Australian Open Day Nine Women's Tips: Uncharted territory for Pavlyuchenkova and Collins
Tuesday's women's singles action at the Australian Open sees the first two quarter-finals. Dan Weston returns to see if there'll be any shocks to the programme...
"This tournament is Collins' first Slam where she has reached the second week, and it will be interesting to see how she fares following her resounding win over Angelique Kerber. Will that have been her cup final? Or can she regroup with added confidence having beaten one of the tournament favourites?"
Williams shortens following final set triumph
Results on Monday were positive for us in the women's tournament, with Naomi Osaka getting the better of Anastasija Sevastova, while our outright pick, Elina Svitolina, also made progress at the hands of Madison Keys. Despite this, there hasn't been much movement on Svitolina's outright price with Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova being the market fancies.
Williams is now trading at [2.60] to win the tournament after a tight final set win over Simona Halep and after prolonging Halep's miserable head-to-head record against her, she is clearly the player to beat in the tournament. She faces Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday in the second batch of quarter-finals.
Can this be fifth time lucky for Pavlyuchenkova?
Prior to this, we have the first group of two quarter-finals taking place in the bottom half of the draw. Getting matters underway is Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova against Danielle Collins which should start at around 3:30am UK time.
Pavlyuchenkova has reached this stage in Slams four times, losing them all, although it's worth noting that twice she was around a [10.00] underdog against Serena Williams. However, at this stage two years ago she was ousted by the other Williams sister, Venus, when Pavlyuchenkova was a marginal favourite and she was a slight underdog against Francesca Schiavone in the French Open quarter-final in 2011 which she lost despite taking the first set 6-1.
This tournament is Collins' first Slam where she has reached the second week and it will be interesting to see how she fares following her resounding win over Angelique Kerber. Will that have been her cup final? Or can she regroup with added confidence having beaten one of the tournament favourites?
It's tough to answer that question in advance and as always, I'll prefer to trust the numbers. For this the Exchange has gone [1.87] on Pavlyuchenkova, which looks pretty accurate to me - my data has her with a slight edge on serve for this match-up, with the duo looking evenly matched on return - so it looks a clear leave-alone from a pre-match perspective.
Both players will be due a big ranking rise following this - Collins didn't even make it through qualifiers here last season - and the winner will have a career-best result.
Kvitova accurately priced as slight favourite over Barty
Following this, at around 8am UK time, is the second quarter-final which sees Petra Kvitova face Ash Barty. Kvitova takes a 3-0 head-to-head lead into this, although the relevance of the first meeting is pretty questionable given the time lapsed since.
The two subsequent match-ups - including one in the final Sydney just over a week ago - have Kvitova going a set down before winning in three, and the stats from those matches give Kvitova a slight edge. However, it's not particularly huge and Barty should not allow any mental scars from those matches (the last two were in finals) get the better of her.
Kvitova is a solid [1.64] favourite on the Exchange, quite a bit shorter than the 'pick-em' that was available in Sydney but I do feel the price is about right here. Kvitova has played well in the event so far and this has heralded an improvement in her data, so given the head-to-head as well, I think the market has got this pretty accurate.
I'll be returning tomorrow with my thoughts on the final two quarter-finals and hopefully there will be a better spot for a recommendation then.
Dan Weston Australian Open Daily Preview P&L
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