Sabalenka vs. Sharapova
|Date & Time||Saturday October 14, 2017, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
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Maria Sharapova and Aryna Sabalenka meet in the final of the 2017 Tianjin Open.
Maria Sharapova is coming off a straight sets win over Shuai Peng that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Sharapova won 85 percent of her first serve points and 57 percent of her second serve points. Sharapova has yet to drop a set this tournament and continues to be extremely sharp with her return. Sharapova is fresh off a match in which she won 51 percent of her return points and converted on 50 percent of her break points, a formula that is sure to produce a ton of victories. Sharapova looks to win her first title since the 2015 Italian Open and is 19-17 in her career in final appearances on hard court. Sharapova has won six of her last seven final appearances overall. Sharapova has won six of her last seven matches on hard court.
Aryna Sabalenka is coming off a straight sets win over Sara Errani that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Sabalenka won 69 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Sabalenka also has yet to drop a set this tournament and has actually dropped no more than four games in a single set overall. Of course, this will be Sabalenka’s biggest match of her young career, but there’s no denying her play up to this point, as she’s serving well and is fresh off a match in which she won 67 percent of her return points. This is Sabalenka’s first ever WTA final appearance. Sabalenka does have five ITF titles under her belt and is 4-3 in final appearances on hard court. Sabalenka has won seven of her last nine matches on hard court.
This will be the first time these two meet on the tennis court.
Give credit to Sabalenka for making this her breakthrough tournament and playing some consistent, effective tennis. However, Sharapova will easily be her toughest test yet, and it’s fair to question if the 19-year-old is ready for a match of this caliber. Not to mention this is Sharapova’s first final appearance since her return, a chance to kind of stamp things and prove she’s back, so the motivation will be there. While she’s played well up to this point, a Sabalenka victory would be surprising.
You just can’t bet against Sharapova in this spot.