WTA Dubai continues to excite and the action continues on Thursday.
I’ve found value on two of Thursday’s exciting quarterfinal matches, featuring Gauff vs Keys and Sabalenka vs Krejcikova.
Read on for my WTA Dubai picks on Thursday, Feb. 23.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
WTA Dubai Odds, Picks
Coco Gauff (-155) vs Madison Keys (+125)
8 a.m. ET
Coco Gauff received a walkover into the quarterfinals, but she did beat a wayward Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0, 6-4 in the round of 16. While the American won just 58% of her service points, she was only broken two times.
Gauff annihilated Sasnovich on return, winning 61% of her return points. This allowed her to break on six occasions.
She has only played on hard courts this season, compiling a 10-2 record in 2023. This includes a title at the WTA event in Auckland. For her career, Gauff is 79-46 on hard courts, demonstrating that she’s a world-class hard courter.
The American has a massive backhand that controls the baseline, and she is one of the best movers on the WTA Tour. She also has a very high tennis IQ and is a great volleyer.
Gauff’s forehand can break down at times, though.
Madison Keys is putting together a great week after beating Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 6-1 to advance. Keys won 81% of her first serves and didn’t face a break point. In addition, she won 53% of her return points and broke on four occasions.
Like Gauff, Keys has gone 10-2 to start the year (all on hard). Keys knows her way around a hard court, going 227-135 on hard as a professional. She has a massive first serve that’s been on full display this week, as she has been broken just twice in three matches.
But, Keys can become inconsistent from the baseline at times and is not the best mover.
Gauff has the game to defuse Keys’ power. Her movement and scrambling ability will force Keys to press on her groundstrokes, much like she did when they met this past year at the US Open.
She blunts her opponents’ power and forces them to hit extra shots, so someone who struggles with her rally tolerance like Keys is in trouble.
Gauff will also force Keys off of the baseline with her aggressive backhand.
Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Gauff’s overall Elo is 62.9 points above Keys’ and her hard-court Elo is 43.3 points higher.
Pick: Gauff -2.5 games (-108 via PointsBet)
Aryna Sabalenka (-350) vs Barbora Krejcikova (+240)
10 a.m. ET
Aryna Sabalenka’s defeated Jelena Ostapenko 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals. While Sabalenka won just 62% of her service points, she wasn’t broken after the first set. Sabalenka also won 53% of her return points and broke six times.
Ostapenko was on fire during the first set of that match, so it’s impressive to see Sabalenka take the Latvian’s best shot and persevere.
Sabalenka is now 13-0 on the season (all on hard), having won the Australian Open title. The Belarusian has only lost two sets during her winning streak.
She has played with peak controlled aggression from the baseline. Whether it be with her forehand or backhand, Sabalenka is crushing winners from all areas of the court.
Barbora Krejcikova comfortably beat Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16. Krejcikova won 75% of her first serves and was broken just once. She was all over Kvitova’s lefty serve, winning 48% of her return points and breaking on four occasions.
Krejcikova has had a successful start to 2023, going 8-4 (all on hard). The Czech is a competent hard-court player, going 133-96 on hard for her career.
While Krejcikova was too solid for Kvitova, Sabalenka is playing with much better controlled aggression. The Belarusian has consistently and completely overwhelmed her opponents with pace.
And, while Krejcikova has broken serve 14 times across her three matches this tournament, with the way Sabalenka has been serving this year, she will severely limit the number of opportunities that the Czech gets on return.
Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Sabalenka’s overall Elo is 200.8 points higher than Krejcikova’s and her hard-court Elo is 193.2 points above the Czech’s.
Pick: Krejcikova to NOT win a set (-112 via FanDuel)