Of all the potential prejudices that betting on sports presents, recency bias is by far the hardest to ignore. It’s always important to analyze the big picture, and not put too much stock in a player’s latest performance. For Friday’s quarterfinals, however, we recommend throwing away your old psychology textbooks and taking a flier on CiCi Bellis to defeat Jill Teichman at (-195).
Despite playing just 12 total matches since the start of the 2019 season, Bellis was too outstanding to ignore in her 6-3, 6-2 revenge match against her friend Jessica Pegula, who beat her handily to start the season in Auckland. Bellis struck the ball as clean as a whistle, refusing to miss as she simultaneously absorbed Pegula’s hefty weight of shot. What stood out most of all was Bellis’ quickness and agility around the court. Any young player would be wise to examine and replicate her flawless footwork.
“My arm feels great, my body feels great, but most importantly my mind feels great,” Bellis said after her victory Thursday.
The 21-year-old's opponent, Jil Teichmann, has also blitzed her way to the quarterfinals, dropping just four games in dispatching Yulia Putintseva. Teichmann’s heavy lefty forehand will present a much different challenge than Pegula’s raw power, but based on her significant hard-court UTR advantage, you should feel comfortable backing the American. After four surgeries, Bellis is finally healthy, and ready to reclaim her place among the WTA's elite.