WTA Dubai (outdoor hard) has featured unbelievable tennis so far, and the action continues on Tuesday.
I’ve found value for us to exploit on two of Tuesday’s exciting matchups!
Read on for my WTA picks on Tuesday, February 21.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
WTA Dubai Odds, Picks
Anhelina Kalinina (-154) vs. Dayana Yastremska (+116)
2 a.m. ET
Anhelina Kalinina defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 in the first round. Kalinina only won 53% of her service points, getting broken on seven occasions. However, she won 50% of her return points and broke eight times.
Kalinina hasn’t been perfect but has started the season strong, going 8-5 so far. The Ukrainian is historically a strong hard-court player, with a 152-94 record for her career, and a 21-13 record in 2022.
Kalinina is an excellent mover, anticipates well and absorbs pace at a high level. She counterpunches effectively and can effectively hit into openings when they present themselves. The Ukrainian gets consistent depth on her groundstrokes.
Dayana Yastremska qualified for Dubai and now beat Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-3 in the first round. Yastremska won 70% of her service points and was only broken once. She won 50% of her return points, as well, allowing her to break on four occasions.
Yastremska, including qualifying, has won all six sets she’s played in Dubai so far. It’s been a decent start to the year for the Ukrainian, as she is now 7-5 for the season. Yastremska is 105-80 as a professional on hard courts, although she went 14-17 in 2022.
Yastremska plays “roulette tennis.” She has incredible power on her serve and groundstrokes, especially from the forehand wing. And when these shots are landing, she’s extremely tough to beat. However, the Ukrainian is often inconsistent, hitting herself out of matches.
Kalinina absorbs pace very well and will counterpunch effectively against Yastremska’s attacking groundstrokes. And when Kalinina blunts Yastremska’s power, she will start overhitting on her groundstrokes.
Kalinina is also an excellent returner and should make many more inroads into Yastremska’s service games than Cornet did.
In addition, when looking at Elo ratings, Kalinina’s overall Elo is 148.5 points above Yastremska’s, and her hard-court Elo is 134.3 points higher.
I trust Kalinina’s solid game over Yastremska’s hit-or-miss power.
Coco Gauff (-550) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (+380)
11:30 a.m. ET
Coco Gauff last played in Doha, where she lost in the quarterfinals 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 against Veronika Kudermetova. Gauff won just 48% of her service points and was broken seven times in 12 service games. But, Gauff did win 59% of her second-serve return points and broke on four occasions.
Historically, Gauff is a strong hard-court player with a 78-46 record for her career. The American is 9-2 in 2023, having won a WTA Tour title in Auckland to kick off the year. However, starting with her loss to Jelena Ostapenko at the Australian Open, Gauff’s forehand, long a weakness, has looked particularly shaky. She’s been erratic from that wing and is not hitting with good depth.
On the other hand, Gauff’s backhand is terrific, and she’s an excellent mover. The American is also strong at the net and has a high tennis IQ.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich blunted Rebeka Masarova’s power, defeating the Spaniard 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Sasnovich won 63% of her service points, including 57% on her second serve, although she was broken four times. In addition, Sasnovich won 44% of her return points, which includes 56% of her second-serve returns. This allowed the Belarusian to generate 14 break points, breaking four times.
Sasnovich needed this win, as she was 2-5 on the season before beating Masarova. Sasnovich is traditionally a good hard-court player, compiling a 251-151 record in her career. This includes a 21-12 mark on hard last season.
The Belarusian balances offense and defense well. Sasnovich can control the baseline at times, particularly with her forehand and spreads the court well. However, her groundstrokes can break down on occasion.
Gauff is the better player and will often dictate with her backhand, but her forehand has concerned me in recent matches. Gauff is not hitting the ball cleanly from this win, and Sasnovich should target the American’s forehand and break this wing down.
Sasnovich has the variety to keep the ball out of Gauff’s strike zone, which will be particularly important when the Belarusian hits to her forehand.
So, Sasnovich will have the edge in forehand-to-forehand exchanges, and her defensive abilities are strong enough, as she showcased against Masarova, that she should somewhat hold Gauff’s backhand at bay.
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