pick

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek rolled to a 6-2, 6-1 win over world No. 8 Aryna Sabalenka in the semifinals of the Italian Open on Saturday, and the 20-year-old will now face world No. 7 Ons Jabeur for the title. Jabeur, who earned a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 win over world No. 23 Daria Kasatkina in her semifinal match, is one of the few players on the WTA Tour that has a winning history against Swiatek. The Tunisian is 2-1 in three career matches with the Polish superstar, and has won their last two meetings.

With Swiatek sitting at -600 to win this match on the moneyline, it’s hard to get on board with backing her in any capacity. The reality of the situation is that it’s very likely that Swiatek will ultimately win her fifth title of 2022 on Sunday, as that is just how far above the rest of the competition she is right now. However, the oddsmakers have priced it as such, making it very difficult to justify a bet on her.

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Even taking Jabeur not to win a set at -170 is a risky proposition, as she has won four of the last five sets they’ve played against each other. And even when Swiatek beat her in Washington D.C. back in 2019, Jabeur was able to force a decider.

With that being said, if you simply feel you need to take something in this final, you’re better off putting a half of a unit on something that pays out at plus odds.

When scanning through the options for a plus-money play, Jabeur to win a set is actually the best one. Overall, the Tunisian has won five of the eight sets she’s played against Swiatek. Of course, Swiatek has taken her game to another level in 2022, but things haven’t been bad for Jabeur either. She won a title at the Mutua Madrid Open last week, and she has now tied a career high by being ranked No. 7 in the world. So Swiatek might feel great about how she’s playing now, but there’s just no way that Jabeur is down in confidence at the moment.

Jabeur also happens to have a game that can frustrate opponents, as she’ll look to move Swiatek around with her ability to hit drop shots at a high level. If Swiatek slips up for a moment, Jabeur will take advantage, and she will also play extremely free knowing that she’s playing with house money here. Nobody believes Jabeur can win this match, which means all of the pressure is on Swiatek.

All in all, this isn’t a match you’ll want to put a lot on, but you can do a lot worse than taking this one as a smaller play. It’s a low-risk way to cap off what has been a great week with The Pick.

The Pick: Ons Jabeur To Win A Set (+115 – Smaller Half-Unit Play)