure of the high expectations, and Badosa can play freely with nothing to lose. Oftentimes in close tennis matches, we look to back the dog to extract the value from the WTA odds, and this is another case of us doing so. Back the Paula Badosa money line at +131.
Tennis Pick: Paula Badosa (+131) with BookMaker
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