- Top seed Maria Sakkari faces Irina-Camelia Begu in the first St. Petersburg Ladies Open semifinal Saturday
- No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit and No. 7 Jelena Ostapenko square off in the second semifinal
- We break down the matchups and make some predictions
The top two seeds at the St. Petersburg Ladies Open have reached the final four, with No. 1 Maria Sakkari likely having the easier road Saturday against unseeded Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.
It’s been more than three years since the two last met, so there isn’t much previous-performance data to go on to gauge the matchup.
Maria Sakkari vs Irina-Camelia Begu Odds
| Maria Sakkari (GRE)||-4.5 (-105)||-315||O 20.5 (-113)|
|Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)||+4.5 (-118)||+245||U 20.5 (-109)|
Odds as of Feb. 11 at Barstool Sportsbook
Sakkari Looking for Only Second Career Title
The 26-year-old from Greece was shocked at the Australian Open in the fourth round, beaten in straight sets by Jessica Pegula.
If anything, it might have given her a shake to start the season, one with an unusually short turnaround after she qualified for the year-end finals and played into mid-November.
Maria Sakkari vs Irina-Camelia Begu Head-to-Head
|26 (July 24, 1995)||Age||31 (Aug. 25, 1990)|
|Athens, Greece||Birthplace||Bucharest, Romania|
|1||Career WTA Singles Titles||4|
|No. 6 (Oct. 31, 2021)||Career High Ranking||No. 22 (Aug. 21, 2016)|
|No. 7||Current Ranking||No. 56|
|$5,827,404||Career Prize Money||$6,220,322|
|7-2||2022 Won/Loss record||6-2|
|1||Career Head to Head||1|
Previous Matchups vs “Young” Sakkari
When they last met in 2018, Begu was ranked nearly exactly she is now – but Sakkari was only No. 32 in the world.
Sakkari was a qualifier ranked No. 131 (and still playing a lot at the ITF level) when they first met at the Miami Open in 2016, which was Begu’s career-best year.
Sakkari is a different player now.
Begu’s main weapon is power. And Sakkari’s speed and defense are more than a match for that these days.
Maria Sakkari vs Irina-Camelia Begu Match History
|2018||Seoul (QF)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 4-6, 6-4||Sakkari|
|2016||Miami (R128)||Outdoor Hard||6-1, 6-3||Begu|
Quick wins over Russians Anastasia Potapova and Ekaterina Alexandrova earlier this week will have given Sakkari good recent practice against good pace.
Best Bet: Sakkari in two sets (-113)
Ostapenko and Sakkari Meet Again – and Not on Grass
There have been three previous meetings between Jelena Ostapenko and Anett Kontaveit. And two came on British lawns not named Wimbledon.
Ostapenko vs Kontaveit Odds
| Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)||+3.5 (+105)||+195||O 20.5 (-120)|
| Anett Kontaveit (EST)||-3.5 (-129)||-245||U 20.5 (-104)|
Ostapenko won their most recent meeting, in the final of Eastbourne last summer.
So it’s somewhat surprising she’s a bit of a longshot here.
On an indoor hard court, the Latvian is more than capable of beating anyone on the day.
But so is Kontaveit. And she proved that in winning back-to-back fall indoor tournaments in 2021 to qualify for the WTA Tour Finals.
Jelena Ostapenko vs Anett Kontaveit Head-to-Head
|24 (June 8, 1997)||Age||26 (Dec. 24, 1995)|
|Riga, Latvia||Birthplace||Tallinn, Estonia|
|4||Career WTA Singles Titles||5|
|No. 5 (March 19, 2018)||Career High Ranking||No. 7 (Nov. 15, 2021)|
|No. 25||Current Ranking||No. 9|
|$10,358,557||Career Prize Money||$6,940,343|
|5-2||2022 Won/Loss record||7-2|
|1||Career Head to Head||2|
Slow Start to 2022 for Kontaveit
The 26-year-old from Estonia, the slight pre-tournament favorite, struggled in her first-round win over lefty Jil Teichmann of Switzerland.
She was bounced out of the Australian Open in the second round by Denmark’s Clara Tauson. As a high seed who surely had high expectations, it had to hurt.
First Top 10 win 💥
— wta (@WTA) January 20, 2022
But in getting through some top-quality opposition this week, Kontaveit found some good form.
Ostapenko vs Kontaveit Match History
|2021||Eastbourne (F)||Grass||6-3, 6-3||Ostapenko|
|2018||Australian Open (R32)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 1-6, 6-3||Kontaveit|
|2015||Ilkley ITF (R16)||Grass||6-1, 6-2||Kontaveit|
Ostapenko Always a Wild Card
It was only 4 1/2 years ago that Ostapenko became a Grand Slam Champion after winning the 2017 French Open.
Since then, it’s been very up and down. Her technically awkward, inconsistent serve typically is the barometer of how she’ll go.
Against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the quarterfinals Friday, she had nine double faults (her opponent had 10).
But Ostapenko was tough when it counted, saving 16-of-21 break points. (Yes, you read that right).
She saved 9-of-10 break-point chances against her in her first two rounds, too.
Kontaveit is playing fairly well. But there’s still little of the bravado she showed at the end of 2021.
This one is likely to be a long one, and Ostapenko certainly has a shot.
Best Bet: Over 2.5 (+155)
The post St Petersburg Ladies Trophy Semifinals Odds & Picks – Sakkari vs Begu & Ostapenko vs Kontaveit appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.