Maria Sakkari and Barbora Strycova meet in the second round of the 2023 tennis Italian Open. Let’s preview this game and give out a pick and prediction.
Maria Sakkari is coming off a semifinal trip in Madrid, which snapped a 3-match losing streak heading into that tournament. Sakkari has made the quarterfinals and semifinals of the Italian Open and has a 69 percent winning percentage here overall, so she should like her chances to build on that momentum. However, Sakkari has lost her opening match in 3 of her last 5 tournaments, so this year hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the 27-year-old Greek. Sakkari has won 7 of her last 10 matches on clay court.
Barbora Strycova is coming off a 3 sets win over Maryna Zanevska that took 25 games to decide. In the victory, Strycova won 55 percent of her first serve points and 38 percent of her second serve points. Strycova won 51 percent of her total service points and converted on 8 of her 9 break points. Strycova got 74 percent of her first serves in play and hit 2 aces. The victory snaps a 5-match losing streak, and Strycova now looks for back to back wins for the first time since 2019 Wimbledon. Strycova has 10 career wins over top-10 players, but none of those wins have come since 2019. Strycova has split her last 8 matches on clay court.
There’s no match history between these 2 players.
Give Strycova credit for finding a way to a victory, as I’m sure it’s been a struggle since returning from retirement, and it doesn’t help she’s now 37 years old. Sakkari hasn’t been at her best this season, so who knows what can happen in this match. With all that said, Strycova still has some showing and proving to do, and I doubt she takes a couple of years off and then beats a top-10 player. It’s going to take time for Strycova to get back on her feet. Sakkari looked good in Madrid.
Give me Sakkari in straight sets for max betting value.