Maria Sakkari, of Greece, reacts during the semifinals of the US Open tennis championships against Emma Raducanu, of Great Britain, , Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
- Maria Sakkari is a -400 favorite over Tereza Martincová in their quarterfinal match at the WTA Ostrava Open on Friday, September 24
- The #4 seed, Sakkari disposed of Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets during round of 16 action
- Unseeded Martincová ousted #5 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, also in straight sets
Maria Sakkari and Tereza Martincová both steamrolled their way into the quarterfinals of the WTA Ostrava Open. In Sakkari’s case, she was living up to expectations. The Greek player is the tournament’s #4 seed, after all.
For unseeded Martincová, this is also becoming familiar territory. She’s through to the quarterfinals of her fifth WTA tournament this season.
Nonetheless, oddsmakers are sticking with experience as these two players clash in the final eight. They are establishing Sakkari as an overwhelming -400 odds-on favorite to cruise past Martincová.
Sakkari vs Martincová Ostrava Open Quarterfinal Odds
|Maria Sakkari||-400||-5.5 (+105)||O 19.5 (-125)|
|Tereza Martincová||+290||+5.5 (-143)||U 19.5 (-111)|
Odds as of September 23 at BetMGM
Friday’s quarterfinal is set for an 8:00 am ET start. The Tennis Channel is broadcasting all the action.
A semifinalist at Ostrava last year, Sakkari’s powerful service game proved absolutely overwhelming to Ostapenko. She won handily 6-4, 6-2, needing just one hour and 23 minutes to dispose of the Latvian. A runner-up a week ago in Luxembourg, Ostapenko was a distant second to Sakkari in this match.
The Greek player, ranked #12 in the world, is through to her seventh WTA singles quarterfinal event of the season. She’s taken a step forward as a player in 2021. Sakkari reached the semifinal stage of two Grand Slam events – the French Open and the US Open.
— wta (@WTA) September 23, 2021
She finished the match against Ostapenko with 19 winners against 10 unforced errors. Ostapenko committed 14 unforced errors alone during the second set. Sakkari lost just seven points on her own service the entire match. Three came in the first set and four during the second set. She won 87% of her first-service points and 80% of her second-service points.
Sakkari snatched three of six break points. Ostapenko couldn’t force a break point throughout the entire match. Sakkari kept constant pressure on Ostapenko’s serve. She forced three break points during the first set. Although unable to convert any of those three, Sakkari went 3-for-3 on service breaks on second-set service breaks.
Home Court Advantage
Not only is it Martincová’s fifth quarterfinal appearance of the campaign, but it’s also her second during a tournament played in her native Czech Republic. She reached the final at Prague earlier this year. That was her first appearance in the final of a WTA singles event.
Martincová was a wild card entry at Ostrava. Even with her success, she’s been tempting fate all week. A 3-0 record in tiebreakers is so far enabling her to survive and advance.
Third Top-20 victory of her career 🤭
— wta (@WTA) September 23, 2021
In opening-round play against Czech compatriot Kateřina Siniaková, Martincová rallied for a 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(9-7) decision. Martincová actually came back from 5-0 down in the tiebreaker. Although her verdict over Pavlyuchenkova was a straight-set affair, it was about as close as a sweep could be. Martincová was a 7-6(7-5), 7-6(8-6) winner.
The match ended up lasting two hours and 19 minutes. At times, Martincová was her own worst enemy. She failed to convert match points on Pavlyuchenkova’s serve at 7-6(5-1). The Czech player also failed to win three of her own service games that would’ve closed out the match. It was the third win over a top-20 player of Martincová’s career
Poised to earn a WTA Finals place, Sakkari’s game is at a different level than Martincová. She shows 203 aces this season, compared to just 54 recorded by Martincová. In fact, during her round of 16 match against Pavlyuchenkova, the Russian hit three aces. Martincová recorded no aces.
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) September 23, 2021
Sakkari was able to keep Ostapenko under relentless pressure through her power game. She’ll do likewise to Martincová. There was even a heated exchange. Sakkari accused Ostapenko of calling her an obscenity.
Maria Sakkari vs Tereza Martincová Stats
|2||ATP Final Appearances||1|
|66.4%||Service Games Won||65.6%|
|40.3%||Return Games Won||36.0%|
|54.7%||Break Points Saved||55.0%|
The two have met twice previously on court. Sakkari won both matches. Each were three-set affairs, though.
Tereza Martincova served for the match three times… but finally gets in done in a tiebreak, beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6)
The Czech continues her run of strong results in her home country, reaching the quarters here after making the final in Prague in July pic.twitter.com/zFE0zPQArZ
— Tick Tock Tennis (@TickTockTennis) September 23, 2021
Sakkari was a 3-6, 7-6(7-5), 6-0 victor in the round of 32 at Doha in 2020. She took a 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 decision over Martincová in the round of 16 at Santa Margherita Di Pula 4 in 2015.
Pick: Over 19.5 games (-125), Sakkari 2-1 (+333)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.