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WTA Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic Final Odds and Preview: Zheng vs Sabalenka

David Golokhov

by David Golokhov in Tennis

Updated Apr 16, 2020 · 10:32 AM PDT

Tennis Betting
Can Aryna Sabalenka cash in as the favorite for Sunday's Silicon Valley Classic final? Photo by Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC License].
  • Saisai Zheng and Aryna Sabalenka will meet in the tournament final on Sunday
  • Sabalenka was +580 to win it all prior to the start of the tournament
  • Zheng had odds beyond 25/1 to win it all but has knocked off three seeded players to get to the final

The field for the WTA Silicon Valley Classic has whittled down to just two players and on Sunday, we’ll see the final. Saisai Zheng is a surprise finalist as nobody saw this coming. She’ll take on Aryna Sabalenka, who is the no. 2 seed at this tournament and no. 10 in the world. Can Zheng surprise or is the favorite the best bet?

Odds to Win 2019 Silicon Valley Classic Final

Player Moneyline Spread Odds
Saisai Zheng +213 +1.5 (-120) O 20.5 (-110)
Aryna Sabalenka -253 -1.5 (-110) U 20.5 (-110)

* Odds taken 04/08/19

Zheng has Surprised

Saisai Zheng was a complete afterthought entering the Silicon Valley Classic as she had odds longer than 25/1 to win the tournament. After all, we’re talking about a player that was 13-13 on the year entering this tournament. As a matter of fact, Zheng had lost in the first round in four straight tournaments before this one.

Zheng has been very good in this tournament so far as she’s dropped just one set en route to the final. She cleaned out Heather Watson, no. 8 seed Danielle Rose Collins, needed three sets against Amanda Anisimova, but then beat Maria Sakkari in straight sets.

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Zheng was also helped by the fact that no. 1 seed and heavy favorite Elina Svitolina was bounced in the quarterfinals by Sakkari. That made her path that much easier.

Zheng Typically not a High-End Player

Although this is a nice run from Zheng, she’s not a top-ranked player. She’s currently ranked no. 55 in the world and has never been higher than 38th. She has a career record of 5-18 in the grand slams. While she does have a few tournament wins under her belt, her two most recent are small tourneys in China where few of the stars came out.

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She plays a lot of doubles as that’s where she typically has more of her success. However, she’s playing very well in this tournament and can’t be overlooked.

2019 Silicon Valley Classic Key Stats

Saisai Zheng
Aryna Sabalenka
13-15 2019 Record 22-16
1 2019 Singles Titles 1
1 Head-To-Head Record 0
1 Sets Lost At 2019 Silicon Valley Classic 1
3 Seeded Players Defeated At 2019 Silicon Valley Classic 2

Sabalenka has Looked Strong

While Zheng has come out of nowhere, Sabalenka was expected to do well and she has. She entered the tournament with the third-best odds to win it at +580 and she’s looked fairly crisp in her three matches. She disposed of Coco Vandeweghe in straight sets, needed three sets against no. 6 Carla Suarez Navarro, and then ousted no. 5 Donna Vekic in straight sets.

Zheng and Sabalenka have actually met just once before – in the Round of 32 in Zhuhai in 2017 – and Zheng won. However, Sabalenka was a very different player back then. She finished the 2017 campaign ranked no. 78 but she finished 2018 at no. 11 and is currently the tenth-ranked player in the world.

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The one concern here is that while Sabalenka has had just an OK year and she was struggling entering this tournament. She lost in the first round at Wimbledon, the Nature Valley Classic and the Libema Open. That means she’s been bounced in the first round in three of her last four events.

What’s the Best Bet?

Sabalenka is a favorite here and truth be told, anything can happen. Careful laying a lot of juice. However, Sabalenka is the much better player overall and she does well on the hard courts. She was 32-11 on hard courts last year and 13-4 in 2017. Keep in mind she’s had better success against tough competition than Zheng.

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With that in mind, she’s the best bet here. I expect her to get the win and claim the Silicon Valley tournament title.

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