WTA Australian Open Day 10: Tournament favourite Williams looks vulnerable

Johanna Konta can shock Serena Williams on Wednesday
Johanna Konta can shock Serena Williams on Wednesday

The two remaining WTA quarter-finals continue on Wednesday, and our Tennis columnist Dan Weston thinks that Johanna Konta can progress...

"While it is reasonable to predict that this will also be a serve-orientated clash, with projected hold percentages in excess of 76% for both players, as well as both players being superb front-runners when leading, my model indicated value on the Brit, Konta, at a current 2.6213/8 and suggested a price of 2.3211/8 would be more appropriate."

Venus wins but Vandeweghe steams

Our recommendation from the overnight matches was a winner, with Venus Williams getting past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets, but more of a shock was Coco Vandeweghe's demolition of Garbine Muguruza, after a similar performance against world number one Angelique Kerber in the previous round.

Muguruza's elimination sees Serena Williams shorten a touch from 2.9215/8 to 2.789/5 in the outright betting, with Vandeweghe the huge mover on the Exchange. In an incredible fortnight, the American has steamed into 5.24/1 from a high of 800.0799/1 around when the market opened, and has a slight edge over Karolina Pliskova and Johanna Konta, at the time of writing.


Pliskova correctly priced to beat Lucic-Baroni

Pliskova takes on the remaining huge tournament underdog, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, at midnight UK time on Wednesday, and the Czech player is a heavy favourite at 1.261/4 to progress. My model rated her at 1.222/9, so I am in broad agreement with the market.

I expect the match to be quite serve-orientated, so with my model in line with the market, I prefer to move on to the second match on the schedule between Konta and Williams, which is scheduled to begin afterwards, at 2am.


Konta the value in serve-orientated clash

While it is reasonable to predict that this will also be a serve-orientated clash, with projected hold percentages in excess of 76% for both players, as well as both players being superb front-runners when leading, my model indicated value on the Brit, Konta, at a current 2.6213/8 and suggested a price of 2.32 would be more appropriate.

This model pricing was largely down to the fact that the players' hold/break statistics were very similar indeed - Konta has held serve 78.3% of the time on hard court in the last 12 months, with Williams a touch higher at 81.9%.

The return data is almost identical too, with the Brit having a slight edge, breaking opponents 39.8% in that time period compared to 39.1% for the world number two, Williams.

Both players are yet to drop a set here and it is worth noting that Konta has faced three top-50 opponents compared to Williams' one so far, and in a likely competitive match, I'd much prefer to side with a fully-fit player on an upward curve, as opposed to one of the greatest players of all time who is in decline and still is yet to convince from a fitness perspective.

There is no doubt that a win for Konta would be a career-high, but she has never had a better opportunity to do so.


Recommended Bet
Back Johanna Konta to beat Serena Williams at 2.6213/8


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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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