Garbine Muguruza vs. Saisai Zheng
|Date & Time||Monday May 13, 2019, 6:30 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Muguruza -370 / Zheng +325 -- Over/Under:
Garbine Muguruza and Saisai Zheng meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Italian Open.
Garbine Muguruza is coming off a first match loss in Madrid and has now lost each of her last three matches when you include two Fed Cup matches. In her last showing, Muguruza won 60 percent of her total service points, had three double faults and was broken three times. It’s the same song and dance with Muguruza, as one moment she looks like the grand slam winner capable of winning any given tournament, and the next moment she’s struggling with unforced errors and is getting drilled in straight sets. You really have no idea which Muguruza is going to show up, and it’s the worst feeling as a bettor who is trying to get an accurate read. Muguruza has won five of her last seven matches on clay court.
Saisai Zheng won two matches in Madrid before losing to Sloane Stephens in three sets, and she’s won in of her last 13 matches overall when you include a challenger title. Zheng hasn’t been the best with her serve, but she’s returned well and has given herself a combined 49 break points in her last three matches. Zheng is going to be a tough out regardless who she plays if she’s going to be that successful with her return moving forward. Zheng has to be quite confident heading into this match, especially with the way she pushed Stephens despite the losing effort, proving she’s capable of hanging with the top tier players on this surface. Zheng has won seven of her last eight matches on clay court.
These two have played twice and Muguruza won both meetings in straight sets. The matches both took place this year in Dubai and the Australian Open.
It’s tough to back Muguruza with any confidence, as losing to lesser players is no problem for her when she’s not playing well. With that said, Muguruza cruised in both meetings this year against Zheng, and she’s comfortable on this surface. Muguruza should also be able to take advantage of the weak serving from Zheng, as she gets first serves in play, but it’s nothing special in terms of returning.
If the real Muguruza shows up, she wins this match in straight sets. Uh, we’ll see.