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It’s last year’s finalist against the 2023 Australian Open champion. The stage is set for a thrilling semi-final, but what should you be backing? Let me give you my top tips now.
Set 1 Result - Sabalenka
Sabalenka -2.5 Games Handicap
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Sakkari vs Sabalenka – Match Predictions
Maria Sakkari has had to dig incredibly deep to reach the semi-finals of the Indian Wells event this year. She has gone to three sets in every single match she’s played. Yet clearly, she’s come through all of them to make it into the semis. Her reward is a clash with the Australian Open champion, Aryna Sabalenka. As for their rankings, Sakkari is 7 in the world while Sabalenka is 2 in the world – pretty close!
They each have rather different game styles too, which ensures that this game could be pretty entertaining. But putting entertainment aside, you’ve no doubt come here for some Sakkari vs Sabalenka predictions. So let me share both of my predictions here.
Set 1 Result – Sabalenka
As I’ve mentioned above, Sakkari has gone three sets in all of her four matches at Indian Wells. Interestingly, she’s lost the opening set in 3 out of those 4 matches too. And given the caliber of opponent she is facing in the form of Sabalenka, I feel this market is a good call.
Sabalenka -2.5 Games Handicap
While I truly believe that Sabalenka will win the first set and ultimately, the match against Sakkari, I also think this market is appealing. Since she’d only need to win by a margin of 3 games or more for this bet to produce a win, I feel it’s a logical play. Furthermore, she absolutely destroyed Coco Gauff in the lost round with the loss of just 4 games!
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Preview
It’s one thing to produce tennis predictions today about the upcoming game. However, it’s another to also justify such predictions with a player preview, which is what I’d like to do now.
Maria Sakkari Preview
Sakkari has been one of the most active WTA players in the 2023 season. And her results have helped her achieve a current ranking of 7. With that said, as active as she has been, she hasn’t gone beyond the semi-final in any tournament this season. Then again, she did make the final in 2022, and she has beaten Sabalenka three times in the past. So the real question when taking that into account is whether that carries any weight to it. I believe that yes it does, to some degree, yet the odds still aren’t in Sakkari’s favor here.
It’s tough to ignore the fact that she’s spent so much time on the court to reach the semi-final stage already. And when she goes up against Sabalenka, who can smoke the ball from side to side, it’s going to be a pretty physical affair. So Sakkari will need to dig deep to even compete here, in my opinion.
Aryna Sabalenka Preview
Aryna Sabalenka has been nothing short of prolific in 2023. In fact, she has lost just one match all season, which came against Krejcikova in Dubai. Furthermore, she’s the number 2 player in the world, which is justified given her performances in recent months. Of course, her confidence is flying high off the back of her first Grand Slam title in Australia too. So for me, this season shows that Sabalenka is finally believing in herself, even though she’s always had the potential to be a top WTA player.
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Head to Head
The current head-to-head record between these two is 4-3 in Sabalenka’s favor. But interestingly, she lost to Sakkari in their last two meetings. Both of these matches were played at the WTA finals in 2021 and 2022, respectively. However, even though this most recent meeting was just a few months ago, it feels like Sabalenka is a completely different player. She now trusts herself in the big moments, and she appears to be much tougher mentally, which is important when going up against a fighter like Maria Sakkari.
I might also point out that just one of their seven previous meetings was a semi-final, which Sabalenka won convincingly by a score of 6-3 6-2.
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Match Details
- Match Schedule – March 18th, 00:00 GMT
- Venue – Indian Wells, Stadium 1
- Viewing Options – Amazon Prime