Jessica Pegula of the United States serves the ball to Naomi Osaka of Japan during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Osaka lost against Pegula 7-6, 6-2. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
- Jessica Pegula is the -190 favorite to defeat Petra Martic in their WTA Italian Open quarterfinal match on Friday, May 14th
- Martic is through to her first WTA 1000 quarterfinal since Wuhan in 2019
- She holds a 3-1 advantage in head-to-head meetings with Pegula
Petra Martic appears to have found her footing on the clay courts of Rome. Meanwhile, after beating the #2 seed, Jessica Pegula seeks to climb higher. Friday’s Petra Martic vs Jessica Pegula match is slated for a 4:00 am ET start. The broadcast will be carried by the Tennis Channel.
World #25 Martic and world #31 Pegula will clash Friday in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open. Martic is through to her second quarterfinal this season and her first in a WTA 1000 event since 2019.
Pegula, who ousted world #2 Naomi Osaka in second-round play, is listed as the -190 favorite in this match. Martic, who’s won three of four previous meetings from Pegula, is the +150 underdog.
Petra Martic vs Jessica Pegula Odds
|Player||Moneyline||Spread||Total at DraftKings|
|Petra Martic||+150||-2.5 (+235)||O 19.5 (-180)|
|Jessica Pegula||-190||+2.5 (-315)||U 19.5 (+140)|
Odds as of May 13th
Pegula Breakthroughs Continue
Pegula was perhaps best known prior to this season as the daughter of the owners of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. The 2021 campaign is clearly proving to be her breakout year.
She followed up her second-round 7-6(2), 6-2 upset of Osaka by dismantling Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-4 in straight sets in the round of 16. Pegula, 27, broke Alexandrova’s service seven times. The American held a 59%-43% edge in first service points.
Her remarkable 2021 continues 💪
🇺🇸 @JLPegula makes it FIVE career Top-10 wins with a straight-sets victory over No.2 seed Osaka!#IBI21 pic.twitter.com/yVahRBAbXm
— wta (@WTA) May 12, 2021
The victory over Osaka was the fifth by Pegula this year over a player ranked among the world’s top 10. She’s soared to a career-high in the WTA rankings.
Pegula’s 2021 resume includes a trio of victories over former world #1 Karolina Pliskova and a quarterfinal appearance at the Australian Open. She’s already reached the quarterfinals in Dubai and the semifinals at Qatar.
2021 French Open Odds Tracker
Martic Battles Past Podoroska
Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska came into her round of 16 match against Martic off an upset win over Serena Williams. She gave the veteran Martic, 30, all she could handle. Podoroska took the first set from Martic in a mere 31 minutes.
The Croatian player then rallied for a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 comeback victory to move into the quarterfinals, just as she did in February at the Philipp Island Trophy. Martic came into the Italian Open skidding on a five-match losing streak, but she’s won three straight matches in Rome.
Petra martic beats Nadia podoroska 3-6 6-1 6-2 in the 3rd round of the Rome masters #martic #romemasters ( Getty ) pic.twitter.com/oRPQh35rfy
— Phil (@tennis_phil) May 13, 2021
The veteran is giving the credit to new coach Francesco Schiavone, whose clay-court wizardry made her the first Italian woman to win at Grand Slam event at the 2010 French Open. Martic believes that Schiavone has instilled confidence and belief in her game and brought a calming presence to the self-proclaimed perfectionist.
Prior to this tournament, Martic was a first-round loser in both of her 2021 clay court events, at Istanbul and Madrid. In her opening match in Rome, Martic came back from a set down against American Shelby Rodgers. She saved four break points in the eighth game of the third set.
History Favors Petra
This will be the fifth meeting between Martic and Pegula. The former holds a 3-1 edge in prior head-to-head showdowns.
Since last summer’s restart, Jessica Pegula has advanced to five big quarterfinals:
2021 Australian Open
1st clay quarterfinal for Pegula. Faces either Martic or Podoroska for a spot in the semifinals. #IBI21 pic.twitter.com/EuIOJrY7cz
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 13, 2021
Twice they’ve gone three sets and twice they’re required tiebreakers to determine a set triumph. There’s also been a pair of 7-5 sets played between Martic and Pegula.
Petra Martic vs Jessica Pegula Stats
|4||WTA Final Appearances||3|
|58.3||Service Games Won||65.0|
|27.2||Return Games Won||42.7|
|39.4||Break Points Saved||45.9|
Martic was the victor in their only previous clash on clay. She won 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16 at Charleston in 2019. That was the biggest year on tour for Martic. She won her lone WTA title at Istanbul in 2019 and reached the quarterfinals on the clay courts of Roland Garros. She rose as high as #14 in the WTA world rankings.
A great week for Petra Martic as she beats Nadia Podoroska 3-6 6-1 6-2 to reach Rome QFS. Gets Pegula tomorrow. #ibi21
— Tony Fairbairn (@fairbairntony8) May 13, 2021
Pegula is a sold 4-1 on clay this year. Martic is 3-2 on the surface. Based on their history and each player’s current form, this match has grueling affair written all over it. The ‘Over’ on the total looks like a safe play, as does the prop of over 2.5 sets.
Pick: Over 19.5 games (-180), Over 2.5 sets (+143)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.