Monica Puig vs. Aryna Sabalenka
|Date & Time||Thursday April 4, 2019, 12:30 PM (EDT)|
Family Circle Tennis Center
Charleston, South Carolina
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Monica Puig and Aryna Sabalenka meet in the third round of the 2019 tennis Charleston Open.
Monica Puig is coming off a straight sets win over Sofia Kenin that took 20 games to decide. In the victory, Puig won 69 percent of her first serve points and 58 percent of her second serve points. Puig won 65 percent of her total service points and converted on four of her seven break points. Puig is still a bit inconsistent, but she’s showing flashes of breaking out of this serious funk she’s been in over the last year or so, and she’s dropped just nine combined games in her last four sets. While it’s just two victories, this could be the turning point Puig needed after so many losses. Puig looks to win three straight matches for the first time since Wuhan back in September. Puig has won four of her last six matches on clay court.
Aryna Sabalenka is coming off a three sets win over Kateryna Kozlova that took 27 games to decide. In the victory, Sabalenka won 64 percent of her first serve points and 30 percent of her second serve points. Sabalenka won 52 percent of her total service points and converted on seven of her 15 break points. Give Sabalenka credit for winning a match after dropping a set and pushing through despite six breaks overall, but she’s been shaky at best in her last couple of matches and allows her emotions to takeover her match. I predicted a letdown after she blew her match to Angelique Kerber in Indian Wells, and we’re certainly seeing a carryover effect in her last couple of matches. Sabalenka has to do a better job of leaving the past in the past and focusing on her next match. Sabalenka has lost four of her last six matches on clay court.
There’s no match history between these two players.
When these two are playing at their best, Sabalenka is obviously the pick, but she hasn’t been herself in her last few matches. This is also a moment for Puig to truly gain some confidence after a couple of frustrating years, and she’s shown she has the ability to increase her level of play against top tier competition. Puig will have chances to win this match and I have more trust in her mental toughness.
I’ll predict an upset here and back Puig to the quarters.