Amanda Anisimova

Amanda Anisimova returns a shot to Leylah Fernandez, of Canada, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Saturday, March 12, 2022, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Only two of the top eight seeds remain in the Charleston final eight: No. 2 Badosa and No. 4 Jabeur
  • Luckily for the tournament, they’re on opposite sides of the draw, and could only meet in the final
  • With some players doing double duty because of the weather this week, we look for upsets

Paula Badosa and Ons Jabeur were two of the top favorites before the start of the Charleston Open.

In reality, they were the top two. The way No. 1 seed Aryna Sabalenka has been playing in 2022, she was significantly overvalued in terms of her prospects this week.

Charleston Open Quarterfinals Odds

Matchups Odds
[15] Amanda Anisimova (USA) vs. [LL] Coco Vandeweghe (USA) -715/+500
[4] Ons Jabeur (TUN) vs. Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) -250/+195
Magda Linette (POL) vs Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) +155/-200
[10] Belinda Bencic (SUI) vs [2] Paula Badosa (ESP)  +133/-167

Odds as of April 8 at Barstool Sportsbook

The way is definitely clear for Jabeur to make the Charleston final from the top half of the draw.

In the bottom half, favorite Badosa has the next-toughest challenge after Jabeur in the quarters, with Miami Open semifinalist Belinda Bencic standing in her way.

Belinda Bencic vs Paula Badosa Prediction

Badosa is 3-0 against Bencic, with the first meeting in Charleston a year ago and subsequent wins on clay in Madrid last spring, and then on hard court in Sydney, Australia in January.

By that measure, you’d expect Badosa’s odds to be stronger.

But all three were extremely close. And Bencic is on a run; she made the Miami Open semifinals before losing a three-setter to Naomi Osaka.

Both have come within a point or two of going out – Bencic in her first-round match against Wang Xiyu, and Badosa in the second round against Claire Liu.

Bencic has more miles on her this week, adding doubles to the schedule. But she has to feel good about her chances against Badosa, who played a lot of tennis last month with a semifinal in Indian Wells (with the stress of defending a big title), and a quarterfinal in Miami (where she retired, in tears, due to illness against Jessica Pegula).

Pick: Over 2.5 sets (+143)

Magda Linette vs Ekaterina Alexandrova Prediction

The higher-ranked Alexandrova might well be the favorite anyway, even though Linette won their only previous meeting 2 1/2 years ago.

Alexandrova’s run in Charleston has been punctuated by an opponent who … just quit, two points away from losing a three-setter in the second round.

And then she absolutely destroyed No. 3 seed Karolina Pliskova in the third round Thursday, after Pliskova had to finish up a tough second-round win earlier in the day.

But it was Linette’s Thursday that tips the scales. She converted her seventh match point to finally upset No. 7 seed Leylah Fernandez. That one took two hours, and 36 minutes and featured an overnight postponement and a long rain delay before it was played.

Then Linette returned a couple of hours later and took two hours to defeat Kaia Kanepi in three sets.

Linette barely scraped through her first round as well.

The 30-year-old from Poland will be on fumes today.

Pick: Alexandrova in two sets (+128)

Amanda Anisimova vs Coco Vandeweghe Prediction

The two Americans, a decade apart in age, are meeting for the first time.

And while it’s great news that lucky loser Vandeweghe, ranked in the top 10 just four years ago but beset by potentially career-ending injuries in the interim, upset No. 6 Jessica Pegula in the third round, it visibly took a lot out of her.

She’s a long way from being back to full fitness. And the effort and humidity just about got her at the end.  The last time Vandeweghe even had three wins in a week at the WTA level was in June 2021, on grass.

Anisimova picked off the No. 1 seed Sabalenka in the third round Thursday, improving her record against the Russian to 3-0 (the first two coming in Grand Slams in 2019, when Anisimova was just 17 and reached her career-high of No. 21).

The younger American had a “Sunshine Swing” full of drama on and off the court. She abruptly retired in her second-round match against Fernandez at Indian Wells for no apparent reason. And then she lost her first round in Miami.

This is a fresh start, and a good draw to make the most of it.

Pick: Anisimova in Two Sets (-215)

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Stephanie Myles

MLB
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Sports Writer

MLB
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