Maria Sakkari vs. Katie Boulter
|Date & Time||Friday December 28, 2018, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Maria Sakkari -215 / Katie Boulter +170 -- Over/Under:
Katie Boulter and Maria Sakkari meet in the round robin stages of the 2018 tennis Hopman Cup.
Katie Boulter enters this match in pretty decent form, as she’s won six of her last nine matches when you include qualifying, and she made the quarterfinals of Suzhou before being forced to retire. Boulter hasn’t played the best competition or on the biggest stages during this winning stretch, but the 22-year-old is coming off one of her better seasons as a pro. In fact, two of Boulter’s five ITF titles came in 2018, and that doesn’t include a July final appearance in Southsea. Boulter is starting to learn how to piece things together and will become an even more consistent player down the line once she improves her second serve. Boulter has lost each of her last four matches on indoor hard court.
Maria Sakkari finished the 2018 season ice cold, as she lost each of her last five matches and 10 of her last 15 matches. Sakkari had promising moments such as making her first ever WTA final in the Bank of the West Classic, becoming a top-30 player for the first time in her career and beating Karolina Pliskova in the Italian Open. However, there’s no telling what version of Sakkari we’re going to get when you consider she’s lost each of her last 10 sets. Confidence is key for tennis players, especially young players who haven’t experienced a ton of success. It’s important Sakkari gets back on track and starts the 2019 season with a confidence boosting victory. Sakkari has lost each of her last four matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played once, which was a match last year in Tianjin, a match Boulter won in straight sets. The match took 22 games to be decided.
There’s reasons to consider Boulter in this match, as she beat Sakkari in their only meeting and has had more recent success, even if it’s come on a smaller scale. Backing Sakkari is risky with the way she wrapped up the 2018 season. However, I’m still going to do it. Sakkari is the better and more proven player up to this point and time off could do wonders for a player like herself. It’s a chance to recharge the batteries and get back to returning the way she was during her success.
I’ll take Sakkari to right the ship.