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St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Semifinals Odds & Picks

Sakkari

Maria Sakkari of Greece makes a backhand return to Jessica Pegula of the U.S. during their fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

Top seed Maria Sakkari faces Irina-Camelia Begu in the first St. Petersburg Ladies Open semifinal Saturday
No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit and No. 7 Jelena Ostapenko square off in the second semifinal
We break down the matchups and make some predictions

The top two seeds at the St. Petersburg Ladies Open have reached the final four, with No. 1 Maria Sakkari likely having the easier road Saturday against unseeded Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.

It’s been more than three years since the two last met, so there isn’t much previous-performance data to go on to gauge the matchup.

Maria Sakkari vs Irina-Camelia Begu Odds

Player
Spread
Moneyline
Total

[1] Maria Sakkari (GRE)
-4.5 (-105)
-315
O 20.5 (-113)

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)
+4.5 (-118)
+245
U 20.5 (-109)

Odds as of Feb. 11 at Barstool Sportsbook

Sakkari Looking for Only Second Career Title

The 26-year-old from Greece was shocked at the Australian Open in the fourth round, beaten in straight sets by Jessica Pegula.

If anything, it might have given her a shake to start the season, one with an unusually short turnaround after she qualified for the year-end finals and played into mid-November.

Maria Sakkari vs Irina-Camelia Begu Head-to-Head

26 (July 24, 1995)
Age
31 (Aug. 25, 1990)

Athens, Greece
Birthplace
Bucharest, Romania

5-8
Height
5-11

1
Career WTA Singles Titles
4

No. 6 (Oct. 31, 2021)
Career High Ranking
No. 22 (Aug. 21, 2016)

No. 7
Current Ranking
No. 56

$5,827,404
Career Prize Money
$6,220,322

7-2
2022 Won/Loss record
6-2

1
Career Head to Head
1

Previous Matchups vs “Young” Sakkari

When they last met in 2018, Begu was ranked nearly exactly she is now – but Sakkari was only No. 32 in the world.

Sakkari was a qualifier ranked No. 131 (and still playing a lot at the ITF level) when they first met at the Miami Open in 2016, which was Begu’s career-best year.

Sakkari is a different player now.

Begu’s main weapon is power. And Sakkari’s speed and defense are more than a match for that these days.

Maria Sakkari vs Irina-Camelia Begu Match History

Year
Tournament
Surface
Score
Winner

2018
Seoul (QF)
Outdoor Hard
6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Sakkari

2016
Miami (R128)
Outdoor Hard
6-1, 6-3
Begu

Quick wins over Russians Anastasia Potapova and Ekaterina Alexandrova earlier this week will have given Sakkari good recent practice against good pace.

Best Bet: Sakkari in two sets (-113)

Ostapenko and Sakkari Meet Again – and Not on Grass

There have been three previous meetings between Jelena Ostapenko and Anett Kontaveit. And two came on British lawns not named Wimbledon.

Ostapenko vs Kontaveit Odds

Player
Spread
Moneyline
Total

[7] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
+3.5 (+105)
+195
O 20.5 (-120)

[2] Anett Kontaveit (EST)
-3.5 (-129)
-245
U 20.5 (-104)

Ostapenko won their most recent meeting, in the final of Eastbourne last summer.

So it’s somewhat surprising she’s a bit of a longshot here.

On an indoor hard court, the Latvian is more than capable of beating anyone on the day.

But so is Kontaveit. And she proved that in winning back-to-back fall indoor tournaments in 2021 to qualify for the WTA Tour Finals.

Jelena Ostapenko vs Anett Kontaveit Head-to-Head

24 (June 8, 1997)
Age
26 (Dec. 24, 1995)

Riga, Latvia
Birthplace
Tallinn, Estonia

5-10
Height
5-9

4
Career WTA Singles Titles
5

No. 5 (March 19, 2018)
Career High Ranking
No. 7 (Nov. 15, 2021)

No. 25
Current Ranking
No. 9

$10,358,557
Career Prize Money
$6,940,343

5-2
2022 Won/Loss record
7-2

1
Career Head to Head
2

Slow Start to 2022 for Kontaveit

The 26-year-old from Estonia, the slight pre-tournament favorite, struggled in her first-round win over lefty Jil Teichmann of Switzerland.

She was bounced out of the Australian Open in the second round by Denmark’s Clara Tauson. As a high seed who surely had high expectations, it had to hurt.

First Top 10 win 💥

🇩🇰 Clara Tauson upsets the No.6 seed Kontaveit in commanding fashion, 6-2, 6-4!#AO2022 pic.twitter.com/AQl1Y8ONSl

— wta (@WTA) January 20, 2022

But in getting through some top-quality opposition this week, Kontaveit found some good form.

Ostapenko vs Kontaveit Match History

Year
Tournament
Surface
Score
Winner

2021
Eastbourne (F)
Grass
6-3, 6-3
Ostapenko

2018
Australian Open (R32)
Outdoor Hard
6-3, 1-6, 6-3
Kontaveit

2015
Ilkley ITF (R16)
Grass
6-1, 6-2
Kontaveit

Ostapenko Always a Wild Card

It was only 4 1/2 years ago that Ostapenko became a Grand Slam Champion after winning the 2017 French Open.

Since then, it’s been very up and down. Her technically awkward, inconsistent serve typically is the barometer of how she’ll go.

Against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the quarterfinals Friday, she had nine double faults (her opponent had 10).

But Ostapenko was tough when it counted, saving 16-of-21 break points. (Yes, you read that right).

She saved 9-of-10 break-point chances against her in her first two rounds, too.

Kontaveit is playing fairly well. But there’s still little of the bravado she showed at the end of 2021.

This one is likely to be a long one, and Ostapenko certainly has a shot.

Best Bet: Over 2.5 (+155)

Author: wpadmin

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