- Winner plays winner and loser plays loser in this second round of group play at the WTA Finals
- World No. 1 Iga Swiatek meets Caroline Garcia, who is playing rock-solid, varied tennis
- Coco Gauff fights to stay alive for the semis; we break down the two singles matchups and the WTA Finals odds here
Iga Swiatek is at -400 to win the “Tracy Austin Group” at this week’s WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.
And a straight-sets win over No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia, set for November 3 at 6 pm ET, will likely clinch a spot in the semifinals this weekend.
Swiatek vs Garcia Odds
| Iga Swiatek (POL)||-4.5 (-114)||-360||O 20.5 (-112)|
| Caroline Garcia (FRA)||+4.5 (-110)||+275||U 20.5 (-113)|
In her opener, Swiatek made short work of the lowest-ranked player in the year-ending event, Russia’s Daria Kasatkina.
It wasn’t a surprise. And it gave fans a good indication of how far she’s come since her fraught WTA Finals debut a year ago in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Swiatek vs Garcia Head-to-Head
|21 (May 31, 2001)||Age||29 (Oct. 16, 1993)|
|Warsaw, Poland||Birthplace||Saint-German-en-Laye, France|
|11||Career WTA Singles Titles||10|
|No. 1 (April 4, 2022)||Career-Best Ranking||No. 4 (Sept. 10, 2018)|
|No. 1||Current Ranking||No. 6|
|$14,265,077||Career Prize Money||$13, 494,141|
|65-8||2022 Won/Loss Record||42-19|
Swiatek vs Garcia Have Unexpected History
The two have played just twice. And in both cases, the outcome was somewhat counterintuitive
When they first met in 2019, Garcia was ranked No. 25 and having a decent year, although she was in the middle of a winless North American summer swing and didn’t win back-to-back matches from the grass in Mallorca in June, through to the end of the season.
Swiatek, had just turned 18; she was a qualifier ranked No. 55 who had begun the season ranked No. 186 and was still having to qualify for most of the WTA-level tournaments she played.
But she was match tough, having defeated two top-75 players in three tough sets, both times, to make the main draw. But Garcia was still, on paper, the better player.
Swiatek vs Garcia Match History
|2022||Warsaw (QF)||Outdoor Clay||6-1, 1-6, 6-4||Garcia|
|2019||Cincinnati (R64)||Outdoor Hard||7-6 (1), 6-1||Swiatek|
When they met again three years later, at Swiatek’s home-country event in Warsaw (her father is part of the management group there), Swiatek was No. 1. But Garcia won in three.
And the Frenchwoman won the tournament.
Swiatek vs Garcia Prediction
Garcia is playing better now than she was in Warsaw. The thing is, so is Swiatek.
She will be the more composed, generally, of the two and should win in two sets. Although they may well be close sets.
Best Bet: Swiatek in Two Sets (-141)
Gauff vs Kasatkina Odds
| Coco Gauff (USA)||-2.5 (-109)||-148||O 21.5 (-104)|
| Daria Kasatkina (RUS)||+2.5 (-117)||+120||U 21.5 (+122)|
It’s now or never for Coco Gauff, favored at -148 odds above, who is arguably the marquee player of this US-based finals and is in both the singles and doubles.
She even has new duds.
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) November 2, 2022
But her rookie nerves were on display in her first match when she was taken care of in a rather routine fashion by Garcia.
Gauff vs Kasatkina Head-to-Head
|18 (March 13, 2004)||Age||25 (May 7, 1997)|
|Delray Beach, Fla.||Birthplace||Togliatty, Russia|
|2||Career WTA Singles Titles||6|
|No. 4 (Oct. 24, 2022)||Career-Best Ranking||No. 8 (Oct. 24, 2022)|
|No. 4||Current Ranking||No. 8|
|$5,415,091||Career Prize Money||$8,854,284|
|38-20||2022 Won/Loss Record||40-21|
Kasatkina Owns the Head-to-Head
There doesn’t seem to be any reason Gauff shouldn’t take care of Kasatkina and keep her semifinals hopes alive.
Except … the 25-year-old Russian has won both their meetings. And both wins were in straight sets.
If you subtract their first meeting, which occurred just as Gauff was turning 15 (ranked No. 466, she was a wild card and it was before she made her big splash at Wimbledon a few months later) there is still this year’s Stuttgart event, on indoor clay.
Gauff vs Kasatkina Match History
|2022||Stuttgart (R32)||Indoor Clay||6-4, 6-2||Kasatkina|
|2019||Miami Open (R64)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 6-3||Kasatkina|
Kasatkina loves the clay. But Gauff is the one who is the reigning French Open finalist on that surface.
Gauff won fewer than 50 percent of points on her own first serve and faced 13 break points in two sets (she saved six; Gauff was broken seven times).
She has ironed out some of her service woes since then. But you can see how Kasatkina gives her fits.
Gauff vs Kasatkina Prediction
The Russian’s weapon is not giving her opponent any rhythm, with her changes of pace and speed. Gauff has more trouble, at times, returning slower serves than quicker ones. And Kasatkina doesn’t serve hard.
Her heavily-topspun forehand, high to Gauff’s still somewhat-shaky forehand, is the pattern she wants.
Gauff’s fight might make this close. But the dynamic hasn’t changed much even if Gauff is the favorite in this one.
Best Bet: Kasatkina and 1.5 Games (+100)