Steve’s WTA Budapest Preview: Kozlova vs Bogdan

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Extension of rallies is going to be key in this match, and that suits Ana Bogdan perfectly in Budapest.

For Kateryna Kozlova to win here, she would need to produce a far better performance that what I have seen from her across the course of the 2021 clay season. Whilst I have backed her in against some other players who struggle to play at a high level on clay (backed her versus Zarina Diyas earlier this year), I don’t see this being a favourable match-up over the course of the match. With a player at the other end of the court capable of covering and counterpunching incredibly will in Ana Bogdan, I do worry about Kozlova’s game here. She got the win over Barbora Haas, however the serve stats were a little concerning considering she put a high percentage of first serve in play. Haas ended the match with double figure double faults, and struggled after dropping the first set 9-11 in a tiebreak. Kozlova dropped serve twice in the second set whilst putting 81% of first serves into play, which is a little concerning, especially in conjunction with her overall clay form in 2021.

Bogdan overcame a large second set deficit on her way to a 6-4 7-5 victory over the tricky Varvara Lepchenko. She also overcame a poor first serve percentage, breaking Lepchenko 6 times across the course of the match to help her cause. Her clay form has been solid, taking Paula Badosa to the brink early at Roland Garros, reaching the quarter final in Istanbul, and beating Katerina Siniakova in Madrid.

I like Bogdan to win and cover here. Some regression to their first serve averages compared to last round also wouldn’t hurt, but I am not relying on that for value here. I would highly recommend the -2.5 games at Bet365 for $1.83, however that isn’t widely available. Instead I will record this at -3 games. Barring a redlining Kozlova that hasn’t been seen on clay for a while, I like Bogdan’s chances to win and cover here.

Suggested Bet

2 units Bogdan -3 games vs Kozlova at $1.83 at Topsport

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