- The WTA Finals begin on Monday, October 31 with No. 2 Ons Jabeur the highest-ranked player on Day 1
- Jessica Pegula vs Maria Sakkari is a rematch of their WTA 1000 final at the Guadalajara Open a week ago
- Jabeur and Pegula are favored to win their matches; read on as we break down the matchups
The WTA Finals has a temporary home in Fort Worth, Texas this year, with reduced prize money, but with the eight best singles players (and doubles teams) of 2022 all present.
Pegula vs Sakkari Odds
| Jessica Pegula (USA)||-3.5 (-120)||-235||O 21.5 (-106)|
| Maria Sakkari (GRE)||+3.5 (-106)||+185||U 21.5 (-121)|
Monday’s singles matches are from the “Nancy Richey” group. It’s arguably a slightly easier group than the “Tracy Austin” group, which includes world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Caroline Garcia.
Swiatek (at +120) is the strong favorite to win the tournament, followed by Jessica Pegula (+500) and Ons Jabeur (+650). Pegula is the -235 favorite in the odds above for the first match of the competition.
Pegula and Sakkari Meet Again
It was just over a week ago that Pegula and Maria Sakkari met in the final of the Guadalajara Open.
Sakkari, having just officially qualified for Fort Worth, was not on song in that match, and Pegula won it easily.
Pegula vs Sakkari Head-to-Head
|28 (Feb. 24, 1994)||Age||27 (July 25, 1995)|
|Buffalo, NY||Birthplace||Athens, Greece|
|2||Career WTA Singles Titles||1|
|No. 3 (Oct. 24, 2022)||Career-Best Ranking||No. 3 (March 21, 2022)|
|No. 3||Current Ranking||No. 5|
|$6,280,356||Career Prize Money||$7,582,028|
|42-18||2022 Won/Loss Record||37-22|
Only first-timer Daria Kasatkina has lower odds than Sakkari to win the event.
Pegula vs Sakkari Match History
|2022||Guadalajara (F)||Outdoor Hard||6-2, 6-3||Pegula|
|2022||Doha (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-4, 7-5||Sakkari|
|2022||Australian Open (R16)||Outdoor Hard||7-6 (0), 6-3||Pegula|
|2021||Miami Open (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (6)||Sakkari|
Pegula has won two of their three meetings this year.
Pegula vs Sakkari Prediction
Sakkari’s edge, if there is one, is that she at least got a taste of the WTA FInals format in her first qualification a year ago. But the conditions were obviously very different – at altitude in Guadalajara, versus indoors in Texas.
Best Bet: Over 22.5 Games (+125)
Jabeur vs Sabalenka Odds
| Ons Jabeur (TUN)||-2.5 (+114)||-134||O 21.5 (-122)|
| Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)||+2.5 (-143)||+108||U 21.5 (-105)|
Jabeur was an early qualifier for the WTA Finals. She is the -134 in the Jabeur vs Sabalenka odds above tonight.
And, perhaps not coincidentally, she decided to pass on playing the high-level tournaments in San Diego and Guadalajara this month.
The 28-year-old has played just one event since she reached the US Open final nearly two months ago. And that was a one-off tournament in her home country of Tunisia.
Jabeur lost in the quarterfinals to world No. 73 Claire Liu of the US.
She has played indoors just once in the last 12 months – on clay, back in April in Stuttgart.
To say the least, her preparation coming in isn’t conducive to a deep run.
Jabeur vs Sabalenka Head-to-Head
|28 (Aug. 28, 1994)||Age||24 (May 5, 1998)|
|Ksar El Hellar, Tunisia||Birthplace||Minsk, Belarus|
|3||Career WTA Singles Titles||10|
|No. 2 (June 27, 2022)||Career-Best Ranking||No. 2 (Aug. 23, 2021)|
|No. 2||Current Ranking||No. 7|
|$8,964,743||Career Prize Money||$11,424,910|
|46-15||2022 Won/Loss Record||30-20|
Sabalenka Won Last Two Clashes
It’s not as though Aryna Sabalenka has been playing well; she’s a rather pedestrian 30-20 on the season.
But she has won the last two meetings between the two in straight sets, even if the Belarussian was playing much better tennis in 2021.
Jabeur vs Sabalenka Match History
|2021||Wimbledon (QF)||Grass||6-4, 6-3||Sabalenka|
|2021||Abu Dhabi (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-2, 6-4||Sabalenka|
|2020||French Open (R32)||Outdoor Clay||7-6 (7), 2-6, 6-3||Jabeur|
Unlike Jabeur, Sabalenka did play in San Diego and Guadalajara – her first tournaments after deep runs in Cincinnati and at the US Open.
But she was taped up in various places.
And she didn’t make very deep runs; she came back from a set down in her first San Diego match, but lost the second and went out in her Guadalajara opener.
Jabeur vs Sabalenka Prediction
Jabeur missed the WTA Finals a year ago because of injury, while Sabalenka was the No. 1 seed. But she had a rocky week.
It feels as though nerves and rust will dominate but that Sabalenka will feel she can win, on a surface that works better for her than it does for Jabeur.
Best Bet: Sabalenka to win the first set (+105)