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Anett Kontaveit
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

WTA Best Bets for Nov. 17

by Edward Egros
Updated On: November 17, 2021, 2:33 am ET

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A champion will be crowned later today at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico.  This hardcourt event is a microcosm of this season in women’s tennis: tons of parity.  The final pits eight-seed Anett Kontaveit against six-seed Garbine Muguruza.  Here is where you can find betting value:

Anett Kontaveit (-162) vs Garbine Muguruza (+131)

In five meetings, Garbine Muguruza leads the series 3-2, though with some notable results.  Two matches were at majors, with Muguruza winning both.  The most recent meeting was in the group stage just three days ago: again with Muguruza finishing on top.  On the one hand, any tennis fan could surmise when the stakes are the highest, Muguruza should have the edge.

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On the other hand, Anett Kontaveit brings a lot to this specific match.  She has the higher Elo rating on hard courts per tennisabstract.com, has more hardcourt victories than anyone this year, had a 12-match winning streak before Muguruza snapped it and has been overall tough to break.  Kontaveit ranks 11th in aces over the past year, at least 50 more than her competitor; and yet, the true strengths of her game are seen during rallies.  She has incredible precision with her forehand from the baseline, both scoring winners and getting her opponents to attempt returns from the corners.

Muguruza may try to nullify her opponent’s strength by charging to the net.  She is comfortable with the volley and using all parts of the court.  In her semifinal she saved all three break points faced and knocked off a tough Paula Badosa in straight sets.  Muguruza doesn’t need to run to the net, but it’s nice for her knowing she has that option.  Having additional tools in the toolbox should make for an entertaining match, but Kontaveit is becoming one of the great hard court specialists in the sport right now and it should deserve a title.

EDGE: Kontaveit (-162)

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