Mar 24, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Leylah Fernandez (CAN) hits a forehand against Karolina Muchova (CZE) (not pictured) in a second round women’s singles match in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
- Leylah Fernandez will meet Daria Kasatkina Wednesday in the second round of the Italian Open
- It’s the first career meeting between the two, with the lower-ranked Kasatkina the favorite
- We give the Canadian Fernandez a good shot at the upset; read on for a breakdown of the match
Leylah Fernandez vs Daria Kasatkina might not be one of the higher-profile second-round matches at the Italian Open. Neither is among the favorites to win the tournament.
But it does feature two players who are in the top-25, and just out of the seeding in Rome.
They are playing each other for the first time in their careers; the match should take place May 11, about 4:30 pm ET
Fernandez vs Kasatkina Odds
|Leylah Fernandez (CAN)||+1.5 (-115)||+110||O 21.5 (-118)|
|Daria Kasatkina (RUS)||-1.5 (-120)||-139||U 21.5 (-120)|
Odds as of May 10 at BetMGM
Now that sports betting is legalized in Canada, bettors have several online sportsbooks to choose from to bet on this match, which favors Kasatkina -139 on the moneyline.
Fernandez Upsets No. 14 Pavlyuchenkova
The 19-year-old Canadian’s season since Indian Wells hasn’t been up to her standards. She had won just one match in her last three tournaments coming into Rome.
And that was against Andrea Petkovic, a veteran who was returning from a long injury layoff.
On Monday in Rome, she upset the No. 14 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, coming back from a mediocre first set to win 1-6, 6-2, 6-2.
As it happens, Pavlyuchenkova is one of the reasons Fernandez sits at a career-high No. 18 this week.
It wasn’t because she did anything in Madrid; it was because Pavlyuchenkova dropped from No. 15 to No. 20 and allowed the Canadian to move up by default.
Pavlyuchenkova, too, is coming back from a long injury layoff.
Monday’s loss was only her second match since the Australian Open, and only her fifth match of the year. She ran out of gas, while Fernandez only grew in confidence. A year ago at Indian Wells, Fernandez also came back from losing the first set to Pavlyuchenkova and won in three.
Kasatkina Defeats Zidansek
Kasatkina, who turned 25 Saturday, had an easier time of it against Tamara Zidansek, a Slovene ranked just one spot below her at No. 24 but who hasn’t had the same success in her career.
Zidansek had beaten Kasatkina in their one previous meeting, nearly four years ago. But Kasatkina’s spins and variety work best on clay – even if her winning percentages on all three surfaces are nearly identical.
And so it was a routine 6-4, 6-3 win.
Fernandez vs Kasatkina Head-to-Head
|19 (Sept. 6, 2002)||Age||25 (May 7, 1997)|
|Montreal, Canada||Birthplace||Togliatty, Russia|
|2||Career WTA Singles Titles||4|
|No. 18 (May 9, 2022)||Career High Ranking||No. 10 (Oct. 22, 2018)|
|No. 18||Current Ranking||No. 23|
|$2,592,602||Career Prize Money||$7,761,041|
|12-6||2022 Won/Loss record||15-9|
|0||Career Head to Head||0|
First Installment of Fernandez vs Kasatkina
Kasatkina has a 14-12 career record at the WTA level against lefties, which is neither very good nor particularly bad.
But it’s an anomaly that she has played a large proportion of those matches against the same lefty: Angelique Kerber. In fact, 10 of those 26 were against the German, nearly 40 percent. Kerber has won six of them. But none of them were on clay.
Fernandez is a completely different player than Kerber (she’s also nearly 15 years younger).
Generally, when the Canadian loses, it’s because someone just powers her off the court and doesn’t allow her to execute her game.
Kasatkina is not that type of player. Which always puts Fernandez in with a chance no matter how good the opponent.
What a slice winner #Kasatkina #IBI20 pic.twitter.com/1uXBsZuQXd
— Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) September 18, 2020
The Russian has a great slice and a lot of spin on her forehand. But she doesn’t have a huge serve or the ability to hit winners from multiple locations on the court. And that will allow Fernandez to stay in just about every point, despite her relatively weak serve.
On the flip side, Kasatkina has the variety and improvisational skills to be able to adapt when Fernandez brings her forward with drop shots and tries to pull her wide in the ad court with her lefty serve.
It sets up as a clever match between two players with multiple skills who are very swift around the court. But with all things being even, generally, you would back Fernandez’s fighting spirit to prevail.
There are plenty of interesting choices if you’re looking for more low-profile tennis betting prop opportunities.
Fernandez to win at least one set is at -222. A 3-3 score after the first six games of the match is a tempting +190.
Best Bet: Fernandez in Two Sets (+225)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.