Can Aryna Sabalenka follow up her second consecutive Wuhan title with another big win?
<div><h2><strong>Daria Kasatkina vs. Aryna Sabalenka(12)</strong></h2><h2> </h2><p><strong>Tuesday, October 1, Beijing</strong><br /><br />Daria Kasatkina is a supremely talented young Russian, and one who looked set for reaching the highest of heights after a breakthrough 2016 season. The first title would come the year after, when the 20-year old had stormed to a Charleston title in impressive fashion - and ended a fruitful season ranked world no. 24. Last year would be a career year for Kasatkina, making back-to-back finals in Dubai & Indian Wells, along with two Major quarterfinals. Ending the year by winning the Moscow title, the Russian surged to a career high top 10 ranking. This year has been miserable for the shrewd, aggressive hitter however, currently ranked world no. 42 - only 81st in the race to Shenzhen. It´s on the hard courts in particular where everything´s gone wrong for Daria, and was dejected even after defeating Coco Gauff in Miami:<br /><br />"I have no goals anymore because I messed up with all of the high expectations I had in my head,"<br /><br />That expectation, which was to become part of the top 5 this year, won´t become reality. Though the 22-year old has somewhat improved lately, she has only won back-to-back matches once all year, back in Rome on the red dirt. A consoling factor would be that the opposition has often been top 20, but on a four-match losing streak that won´t be of much help when she faces another in those ranks.<br /><br />Aryna Sabalenka has just made history, becoming the first player to defend a Wuhan title, and doing so in some style, coming into the tournament in woeful form. Something about the Chinese courts seem to bring the Tiger back to life, who also made the doubles finals together with Elise Mertens. The aggressive power hitter will once again try to kick on well here in Beijing, coming in with a first round bye and plays 3 days after capturing her second WTA title of the year. While this is indeed a short turnaround for the Belarussian, she did well to overcome it last year. Facing up against a much tougher opponent in then 15-ranked Garbine Muguruza, Sabalenka prevailed in straight sets along to a quarterfinal berth. This flight between Wuhan and Beijing is only 2 hours to begin with, so the travel isn´t really that significant in this case.<br /><br />3 out of Sabalenka´s last 4 titles, and 3 out of 5 for her WTA career - have come on Chinese soil. The faster conditions suit her overpowering serve and groundstroke combination exceptionally well. In a matchup against the floundering Kasatkina, this bodes well. Sabalenka is one of the best returners on tour, and Kasatkina´s power on serve is so incredibly underwhelming that even her first serves will feel like second serves. Winning just 39.1% of her second serves, the 22-year old holds the worst numbers in the entirety of the top 100. The Russian also serves the 18th most double faults on tour with 176 on the year, and only wins 50.8% of her service games overall. Sabalenka is also prone to double faults, hitting the second most at 314 this year.<br /><br />However, the key difference is that she´s now playing with supreme confidence and power. With the massive added upside of smashing down the 10th most aces on the year with 226 along with many more unreturned serves. Something Kasatkina can´t say for herself, outdouble-faulting her ace count 5.3/1. The world no. 15 tends to feast on below-average or vulnerable servers, and when in form she delivers beatdowns. We saw two of those in Wuhan, smashing Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-1, 6-2, and Daniell Collins 6-1, 6-0. An on song Belarussian will feast upon the Russian´s vulnerable serve all day on return, and hold with much more ease herself. In a match that can get away from Kasatkina in a hurry, we select a flurry of bets in the Belarussian´s favor, starting with the -4.5 and -7.5 games at 1.66 and 4.50 respectively. We can certainly not discount the possibility of a "bagel" either, and will add that outcome in the first and second sets at a prices of 17 and 10 respectively.<br /><br /><em><strong><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds">Best bet: Aryna Sabalenka -4.5 games at 1.66 (33/50) with [Bet365] 1.75u</a><br /><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds">Best bet: Aryna Sabalenka -7.5 games at 4.50 (7/2) with [Unibet] 0.5u</a><br /><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=3e56a0bf-7bdf-4fe1-b9a6-d22c7cc3dd2c&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds">Best bet: Aryna Sabalenka 1st set 6-0 at 17.0 (16/1) with [Betway] 0.125u</a><br /><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=153&a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds">Best bet: Set 2 under 6.5 games at 10.0 (9/1) with [Betfair] 0.125u</a></strong></em></p><h2><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=164&a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://cmscdn.staticcache.org/assets/image/0003/1348572/WHC_27064_Updated-In-Play-Tennis-Insurance_1280x480NEW.jpg" style="width:100%" /></a><br /><br /><strong>Diego Schwartzman v Fernando Verdasco</strong></h2><h2> </h2><p><strong>Tuesday, October 1, Beijing</strong><br /><br />Diego Schwartzman is a player that´s easy to love. Always putting out 100% effort, chasing down every ball and getting back a staggering amout of them - he´s become quite popular among fans. The Argentinian has in year´s past shown his proficiency primarily on the red dirt, where his fantastic retrieving and returning skills are put to great use. "Peque" has evolved into more of an all-surface player with the years, however. Having a fairly underpowered serve standing at 170cm tall, the faster surfaces have been able to grant him extra power on both serve and groundstrokes. This has allowed the 27-year old to play with more aggression, taking the ball nice and early off both wings, generating winners. Currently enjoying a fine 38-20 campaign, Peque reached a semfinal in Rome, won the Los Cabos title - and made the US Open quarterfinals.<br /><br />Fernando Verdasco is one of the older garde, born around the same time as many of Spain´s greatest talents over the last decade. Along with Tommy Robredo, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Nicolas Almagro, he´s been a consistent force on tour. Since making his top-100 breakthrough in March 2004, the Spaniard has never left, and only spent 5 total weeks outside of the top 60. The 35-year old is currently ranked world no. 40, and had a very scrappy season, and has made no semifinals for the very first time in his 15+ years on the ATP-tour. Apart from showing some form in Rome and at Wimbledon, making the quarterfinals and R16, the veteran has struggled. Recently, Verdasco was upset by Hyeon Chung at the second round of the US Open, dramatically losing a 2-0 set lead - and failing to serve the match out in the decider. Upset by clay courter Christian Garin in Chengdu, the world no. 40 will try to improve his fairly pedestrian Beijing record, only twice making the quarterfinals on 9 occasions.<br /><br />This is a matchup that pits one of the greatest forehands in the game against an unyielding competitor from the baseline. While Verdasco hasn´t looked as sharp this year, he´s holding at an 81.7% clip, higher than his 80.6% career average. That forehand is still a lethal weapon one must look out for, and the wily veteran cannot be underestimated. However, Diego Schwartzman is currently the much stronger player, and has had a better year than the Spaniard. Holding a 3.7% hold/break edge and 99 point hard court ELO edge, Peque is rightfully favored. Verdasco is an opponent he´s been able to handle quite easily in the past, with all three H2H meetings being won in straight sets. With two being played on clay in 2016, 2018 and one on hard court in 2018, all meetings are recent and quite relevant. Winning by at least a 6 game margins on these occasions, Schwartzman has been able to force the more erratic Verdasco into errors, and win quite comfortably. Expect another one of those outings here, and back Peque to win by -2.5 games at a 1.80 price with Bet365.<br /><br /><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><em><strong>Best bet: Schwartzman -2.5 games at 1.80 (4/5) with [Bet365] 1.5u</strong></em></a></p></div>