Halep's exit shortens Barty's price
Simona Halep was the latest big name to exit the tournament, with the Romanian falling to defeat against Alize Cornet in something of a shock result. In the other fourth round match completed so far at the time of writing, Danielle Collins pipped Elise Mertens in a tight three-setter to advance to the quarter-finals. The effects of these results is that Ash Barty has moved into even money in the outright market on the Exchange, with Iga Swiatek a clear second favourite ahead of her meeting with Sorana Cîrstea, starting shortly.
Pegula facing a tough task against world number one
The home favourite, Barty, faces Jessica Pegula who has again shown her strong level on hard courts, and the American has dropped one set so far in the event. However, this is still one more set dropped than Barty, who has eased into the quarter-finals losing just 15 games across eight sets - the world number one's level looks ominous for the remainder of the field.
This is illustrated by Barty's hard court numbers over the last 12 months - running in excess of 112% for combined service/return points won percentage, and remember, anything over 110% is truly elite - and she's also at almost 117% this season as well. She has completely demolished her opposition on Australian hard courts in 2022 so far.
Considering the above, it's tough to make a case for a Pegula shock victory. Barty is a heavy pre-match favourite at 1.152/13, and I'd be pretty surprised if the odds were overturned on Tuesday morning.
Madison's improvement could hold the key to success on Tuesday
In the other quarter-final on Tuesday's card, Barbora Krejcikova faces Madison Keys, who has really made a comeback towards her previous levels so far this season.
The American, Keys, now finds herself ranked outside the top 80 after difficulties with injury, but as her career-best ranking of seven shows, she's very capable of testing the best players on tour. Krejcikova is developing into one of those, backing up her French Open success on clay with some strong hard court tournaments as well.
Longer-term data suggests Krejcikova should be a shorter-priced favourite than the 1.865/6 market line. The Czech has an advantage on both serve and return on hard courts over the last 12 months, although Keys' level has improved this season quite markedly and is running at almost 112% for combined service/return points won percentage in 2022.
Keys' level this season puts me into a bit of a quandary. I usually trust year-long numbers quite strongly, but I wonder how skewed the numbers for Keys are after that tricky 2021 season for her.
Her level this year makes it very difficult to want to go against her, and therefore there's no recommendation for Tuesday's schedule.
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