- Less than 24 hours after a grueling Miami Open quarterfinal win, Bianca Andreescu returns to the court
- Maria Sakkari had an easy time of it against a sub-par Naomi Osaka and is far more rested and fresh
- Odds have this match (April 1, 8:30 pm EDT) too close to call. We break down the odds and betting opportunities below
On paper, this Miami Open semifinal would have pitted No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka versus No. 4 Sofia Kenin.
Instead, it’s Bianca Andreescu versus Maria Sakkari.
When you have a Grand Slam champion of such prodigious talent as Andreescu in the draw, even returning from injury, she becomes a wild card.
The winner will play the winner between Ashleigh Barty and Elina Svitolina in Saturday’s final.
Bianca Andreescu vs Maria Sakkari Odds
|Player||Spread||Moneyline||Total at DraftKings|
| Bianca Andreescu (CAN)||-1.5 (+107)||-115||O 21.5 (-122)|
| Maria Sakkari (GRE)||+1.5 (-136)||-108||U 21.5 (-104)|
Odds as of April 1
Bad Day for Osaka, Great Day for Sakkari
Sakkari is a player who might not yet have the weaponry to regularly beat top-10 players.
But she is always ready to pounce – particularly if, as was the case with Osaka Wednesday, a top opponent is having a bad day.
Had Sakkari not saved six match points in the previous victory over Jessica Pegula, she never would have had an opportunity to take advantage of Osaka’s bad day.
And, as she’s shown in the last two years, Sakkari is up for it when facing the very best players.
Sakkari Victories Over Grand Slam Champions
|2021||Miami Open||Naomi Osaka||6-0, 6-4|
|2021||Grampians Trophy||Angelique Kerber||6-4, 6-2|
|2021||Abu Dhabi||Sofia Kenin||2-6, 6-2, 6-0|
|2021||Abu Dhabi||Garbiñe Muguruza||7-5, 6-4|
|2020||Cincinnati/NY||Serena Williams||5-7, 7-6 (5), 6-1|
|2019||Cincinnati||Petra Kvitova||6-4, 2-6, 6-3|
|2019||Rome||Petra Kvitova||7-5, 5-7, 4-0 retd|
|2019||Australian Open||Jelena Ostapenko||6-1, 3-6, 6-2|
Andreescu Finding the Long Way Home
For Andreescu, the key will be recovery.
Earlier in the tournament, the 2h44 win over No. 28 seed Amanda Anisimova and the 2h11 win over No. 12 Garbiñe Muguruza came on back-to-back nights.
She’ll have to do it again after she outlasted Sara Sorribes Tormo in 2h35 Wednesday night.
“Today my body was giving out, and then my mind gave out at one point because I was just thinking about how tired I was, and then it’s just, like, how do I regroup? That’s kind of what happened the last couple of matches, too. Super long three-setters,” Andreescu said after the win.
The groin strain that hampered the Canadian in her win over Muguruza was not in evidence against Sorribes Tormo, which is a good sign.
She defeats S. Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
— SHE SCORES (@SheScoresMedia) April 1, 2021
Will Andreescu’s Well Run Dry?
Sakkari has had one testing match, the fourth-round win over Pegula in which she saved six match points.
Including that match, her average match time is 1h32. Without it, she’s averaging just 1h10 in her other three wins.
Andreescu has averaged two hours, 21 minutes per match over four victories.
Bianca Andreescu came from behind to win on Monday, punctuated by this 𝗨𝗡𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗟 winner in the 3rd set ✨
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) March 30, 2021
Andreescu can use the pace Sakkari generates on her groundstrokes and save herself the wear and tear Sorribes Tormo inflicted upon her with every strike.
But Sakkari’s forehand is heavy enough that she can prevent Andreescu from playing the match on her own terms.
Sakkari is likely to have more trouble handling the variety in Andreescu’s game.
But it’s all guesswork at this point. The two are meeting for the first time; the first set will be a major feeling-out period.
Bianca Andreescu vs Maria Sakkari Head-to-Head
|20 (June 15, 2000)||Age||25 (July 25, 1995)|
|Mississauga, Canada||Birthplace||Athens, Greece|
|3||Career WTA Singles Titles||1|
|No. 4 (Oct. 20, 2019)||Career High Ranking||No. 20 (Feb. 24, 2020)|
|No. 9||Current Ranking||No. 25|
|$6,835,466||Career Prize Money||$3,682,796|
|8-2||2021 Won/Loss record||12-5|
A Match Decided by Second Serves
One stat that stands out so far in Miami is Sakkari’s success on her opponent’s second serve. She has won an impressive 65.5-percent of points in that situation.
Andreescu has won 48.4-percent on her second serve. Something has to give.
Sakkari also has been much better at saving break points on her own serve (73-percent to Andreescu’s 58.3-percent).
The odds for the match to take more than 100.5 minutes (-114) are almost a gimme.
And despite Andreescu’s fighting spirit, this one feels like she needs to win it in straight sets (+210). If it goes the distance, Sakkari is at +360 to take it.
Best Bet: Andreescu in two sets (+210)
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