Australian Open Day Two Women's Tips: Cibulkova looking over-rated against Zhang

Chinese Tennis Player Shuai Zhang
Shuai Zhang is capable of getting the better of Dominika Cibulkova...

After a solid opening day at the Australian Open, first-round matches continue on day two. Dan Weston is back to preview the action...

"There is very little to split the duo based on hard court data, and although Zhang has lost a few matches recently, I'm fine with oppose Cibulkova here - defeat to the declining Sam Stosur last week in Sydney as an opening match to the season also isn't a positive start to 2019 for her either."

Hives easily too good for Mattek-Sands

We got our women's tournament off to a winning start, with Zoe Hives easily beating Bethanie Mattek-Sands for the loss of just three games. We also suspected Rebecca Peterson, Timea Babos and Lesia Tsurenko had represented value, and the trio also got the better of their opponents to make round three.

Big names getting through included Aryna Sabalenka, Sloane Stephens, Angelique Kerber, Kiki Bertens, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Maria Sharapova, who managed a double-bagel against the British youngster, Harriet Dart. However, we did see the exit of Julia Goerges who was the highest-profile casualty on the opening day.

Giorgi looking short-priced against Jakupovic

There's not a ton of value spots on Tuesday, it's still the dangerous opening round but I've picked out a few that I feel worthy of discussion, starting with a few underdogs.

Dalila Jakupovic isn't without ability and I'm surprised she's as big as 5.104/1 against the talented but inconsistent Camila Giorgi. Giorgi tends to do her best work in very quick conditions and she may not quite find the pace as fast as those indoor courts that she loves. However, a concern would be Giorgi's recent historical matches when priced similarly on outdoor hard, she has a tendency to win these in pretty straightforward fashion.

Cibulkova another vulnerable short-priced favourite

I also feel that Shuai Zhang is decent value at 3.1085/40 against Dominika Cibulkova, with the Slovak being priced at 1.454/9, largely on reputation and possibly a very old head to head series where she had a considerable ranking advantage.

There is very little to split the duo based on hard court data and although Zhang has lost a few matches recently, I'm fine with oppose Cibulkova here - defeat to the declining Sam Stosur last week in Sydney as an opening match to the season also isn't a positive start to 2019 for her either.

Azarenka likely to ease past Siegemund

In other matches, if Margarita Gasparyan is close to a decent level of fitness she should get the better of Lin Zhu at 1.758/11, while Zarina Diyas should have too much for Aleksandra Krunic and looks slight value even at 1.4740/85.

Another heavy favourite who should ease into round two is Victoria Azarenka who is just 1.251/4 against Laura Siegemund, but it's worth noting that Siegemund was never much on hard court prior to her long-term injury and statistics indicate that this hasn't changed after it either.

Market lacking faith in Konta

There are also a number of other fascinating match-ups in store, with British interest focusing on Johanna Konta against Ajla Tomljanovic. Konta is 1.865/6 to make it into round two, considerably bigger than prices around 1.402/5 which she was priced in their previous two head-to-head meetings, and there is some concern about her fitness. I still think this price is a little big though.

Swiatek potential accurately reflected in market price

I also am looking forward to seeing how Iga Swiatek fares against Ana Bogdan. I have mentioned previously that the current Wimbledon junior champion has huge potential and she looks fairly accurately priced at 1.422/5 against the Romanian. To be priced at this level for her first ever main tour match reflects that the market fully agrees with my assertion.

***

Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles