We are into the Round of 16 at the US Open and the action is heating up on the women’s side!
I’ve found value on two of Sunday’s matchups — Muchova vs Wang and Swiatek vs Ostapenko.
Read on for my Sunday 2023 US Open picks.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing US Open matches.
US Open Odds, Picks
Karolina Muchova (-550) vs Xinyu Wang (+400)
11 a.m. ET
Karolina Muchova defeated Taylor Townsend 7-6(0), 6-3 to advance in New York. Muchova won 71% of her service points and was only broken once. In addition, the Czech won 52% of her return points and broke twice. Muchova hit 25 winners against 14 unforced errors in the match.
Muchova, who made the WTA Cincinnati final, is an impressive 26-8 on hard courts in 2023, with a 138-65 career record on the surface. She utilizes her well-placed serve and easy power to dictate play. Muchova places her groundstrokes well, particularly her forehand. Her variety is fantastic, especially her net game and backhand slice.
The issue for Muchova is that her decision-making on court can sometimes be suspect.
Xinyu Wang took down Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the third round. Wang won 65% of her service points and was only broken twice. She won 58% of her second-serve returns and broke five times.
Wang is an incredible 26-12 on hard courts this year and she has a strong 155-94 record on the surface. Wang has a fairly powerful first serve and plays aggressively from the baseline. Her forehand is particularly potent, with an excellent combination of power, spin and precision. Wang’s tennis IQ and ability to build points are superb — she implements drop shots at just the right moments.
However, Wang is a bit streaky in terms of rally tolerance; she’s not the best on defense and her slices aren’t precise.
Going back to her second-round tilt against Sara Sorribes Tormo, Wang has played a couple of physical matches in a row, but they have been matches where she’s been in control of rallies and able to dictate play.
Muchova’s power should force Wang into more defensive positions of the court, where she’s far less comfortable as she doesn’t absorb pace or defend well. In addition, this contest should further test Wang’s legs after two tiring matches.
Muchova’s backhand slice will also be important in terms of keeping the ball low and out of Wang’s strike zone. This should draw out plenty of unforced errors from Wang.
Looking at Elo rating, Muchova has a 240.4-point overall edge and a 213.6-point edge on hard courts.
Pick: Under 20.5 games (-126 via FanDuel)
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Iga Swiatek (-1000) vs Jelena Ostapenko (+600)
9 p.m. ET (approx.)
Iga Swiatek dismantled Kaja Juvan 6-0, 6-1 to advance in Flushing Meadows. Swiatek won an astonishing 85% of her service points and didn’t face a break point. The Pole won 69% of her return points and broke in five-of-six return games. She hit 21 winners versus five unforced errors.
Swiatek, who won the US Open last year, is an incredible 27-5 this season on hard and 143-40 as a professional. The Pole hits her spots on serve and follows it up with heavy, well-placed forehands that she uses to dominate from the baseline. Swiatek has a high tennis IQ, constructing points perfectly with controlled aggression.
Where the world No. 1 isn’t as consistent is on her backhand wing. Swiatek also struggles when opponents are able to rush her and not give her time from the ground.
Jelena Ostapenko rallied from a set down to beat Bernarda Pera 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Ostapenko won 76% of her first serves, but only 27% of her second serves and was broken on five occasions. However, the Latvian won 49% of her return points and broke Pera seven times.
Ostapenko is now a solid 16-10 in 2023 on hard courts and 193-140 for her career on the surface. Ostapenko’s second serve is a weakness, but she can get free points from her first serve. And while she can sometimes lack control, Ostapenko is an incredible ball striker from the baseline, rushing her opponents and taking the racquet out of their hands with punishing, powerful groundstrokes.
Ostapenko leads the head-to-head 3-0 for a reason: Her game makes Swiatek uncomfortable.
Swiatek likes having time from the baseline to direct play, dragging her opponents around the court. Ostapenko, however, takes this away, playing the match on her terms – make or miss.
Unlike the Juvan match, where Swiatek was in complete control, Ostapenko should take away Swiatek’s excellent point construction. This should force her to press on her groundstrokes in order to avoid the Latvian taking over the rally.
Pick: Over 18.5 games (-109 via PointsBet)
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