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Cori Gauff vs Iga Swiatek Odds & Prediction – WTA Italian Open Semifinals

Stephanie Myles

by Stephanie Myles in Tennis

May 15, 2021 · 6:36 AM PDT

Cori Gauff fist pump reaction
Cori Gauff of the United States reacts after missing a point against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during their 3rd round match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Gauff won 7-5, 6-3. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
  • Iga Swiatek will be playing her second match of the day against a rested Cori Gauff in the Rome semifinals
  • Gauff has beaten Madrid champ Aryna Sabalenka and Stuttgart champ Ash Barty in back-to-back matches
  • The first meeting between the two teenagers has Swiatek as the favorite. We break down the possibilities below

Cori (Coco) Gauff has had her ups and downs this season. But she has been solid and opportunistic this week in reaching the biggest semifinal of her young career at the Italian Open.

For her opponent, Iga Swiatek, it’s also a huge week. The fact that she already has a Grand Slam title (at the French Open last fall) obscures the fact that she’s still a very young player on tour.

Until this week, she had never gone past the third round at any top-level WTA Tour event.

Cori Gauff vs Iga Swiatek Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total at DraftKings
Cori Gauff (USA) +3.5 (-103) +188 O 21.5 (-104)
[15] Iga Swiatek (POL) -3.5 (-124) -240 U 21.5 (-122)

Odds as of May 15

At the Italian Open last year (held in September), Swiatek lost in the first round to qualifier Arantxa Rus.

Before the tournament, Swiatek was at +800 to win outright; Gauff was way down the list at +4500.

Two Teenagers in the Semifinals

Matchups between teenagers in the final stages of a top-level WTA Tour event used to be the norm.

These days, it’s a major exception. And as Swiatek turns 20 on May 31, it might not happen again for awhile.

Gauff’s path has been somewhat similar in that she has made her mark at the majors, more than at the top WTA level so far in her career.

Both players are at career highs – No. 15 for Swiatek, No. 35 for Gauff.

Whatever happens, Swiatek will be a top-16 seed in Paris. For Gauff, the week means she will be seeded at a major for the first time. And if she can win Saturday against Swiatek, she’s likely to be inside the top-24 seeds. That would mean she could avoid playing a top-eight player until the round of 16, if she can get there.

So there’s a fair bit at stake for the young American, if she gets too ahead of herself.

Gauff Serving Woes Solved, for Now

One big issue Gauff says she has addressed since Madrid, where she lost her opener to Karolina Pliskova, is the struggle on serve.

The double faults have come in bunches, and in the more pressure-packed moments.

Will that newfound confidence hold up under the pressure of arguably the biggest match of her career so far? We shall see.

Cori Gauff vs Iga Swiatek Head-to-Head

Cori Gauff
VS
Iga Swiatek

17 (March 13, 2004) Age 19 (May 31, 2001)
Delray Beach, Fla. Birthplace Warsaw, Poland
5-9 Height 5-9
1 Career WTA Singles Titles 2
No. 35 (March 15, 2021) Career High Ranking No. 15 (March 1, 2021)
No. 35 Current Ranking No. 15
$1,351,741 Career Prize Money $3,332,979
18-8 2021 Won/Loss record 17-5

Gauff Gets Sabalenka, Barty

The impressive results Gauff put up in her Wimbledon debut, mostly facing women pushing 30 or beyond, was that when her older competitors got nervy at the thought of losing to a 15-year-old and tightened up like drums, she just kept putting the ball in the court.

That’s much of the reason why she got past Madrid champion Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round (even though Sabalenka is younger).

In the quarterfinal against Barty, the world No. 1 was up a set when she retired with the recurrence of an unspecified arm injury. Two weeks before a major, knowing what was required to heal it, she pulled the plug on a rainy day Friday.

Doubleheader for Swiatek

For Swiatek, the challenge is significant. Luckily, she’s young.

While Gauff advanced Friday thanks to Barty’s retirement, the Polish player’s quarterfinal against No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina was cancelled because of the rain.

She had to come out Saturday morning and defeat Svitolina. Which she did: 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 36 minutes.

Both served poorly; Swiatek capitalized five times on 10 break-point opportunities (Svitolina was 2-of-4).

That was already one great win on Saturday, against the 2017 and 2018 Rome champion.

Coming back again the same day to fight for the final will be a new experience.

First Career Meeting

The two have never met before.

The “elder” Swiatek displays more craft on the clay. And despite having already played Saturday, she seems to have shaken off her ennui from the quarterfinal match against Barbora Krejcikova.

The title is there for the taking, so you go with the player with (slightly) more experience in the big moments. But expect Gauff to take a set.

Best Bet: Swiatek in three sets (+310)

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