Kuznetsova vs Sabalenka Odds & Pick: Qatar Open Semifinals

Aryna Sabalenka hitting a backhand
Aryna Sabalenka is the favorite going into her semifinal match of the Qatar Open. Photo by Rob Keating (Wikimedia Commons).
  • Aryna Sabalenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova will face each other in the semifinals of the Qatar Open on Friday, Feb. 28th, at 9:00 AM ET
  • This will be the third time Sabalenka and Kuznetsova have played each other
  • Sabalenka is a -196 favorite to reach the finals

The first Qatar Open semifinal will take place Friday, Feb. 28th, at 9:00 AM ET between Aryna Sabalenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Both are playing great tennis in this tournament. Sabalenka has been a favorite since the get go, with her Qatar Open odds just second behind Ashleigh Barty. Kuznetsova opened at much longer odds, but the veteran has dominated two straight matches as an underdog.

For the third straight match, Kuznetsova will enter as the ‘dog.

2020 Qatar Open Semifinals Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
Aryna Sabalenka -3.5 (-114) -196 O 20.5 (-112)
Svetlana Kuznetsova +3.5 (-108) +164 U 20.5 (-109)

Odds taken February 27, 2020.

Sabalenka’s Road to the Semifinals

In her quarterfinal match with Zheng Saisai, Sabalenka came back from being down a set, and also a break down in the third, gutting out a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 victory.  The match lasted a lengthy two hours and 21 minutes.

 

Sabalenka was able to outsmart her opponent, playing tactical tennis and adapting better to the windy conditions. Despite 37 unforced errors, she was still able to come out on top, recording 29 winners.

The first six games were very close, back and forth, with Zheng being able to control the pace. After Sabalenka won a second-set tiebreaker, it looked as if she might crash out when she fell down a break in the third.

But things changed after that, with Sabalenka finding her serve. She was able to dominate the end of the match, winning 15 of the final 16 points of the match.

[crosspsot]

Kuznetsova’s Road to the Semifinals

Unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated #4 seed Belinda Bencic to reach her first Qatar Total Open semifinal in 13 years. Kuznetsova beat Bencic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, in just one hour and 36 minutes, earning herself her 19th match win in 11 appearances in Doha. This ties her with Caroline Wozniacki for the all-time record at this tournament.

Kuznetsova, who is clearly very comfortable in Doha, was dominant on Thursday. With so many years of experience, she was able to have an answer to everything Bencic was throwing at her.

The Russian committed only six unforced errors and recorded 21 winners. Her form was as strong as ever, finding all parts of the court. In a span of just three Bencic service games, the 34-year-old Russian earned eight break-point chances. Ultimately Kuznetsova was mentally toughER than her opponent and played smarter tennis.

Head to Head

These two players have seen each other twice before. On paper, Sabalenka has been the stronger player recently and won the only previous meeting on hardcourts (March 2018). But Kuznetsova has had a more successful career and did win their only meeting last season, which came on clay in Madrid.

Sabalenka
VS
Kuznetsova

1 Head to Head wins 1
13 World Ranking 46
2 Sets Dropped this Tournament 0

Best Bet

This is going to be a tough match. Kuznetsova has had herself quite the tournament, and has yet to drop a set. She’s been dominant at different points in her career, but Sabalenka is playing great tennis overall right now.

The outcome of the match is going to come down to mental and physical toughness. The conditions at this tournament have been all over the place, with winds carrying the ball all over the court. So it’ll be about adapting if the weather continues like this. I think it will definitely go the distance with three sets.

Best Bet: Over 20.5 games (-112)

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