The WTA Finals will be held in Fort Worth Texas this year. The WTA finals is a year-end competition that is different than most formats during the season. Most tournaments in the WTA are played in a single-elimination format. The WTA Finals are played in a round-robin.
Eight players have qualified for the WTA Finals. They are separated into two groups:
- Group A: Caroline Garcia, Daria Kasatkina, Iga Swiatek, and Coco Gauff.
- Group B: Ons Jabeur, Jessica Pegula, Maria Sakkari, and Aryna Sabalenka.
The players in each group will all play each other, and the top two players in each group will advance in a semifinal single-elimination format.
The WTA Finals is an exciting event and oftentimes success in the WTA Finals can portend success in the upcoming year. Even though the players are tired after a grueling season, each player will be giving their all to win, and it should be a high level of tennis competition.
Let’s take a look at the opening day of this fun format to find more winning tennis picks.
Jessica Pegula vs. Maria Sakkari
Monday, October 31, 2022 – 06:00 PM EDT at Dickies Arena
Two hard-working stars will take the court when Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari put the first ball in play for the WTA Finals.
- Both players are emblematic of how hard work can lead to success on the tennis court.
- Both players are good athletes, but not elite athletes.
- Both players used hard work, dedication, and commitment to training to be able to move to the top of the WTA.
Jessica Pegula: Player Profile
Jessica Pegula is an American player who has been continuing her ascension up the tennis rankings this season.
Pegula is not the most talented athlete, and she certainly doesn't need the money (she is the daughter of the owner of the NFL's Buffalo Bills). Yet she displays a true love for the game which shines through in her constant improvement.
Pegula plays a power game. She has an excellent serve, and likes to be aggressive from the baseline. Her forehand is her main weapon, so she actually plays like a prototypical men's American player.
She has a serve and forehand style, and when it is working well, it is tough for any player to overcome.
Maria Sakkari: Player Profile
Maria Sakkari is the hard-charging Greek player whose fitness and fighting spirit are never in question.
Sakkari never looks tired in matches and has continued to improve over the last two years, catapulting herself into the top ten.
The Greek does have moments where her level of play can waver with the game on the line. She has been vulnerable to getting a case of nerves when serving out matches.
Sakkari has gained more experience, but I still struggle to believe that in the constant high-pressure moments of a WTA Finals that she will continually be able to come through.
- Jessica Pegula has the stronger serve. Pegula uses pace and accuracy to place herself in a position to put away most points when her first serve lands.
- Sakkari has a stronger return of serve. Sakkari will be aggressive against second serves and if her opponent misses the first serve, she has the advantage when attacking second serves.
- Sakkari has greater rally tolerance. In extended rallies, Sakkari's quickness and court coverage will give her the edge. Pegula will prefer to end points quickly.
- Pegula plays better under pressure. Sakkari can sometimes have trouble serving matches out when she has a big lead.
- Jessica Pegula is 2-1 against Maria Sakkari this season. They met last week in the final of the WTA Guadalajara event, where Pegula prevailed 6-2, 6-3.
Maria Sakkari has not played her best in finals of tournaments. After last week's disappointing defeat, I expect Sakkari to bounce back with a better effort.
Sakkari will be able to adjust her game plan to improve the strategies that didn't work last week. So, while last week's defeat looks tough, I believe it gives us an edge here on Sakkari.
Following the WTA odds, while there is slight value on the Maria Sakkari moneyline, I prefer to play it safe and take the Over 21 games. I believe she will improve her play and make adjustments to improve her performance after last week's disappointment.
Jessica Pegula is a great player and this should be a fun match, but I expect Sakkari to make it much closer than last week's affair. Our bet at the top-rated sportsbooks for today's WTA Finals is Over 21 games.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.