The WTA finals continue in Fort Worth, Texas. Tennis fans have enjoyed this event so far as we have had plenty of hard-fought battles on the court.
Let’s take a look at today’s matches to find another winning tennis pick.
Coco Gauff vs. Daria Kasatkina
Thursday, November 3, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Dickies Arena
Both Russian player Daria Kasatkina and American Coco Gauff lost their opening round matches here in the round-robin format at the WTA finals in Fort Worth, Texas. Daria Kasatkina suffered another loss to the world's best player, Iga Swiatek. Coco Gauff fell to French player Caroline Garcia.
Kasatkina has struggled this season against Iga Swiatek. Swiatek is too consistent for Kasatkina and Daria does not have the power to hit through her. As a result, when these two match up, it results in Swiatek patiently picking her spots to use her power to overwhelm Kasatkina.
The results matched her earlier results against the world's number-one player, and at no point in the match was the outcome in question.
Coco Gauff fell to the French player Caroline Garcia by a scoreline of 6-4, 6-3. After trading breaks to open the match, the players stayed on serve in the first set until Gauff was broken at 4-5 to lose the first set. In the second set, Gauff faltered in the middle and lost serve twice while breaking Garcia once to eventually fall 6-3.
Against Garcia, Gauff's first serve lacked its normal effectiveness. She only won 54% of her first serve points, which is an abnormally low number for the great serving Gauff. Surprisingly, she actually won more points on her second serve, winning 55%. She did manage to save 4 of 8 break points but allowed too many chances to the talented French woman.
What to Expect?
With both players suffering a loss in their first match of the round-robin, today's match is essentially an elimination match. Both players will be giving their best effort to stay alive and relevant in the tournament.
Coco Gauff and Daria Kasatkina have played each other twice. Both matches were played in the indoor clay of Stuttgart. Kasatkina won both matches in straight sets, although the indoor clay plays quite differently than the surface here in Texas.
I'm not sure that these results are quite indicative or predictive of anything that will happen today. Still, it must give Kasatkina a slight edge to know that she has bested the American phenom twice before, albeit in quite different conditions.
- Coco Gauff has a much better serve. Her second serve is especially more effective than Kasatkina's. Still, she will need to be consistent against a returner of Kasatkina's caliber.
- Kasatkina has a better return of serve. She will be able to keep more serves in play and will be aggressive when given the opportunity. This is a slight edge, however, as Gauff is quite capable on return.
- This will be another match where the young Russian Kasatkina is matched at her own strengths: court coverage, quickness, and defensive prowess. Kasatkina is one of the quickest players on the tour, but Coco Gauff is an amazing athlete and her court coverage is elite.
- I will put the experience edge at even. Well technically Gauff has played in bigger matches in her career, Kasatkina has been on tour longer and understands the rigors of the WTA tour quite well.
- Coco Gauff has a better backhand. Her power will force Kasatkina to be on the defensive and to use her slice to stay alive in points. Gauff's formidable backhand will be an advantage she will look to press today.
- Kasatkina has a stronger, more consistent forehand. Kasatkina would like to keep her rallies on that side of the court, while Gauff will be looking to get things to the backhand side.
- Coco Gauff will have the advantage of her home crowd. Gauff is an incredibly popular player here in America, and the crowd will give her their full support.
As outlined in the player matchup, there will be 2 big keys to deciding the outcome of this match. The first element is if Gauff is able to press Kasatkina's serve and get plenty of breaks. The second will be if Kasatkina is able to put pressure on Gauff's inconsistent, shaky forehand.
I expect Kasatkina's serve to hold up well against Gauff here today. The slower court mitigates the serving advantage that some of the bigger hitting players such as Gauff have. This will neutralize Kasatkina's lack of power on the serve and allow her to be competitive in these matches.
Kasatkina is also intelligent when it comes to point construction and I can see her steering the ball to Gauff's forehand. Her ability to dictate where these rallies take place will be key. Kasatkina has the ability to hit with topspin and keep Gauff deep behind the baseline. This will prevent Kasatkina from getting blown off the court by the more powerful American.
In the end, there is too much value on Kasatkina at the current WTA odds. This match should be close to a pick 'em, and getting plus money on a player of the caliber of Kasatkina is too much to pass up.
I believe she will be consistent enough, smart enough, and resilient enough to get the win over the young American. According to the best sportsbooks, the best bet for today's WTA finals event is Daria Kasatkina ML.
*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.