Ostapenko vs. Venus
|Date & Time||Tuesday October 24, 2017, 8:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Venus -113 / Ostapenko -103 -- Over/Under: 21.5
Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko meet in the 2017 WTA Finals.
Venus Williams is coming off a straight sets loss to Karolina Pliskova that took 16 games to decide. In the loss, Venus won 61 percent of her first serve points and 32 percent of her second serve points. Venus has now lost three of her last four matches, and you have to wonder if fatigue is catching to her, as the 37-year-old is approaching 50 matches under her belt this season. Venus has really struggled with her second serve as of late, and her return has really let her down, which includes winning just 31 percent in her last match. However, we know Venus is a fighter and won’t go down quietly. Venus has made at least the semifinals in all four of her appearances in the WTA Finals. Venus has won six of her last nine matches on hard court.
Jelena Ostapenko is coming off a straight sets loss to Garbine Muguruza that took 19 games to decide. In the loss, Ostapenko won 63 percent of her first serve points and 44 percent of her second serve points. Ostapenko put up a fight in her first match loss, winning 40 percent of her return points and getting 64 percent of her first serves in play. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for the 20-year-old Ostapenko, as it usually takes a clean performance to get the job done in these tournaments with nothing but elite players. Ostapenko is in the WTA Finals for the first time in her young career and does have three wins this season over top-10 players. If Ostapenko hopes to get a victory here, she must be more effective with her serve. Ostapenko has won six of her last nine matches on hard court.
These two have played once, which was in this years Wimbledon, a match Venus won in straight sets. The match took 21 games to decide.
Ostapenko was probably the better player in the first round match, but in a tournament like this, experience is key. Venus has obviously been here done that, and she should be able to control her nerves a bit more and play with a clear mind. A younger player such as Ostapenko can press a bit, and we’ve seen her emotions takeover her game often when things aren’t going the way she likes. Not to mention Venus has little trouble with Ostapenko in their meeting earlier in the season, even if that match was on grass.
Close match that could take three sets, but I’m betting on Venus’ experience.