Stephens Too Solid for Zheng (April 5)

The clay season is off to an incredible start and Charleston is the high-quality tennis that tennis fans love.

More high-quality tennis are high-quality bets, and I believe we are in a good position for that Tuesday.

I’ve found two bets to think about on the slate of matches in Charleston.

Match times are subject to change. Read on for tips on watching tennis matches here.

Magda Linette (-250) vs Katie Volynets (+190)

10 am ET

Magda Linette returns to the clay after a second-round defeat to Ons Jabeur in Miami. Linette is just 4-7 on the season and will be looking to change this season’s momentum to the surface change order.

Linette is 153-100 on her career in clay, but went just 5-6 on the dirt last season. Linette has just won the $ 25k level above the clay, taking home the championship trophy at the 2016 $ 100k Cagnes-Sur-Mer event.

The Pole has a solid baseline game and controlling rallies at a decent job. She has pretty good on both wings and a serviceable service that can set her up with short balls. However, Linette has struggled with her consistency this season, especially when trying to hit with strength.

Katie Volynets played for her three-set loss to Daria Kasatkina in the second round of Indian Wells. Volynets was up for a break in Kasatkina on the third, but could not finish the match.

The 20-year-old American has just played 43 games in her career, amassing a 25-18 record. Last season, the Volynets went 12-8, winning a green-clay $ 100k event at Bonita Springs.

Volynets’ game adapts to the clay well. She’s very consistent from the baseline and both wings from the solid. Volynets forces opponents to play longer points and go for more shots of her. As the green clay is a little faster than the red clay, this will also work for Volynets advantage, as it gives her groundstrokes a bit more pop.

This is a fascinating matchup between two baseline-centric players. Volynets is a very tough competitor with excellent fitness and shell force Linette to consistently grind through tough points.

However, Linette does have more power than Volynets and that will allow her to hit the American times. Given how she’s lacked consistency from the baseline this season, though, this is a tough time for the Pole to Face Volynets.

While Linette is the better player and more likely to win the match, I don’t see her maintaining the consistency needed to beat the straight sets.

Pick: Volynets +1.5 sets (-130 via PointsBet)

Sloane Stephens (+210) vs Qinwen Zheng (-280)

12:30 pm ET

Sloane Stephens fell in the second round of Miami to Jessica Pegula, but she’ll be too upset to get back on the clay. Stephens has a 65% winning percentage over the course of her career, going 110-59.

The American even made the final of the 2018 French Open, getting a set away from the title before falling to Simona Halep. In 2021, Stephens went 11-6 on clay, including a set of dropping without a run to the Charleston quarterfinals. She ended up losing quarterfinal to eventual-champion Veronika Kudermetova.

Stephens’ speed around the court, consistent depth and counterpunching skills make her a strong clay-court player. She’s very tough to hit and has the power to make the transition from offense to defense. When Stephens is focused, she does a great job forcing opponents to hit extra shots and win points.

Qinwen Zheng lost to Magda Linette in the first round of Miami. Zheng will be looking to move past a rough patch of form that has seen her fail to win consecutive matches since January.

Zheng has played just 57 clay-court matches over her career so far, but she is 44-13 on the dirt. Last season, Zheng tallied a 16-6 clay record and won the $ 60k clay-court event at Stare Splavy.

The Chinese player has a massive first serve and huge groundstrokes that can hit many players, regardless of the surface. However, Clay can slow down those big groundstrokes and a fast player like Stephens can track down many of those shots and against Zheng’s power.

While Zheng has done well to clay up to this point, she plays more and more tournaments on the dirt, I believe that her results will level off.

Stephens also has a great deal of high-level opposition to the clay and the dirt on defensive power players. Famously, during Stephens ‘French Open final run, she straightened out the win to the limited Madison Keys’ power game.

Stephens’ clay-court Elo rating is 128.3 points better than Zheng’s.

Pick: Stephens -2.5 games (-105 via PointsBet)

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