- In a very strong field at the WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open, unseeded Marie Bouzkova is a surprise semifinalist
- She’ll take on No. 4 seed Maria Sakkari, who must avoid a letdown after qualifying for the WTA Finals Friday
- Scroll down as we break down the Sakkari vs Bouzkova matchup, and make a prediction
With most of the top players in the world in the field, many battling for those last precious spots at the WTA Finals, few would have expected unseeded Marie Bouzkova to be one of the four left standing on Saturday at the Guadalajara Open.
Especially as the likeable Czech hadn’t even played a match since the US Open.
Sakkari vs Bouzkova Odds
| Maria Sakkari (GRE)||+1.5 (-125)||+100||O 21.5 (-125)|
|Marie Bouzkova (CZE)||-1.5 (-110)||-120||U 21.5 (-110)|
But she survived. And she will take on No. 4 seed Maria Sakkari in the second semifinal, which will start about 8 p.m. EDT on Oct. 22.
The Unexpected Semifinalist
Bouzkova had the easiest match of her week Friday against fellow unseeded player Anna Kalinskaya.
Kalinskaya, gritty in battling blisters and the game of No. 7 seed Daria Kasatkina in the third round on Thursday, didn’t have much left for Bouzkova late Friday night.
The Russian lasted just seven games before she retired and gave Bouzkova an easy day (night?) at the office.
— GDL OPEN AKRON WTA1000 (@WTAGuadalajara) October 22, 2022
Bouzkova hasn’t had to face a seeded player in her run to the semifinals. She had No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka, No. 7 Kasatkina, No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova and No. 15 Ekaterina Alexandrova – all dangerous players – in her path, on paper. But all were beaten by other players before they could get to her.
The only set the Czech has lost so far was a bagel handed to her by Liudmila Samsonova in the first set of her eventual three-set victory in the third round.
Sakkari vs Bouzkova Head-to-Head
|27 (July 25, 1995)||Age||24 (July 20, 1998)|
|Athens, Greece||Birthplace||Prague, Czech Republic|
|1||Career WTA Singles Titles||1|
|No. 3 (Mar. 21, 2022)||Career-Best Ranking||No. 38 (Oct. 16, 2022)|
|No. 6||Current Ranking||No. 38|
|$7,339,228||Career Prize Money||$2,722,258|
|36-21||2022 Won/Loss Record||41-12|
Clutch Sakkari Qualifies vs Kudermetova
There isn’t often an equivalent of a seventh game of a World Series in tennis, where there is so much at stake and it comes down to one match.
But Sakkari vs Kudermetova was that on Friday night. The winner would qualify for the eighth and final spot in Fort Worth.
Sakkari, who said afterwards that the Mexican fans made her “feel like a superstar”, somehow pulled it out 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 and grabbed that spot.
She saved 14-of-15 break points she faced, and found a way despite being as tight and tense on the court as you’re ever likely to see her.
Sakkari vs Bouzkova Match History
|2021||Canada Masters (R64)||Outdoor Hard||6-4, 3-1 retd||Sakkari|
|2019||Wimbledon (R64)||Grass||6-4, 6-1||Sakkari|
Sakkari vs Bouzkova Pick
The hangover effect of these 11th-hour qualifications for the Fort Worth, Texas finals has been real.
Caroline Garcia found out she was in – then lost the next night to Sloane Stephens. Kasatkina found out she was in – and then went out to Kalinskaya .
It will be difficult for Sakkari not to fall victim to that as well.
That’s probably why Bouzkova is set as the slight favorite in this match
The difference with Sakkari is that the crowd in Guadalajara is absolutely, fully, mad for her. And she’s not going to want to let them down. They have given her wings.
Victoria doble 😉🎟
Nuevamente el público fue fundamental para Maria Sakkari y la griega se mete a semis en Guadalajara, venciendo a Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 5-7 y 6-4.
✅La griega consiguió el último boleto al WTA Finals pic.twitter.com/j4lHYKCgBV
— Iván Aguilar (@ivabianconero) October 22, 2022
For Bouzkova, who is into the top 30 with her effort so far and could aim for the top-25 with a victory – and looking great to be a seed at the Australian Open – this is the biggest match of her career.
She hasn’t extended herself physically despite an injury layoff coming in. And the fluent Spanish speaker loves it in Guadalajara, having made the final of the WTA 250 tournament here this past winter.
You’d expect Bouzkova to win the first set as Sakkari finds her bearings (-125), but for Sakkari to battle hard – for herself, and the crowd.
Best Bet: Sakkari Loses 1st set, Wins the Match (+333)