Trust Sorribes Tormo & Zhang (August 9)


WTA Toronto is off to an incredible start, and the action continues on Tuesday with more exciting matches.

I’ve found betting value on two of Tuesday’s duels, including Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. Claire Liu.

I give my best bets and full breakdowns below.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Sara Sorribes Tormo (-138) vs. Claire Liu (+116)

11 a.m. ET

Sorribes Tormo hasn’t played since making the semifinals on the clay of Palermo, ultimately falling to Irina Begu.

Sorribes Tormo will not be disappointed to get back onto hard courts, as she’s 118-102 on hard in her career. This includes a 33-19 record since the start of 2021 on hard, although she’s just 7-6 this year.

Sorribes Tormo’s game is extremely consistent from the baseline and when playing well, she gets excellent depth on her groundstrokes. The Spaniard moves well and has excellent anticipation for where her opponents are going next.

While Sorribes Tormo can effectively manipulate her top-spin forehand around the court, her variety — especially the backhand slice — is crucial to her success. There are times, though, when opponents can hit Sorribes Tormo off the court.

After finding herself down a set to world no. 521 Victoria Mboko in her previous match, Liu did well to qualify for Toronto. Liu defeated an overmatched Ellen Perez 6-3, 6-0 in the final qualifying round.

Liu won 67% of her service points and saved all seven break points on her serve. The American also won 55% of her return points and broke serve four times in seven return games.

Liu is 96-76 on hard courts as a professional, although she’s just 10-8 this season.

Liu plays with controlled aggression from the baseline, taking control of rallies and effectively finishing off short balls. Liu’s rally tolerance can be shaky sometimes, however.

It’s also worth noting that last week in San Jose, Liu’s leg was heavily taped, and it’s unclear whether she’s 100% healthy.

This is a good matchup for Sorribes Tormo. While Liu hits a big ball, she doesn’t quite have the power nor the consistency to successfully hit through Sorribes Tormo’s defenses.

Sorribes Tormo’s backhand slice also stays low to the court on hard, and she is able to get more power on her groundstrokes on the quicker hard courts compared to clay.

The Spaniard should be able to draw errors out of Liu, while taking advantage of the openings she’s given, especially if Liu isn’t totally healthy.

In terms of Elo ratings, Sorribes Tormo’s overall Elo is 102 points better than Liu’s, and her hard-court Elo is 141.1 points better than the American’s.

Pick: Sorribes Tormo -1.5 Games (-118 via FanDuel)

Shuai Zhang (-179) vs. Cristina Bucsa (+145)

12:30 p.m. ET

Shuai Zhang will be looking to improve on her 4-6, 2-6 loose two Madison Keys on the hard courts of San Jose last week. While Zhang played well during short bursts in that match, she won only 61% of her first-serve points and 40% of her return points, not generating a break point all match.

Zhang is 406-260 on hard courts as a professional, including 11-9 this season.

Zhang typically possesses a well-placed, strong first serve, which allows her to dictate early on in points. Zhang plays with controlled aggression from the baseline — particularly with her forehand — and she has an excellent net game. However, she can be inconsistent with her groundstrokes.

Cristina Bucsa qualified for Toronto, taking down Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-4, 6-3 in the final qualifying round. Bucsa played a solid match on return, winning 71% of Parrizas-Diaz’s second-serve points. Bucsa was able to break four times in two sets.

Bucsa is 110-58 on hard courts in her career, and 13-7 on the season. Bucsa does nothing special, but she gets a lot of balls back into play with decent depth. And when the Spaniard has an opening, she is competent enough to take advantage.

Bucsa’s serve is mediocre, however, and she can be overpowered at times.

Zhang has the power to push Bucsa around and make the Spaniard uncomfortable. Zhang will dominate from the baseline and has the controlled aggression necessary to hit through Bucsa.

Bucsa’s game should break down under the pressure that Zhang’s aggression will put on her.

In addition, Zhang’s overall Elo rating is 145.9 points better than Bucsa’s, and her hard-court Elo is 119.2 points better than the Spaniard’s.

Pick: Zhang -2.5 Games (-129 via PointsBet)

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