2014 WTA Wimbledon Picks: Kvitova vs. Bouchard

Nila Amerova

Friday, July 4, 2014 6:40 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 4, 2014 6:40 PM UTC

As Wimbledon betting enters the ultimate round, we take a closer look at the finalists on the women’s front, Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard. Bookies favour Kvitova to win in outright betting, but tennis bettors are increasingly turning to Bouchard as the value bet.

Petra Kvitova -138
Petra Kvitova is bidding for her second Wimbledon crown after claiming her first title at the All England Club in 2011 (d. Sharapova). After winning her maiden Grand Slam title three years ago, she was expected to soar higher – win more slams and even clinch the World No.1 ranking. Alas, the closest Kvitova came was No.2 in the world at the end of the 2011 season.

Since her breakout season in 2011, Kvitova has struggled to reach a Grand Slam final. The closest she came was the penultimate round in 2012 at the Australian Open, French Open and US Open. By her own admission, the Czech star found it difficult to deal with expectations since winning Wimbledon. She did all she could to maintain a steady top ranking through success at other events; that is, until now.

Currently ranked sixth in the world, Kvitova entered Wimbledon with an 18-10 mark and no titles. She is through to her first Grand Slam final since her big win, her first final of the season and second Wimbledon final.  If there were a criticism, it’s that she can blow hot and cold from tournament to tournament. Her attacking-minded game, awesome power hitting and stubbornness to stay the course, bludgeoning ball after ball has something to do with her inconsistency. It’s hard to maintain such a level from match to match, tournament to tournament. However, when she’s on, she can play lights out.

Eugenie Bouchard +120
The darling of the WTA Tour Eugenie Bouchard is growing in popularity at a staggering rate, not to mention soaring up the rankings. It would be poor form to attribute her appeal to just her looks. Reality is that she has game, in a big way. Not unlike Kvitova, Bouchard is constantly looking for opportunities to attack. Shorten the points and go for outright winners. There is nothing tentative or delicate about her approach. She’s ruthless, efficient and decisive on each and every shot. If there were an advantage, she’s a better mover than Kvitova. She’s more athletic, which means she can control points better than Kvitova does.

Bouchard is still the new kid on the block. For all her impressive performances this season, most notably reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open (l. Li Na) and French Open semi-finals (l. to Sharapova), the Wimbledon final is new territory for the 20-year-old, unchartered waters that are yet to be navigated successfully. She’s shown that she can handle the pressure of the big occasion, even yearns to be in such challenging situations. But it’s one thing to overcome Simona Halep in the semis, another to overcome an experienced former champion in the Wimbledon final.

Kvitova vs. Bouchard Match Betting Picks & Predictions
Kvitova, matched at -138 to win outright, takes a 1-0 head-to-head edge over Eugenie Bouchard, a win that the Czech clinched in Toronto last year with relative ease 6-3, 6-2. Bouchard has evolved since then, as evinced by her results this season – she is 30-13 on the season, which includes winning her maiden title. It’s natural to assume she’d be a much tougher obstacle to overcome this time around and that correlates to her +120 odds to win outright. Indeed, many tennis bettors are backing Bouchard to win Wimbledon on their tennis picks, already hailing her the new darling of the WTA Tour. But all this expectation amounts to pressure and while she’s handled it well so far, the Wimbledon final is another matter entirely. What’s more, Petra Kvitova might have something to say about it. She’s won it before. She’s come up with some of the best tennis of her career over the fortnight. And the best bit: if bookies are tipping her to win, but most tennis bettors aren’t picking her to win, it might play right into her favour, as she won’t be feeling the pressure so much.

Tennis Free Picks: Kvitova to win at -138 and in three sets at +275

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