Belarusian native Aryana Sabalenka was forced to miss Wimbledon but has come alive in New York, defeating Czechia’s Karolina Pliskova to reach her second consecutive US Open semifinal.
Poland’s Iga Swiatek went on a 37-0 run earlier this season and has righted the ship after a rough patch. She dispatched American Jessica Pegula in straight sets Wednesday night to reach her first US Open semifinal.
Swiatek is an overwhelming favorite to win this match, but standing in her way is someone seeking her first major title. Can Sabalenka pull off the upset? Find out in our US Open preview and predictions.
Sabalenka vs Swiatek odds
|(6) Aryna Sabalenka||(1) Iga Swiatek|
|+3.5 (-115)||Game spread||-3.5 (-105)|
|Over 21.5 (-115)||Total games||Under 21.5 (-105)|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook on September 8, 2022.
Sabalenka vs Swiatek picks
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Sabalenka vs Swiatek betting preview
Sabalenka is a big-hitting, big-serving force from Belarus and when she’s on, she is one of the best in the world. She ranks eighth in aces, but also leads the WTA with 368 double-faults. For context, the nearest player has 251 doubles with one less match.
The big serve got Sabalenka to No. 2 in the world, but the double-faults have kept her and that rocket serve from winning a major as well as that elusive No. 1 ranking.
During this event, Sabalenka has more double-faults than aces but she’s third in break points won, and her return of serve — along with her forehand — has carried her through to her place in the semis.
Swiatek is 53-7 this season and won the second French Open of her career. Her incredible run this season included accomplishing the “Sunshine Double” (Indian Wells, Miami) and she's 31-5 on cement in 2022.
She's an exceptional ball striker with solid movement and can hit winners from either wing. Swiatek ranks 12th in service hold rate, and her 53% service break rate ranks first among all WTA players.
Swiatek’s US Open numbers are decent, but she’s outside the Top 20 in first serves won, eighth in second service points won, and fourth in break points won. Great by most metrics, but hardly numbers worthy of her lofty standards.
Sabalenka vs Swiatek prediction and best bet
Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the players and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this match.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this match or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.
Prediction: Swiatek moneyline
The juice is much too high for this matchup, but I think Swiatek is going to win.
One of Swiatek’s greatest assets is her ability to shake off mistakes and keep applying pressure, and that’s something a player like Sabalenka will have trouble dealing with.
Case in point: Swiatek served twice for the match against Pegula, was broken both times, and failed to convert a match-point in the tiebreaker yet still found a way to win. I’m not all that sure Sabalenka has the ability to push Swiatek to the limit.
Swiatek clearly isn’t playing her best, and she was broken six times Wednesday night, but she kept firing away, broke Pegula seven times, and won the match.
If it weren’t for a Herculean, third-round comeback down from 1-6, 1-5 to Kaia Kanepi, Sabalenka would be watching the rest of this event from home.
Sabalenka has proven she can win with less than her best, but there’s nothing worse than a struggling big server playing against an aggressive bulldog with a 53% break of serve rate like the World No. 1.
The Belarusian served much better Wednesday against Pliskova than she has in recent matches, firing seven aces with only three doubles without being broken, and that’s a big step for her. She also converted three of her seven break opportunities and that’s how she arrived in the semis.
Sabalenka moves well and loves hitting big groundies from the baseline, but she won’t want to get into any extended rallies with Swiatek, or this match will end quickly and not in her favor.
Finally, Swiatek is 35-10 this season against Top-10 opponents and has won the last three meetings with Sabalenka. Sabalenka is 11-10 vs the Top 10 and struggles too much with her serve. That’s not going to get the job done in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Prediction: Iga Swiatek moneyline (-199 at Pinnacle)
Best bet: Swiatek -3.5 games
If we’re going to play Swiatek — and we should — then the spread is the best value option on the board.
Swiatek has dropped just one set during this event and promptly destroyed German Jule Niemeier 2-6, 6-4, 6-0. I believe it was that fourth-round match that turned things around for the young Pole.
The World No.1 has won 65% percent of her first serves and 56% of her second service games while suffering just nine breaks in New York. Those are solid numbers for a player not necessarily known for her service game.
What Swiatek is known for is her aggressive, all-court game and deadly return of serve. Sabalenka wasn’t broken in her quarter with Pliskova, but the Czechia native isn’t in the same return-of-serve class as Swiatek is, and the Pole will make her pay for every double-fault she tosses in.
Swiatek has done a terrific job holding serve during this event and while Sabalenka has her return game on point, it won’t be enough to overcome the double-faults the aggressive Swiatek return game will undoubtedly cause.
Sabalenka has been broken 13 times during this event and, as previously mentioned, she has as many double-faults as aces. Swiatek is extremely aggressive and will be taking some serious cuts at Sabalenka's serve. That should frustrate the daylights out of the Belarusian, and that’s where the unforced errors will start creeping in.
Finally, Swiatek has won every match by at least four games. Swiatek should have the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd on her side and the high humidity in the forecast should alleviate her concerns about the light balls used at the Open. Swiatek will roll right through Sabalenka on Thursday night.
Pick: Swiatek -3.5 games (-103 at Pinnacle)