- Team Peace leads Team Kindness 14-10 through four days of competition at the Credit One Bank Invitational WTA tournament
- Which is the best bet among the three singles matches on tap for Saturday?
- Analysis of the odds and predictions on the outcomes of each of these matches follows in the story below
Peace will be with you at the Credit One Bank Invitational, even though it appears to be going against the form charts.
When this exhibition match featuring competition between two teams of eight WTA stars got underway, the smart money suggested that backing kindness would be the the winning strategy.
Captains Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Team Peace) and Madison Keys (Team Kindness) began the week by drafting their teams from among the 14 other competitors. Consensus afterward was that Keys had assembled the keys to victory through her astute selections.
Reality is playing out to a much different tune. Team Peace holds a 14-10 lead.
The winner of this event will be the first team to reach 25 points. Eight three-point matches are on the docket over Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday’s competition will consist entirely of double matches. First, though, there’s a Saturday singles party on tap. Both team captains will be in action on court.
Credit One Bank Invitational Odds
|Sofia Kenin||-140||-1.0 (-110)||O 19.5 (EVEN)||Madison Keys||+105||+1.0 (-120)||U 19.5 (-130)|
|Jennifer Brady||-180||-1.5 (-120)||O 19.0 (-120)||Sloane Stephens||+135||+1.5 (-110)||U 19.0 (-110)|
|Bethanie Mattek-Sands||+110||+1.0 (-110)||O 19.0 (-130)||Shelby Rogers||-145||-1.0 (-120)||U 19.0 (EVEN)|
Odds taken June 27
Also slated to play are reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin and 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens.
Match Of The Day
All eyes will on court at 4pm ET when world #4 Kenin clashes with Keys, currently #13 in the WTA rankings. This will be in part due to the talent on both sides of the net. But it also has a lot to do with whether this match will remain competitive.
A loss here and Keys and Team Kindness will find their squad trailing by seven points. That would be a lot of ground to make up.
Keys is captain of this ship. She needs to set the tone for the day by providing an upset of Kenin. Fortunately, her history against the Aussie Open champ favors Keys.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) June 25, 2020
She’s won two of three matches from Kenin, including their last two meetings. Keys beat Kenin 6-3, 7-5 in the Round of 32 at the 2019 US Open. She also toppled the Russian-born American resident 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals last year at Cincinnati.
Kenin’s lone win against Keys also came last year. She defeated the American 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-3 in the Round of 32 at Rome.
Pick: Madison Keys (+105)
Stephens Delivers For Kindness
Things would look much bleaker for Team Kindness today if it were not for the efforts of world #37 Stephens. In the final match of Day 4, she battled for a 6-3, 7-6 (7) victory over Eugenie Bouchard.
At one point, Bouchard held a 5-2 advantage in the second set. The Canadian earned three set points. However, she couldn’t deliver the clinching shot and Stephens eventually broke her service during a 12-minute game.
— Virginia Women's Tennis (@UVAWomensTennis) June 27, 2020
Stephens will need to bring that kind of grittiness to the court again as she faces Brady. The #48-ranked player in the WTA, Brady is carrying a hot hand in Credit One Bank Invitational.
She whipped two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, crushing the former World #1 player 6-3, 6-2. In doubles play, Brady teamed with Emma Navarro to topple Shelby Rogers and Alison Riske 6-2, 6-3.
Pick: Jennifer Brady (-185)
Captain Of Her Ship
Mattek-Sands could really put Team Kindness in the driver’s seat if she were able to upset Rogers in the final singles match of the competition.
Rogers is from Charleston, SC, where the Credit One Bank Invitational is taking place. However, there’s been no home-court advantage in a stadium bereft of spectators due to COVID-19 protocol.
Rogers, ranked #113 by the WTA, won her only previous meeting with #359-ranked Mattek-Sands. That was three years ago in the Round of 32 at Madrid. Rogers won in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
— Bethanie MattekSands (@matteksands) June 25, 2020
However, Rogers is 0-2 in this event. Besides her doubles setback, she also lost 6-1, 6-2 to Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Veteran Mattek-Sands, 35, is 2-0, She stopped Monica Puig 6-1, 6-3 in singles play. Teaming with Kenin, her regular doubles partner, they beat Azarenka and Keys 6-2, 1-6, [10-7].
Play a hunch and go with the upset here.
Pick: Betthanie Mattek-Sands (+110)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.