Thursday's play at Melbourne Park sees the women's singles second round continue, and Dan Weston is back to give his thoughts on the day four value...
"For their match last week, Pliskova was priced at around 1.705/7, so she’s around 15 ticks bigger for tomorrow’s match. I quite like Pliskova at this bigger price."
Big names exit on day three
Bianca Andreescu, Petra Kvitova and Elena Rybakina headlined the WTA players who lost on day three, while Simona Halep had to break to stay in the match against Alja Tomljanovic. The Romanian was 5-2 down in the final set but reeled off five consecutive games to take the deciding set 7-5.
Market looking generally accurate on day four
Having priced up Thursday's matches, I must say that I think the markets are pretty accurate on the whole for day four. There's not an abundance of pre-match value in my view, and certainly I'm pretty cautious about tomorrow's schedule from that perspective.
The card looks full of traps, with last year's champion Sofia Kenin looking a little big at 1.824/5 for her match with Kaia Kanepi. The market appears pretty convinced Kenin isn't close to that previous level, and her post-lockdown data would generally go along with this. However, she should still start as a reasonable favourite against the Estonian.
Pliskova a bigger price than last week against Collins
Another top 10 player with a high reputation but who is priced a little bigger than I'd anticipate is Karolina Pliskova at 1.865/6. The Czech sixth seed hasn't had the best results since the tour resumed - she's 9-7 overall - but her numbers should yield a win-loss record a little better than this.
The big-serving Pliskova's opponent on Thursday is Danielle Collins, who often tends to be rated by the market.
It's interesting to note that Collins, since the tour resumed, has marginally worse combined service/return points won percentages than Pliskova but a better win-loss record - while longer-term data (the last 18 months, for example), indicates Pliskova should be a solid favourite for this.
The duo actually met last week in the Yarra Valley Classic with Collins winning 7-6 7-6. Pliskova was 1/5 on break points, with Collins taking one of just two chances in a serve-dominated encounter. For their match last week, Pliskova was priced at around 1.705/7, so she's around 15 ticks bigger for tomorrow's match. I quite like Pliskova at this bigger price.
Barty among short-priced favourites
In other matches, Ash Barty, Elise Mertens and Jennifer Brady look pretty justified as short-priced favourites for their matches, while there's some interesting clashes which look more evenly-matched. Svetlana Kuznetsova is a marginal favourite over Belinda Bencic, which I think is about right, while I'm looking forward to seeing if the improving Nadia Podoroska can continue her progress with a win over Donna Vekic. The Argentine, Podoroska, is a 1.635/8 favourite to make round three.
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