Round two of WTA Palermo continues on Thursday, with the final four matches in the round taking to the courts. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns to preview the action...
"Siegemund being a little under-rated on clay isn’t nothing new - she beat the market’s expectations on a regular basis in 2017 on the surface - before a lay-off which saw her ranking plummet. It’s her best surface by some distance and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if she pushed Kontaveit here today."
Ferro gets us a day three winner
We picked up a winner on day three with Fiona Ferro getting past Ekaterina Alexandrova without much drama, getting the job done in straight sets. If Alexandrova is on the entry list for Prague next week, it will be interesting to see how she is priced for her opening round match - a suspicion still exists that she's likely to be over-rated on clay due to her levels in quicker conditions.
There were several shocks in yesterday's matches as well, with Sara Errani continuing her progress with a comeback three-set victory over Krystina Pliskova, and Elisabetta Cocciaretto shocking Donna Vekic in two sets. I mentioned Cocciaretto's high potential on clay throughout this week - her ITF level numbers are very strong for a 19-year-old - but I still expected Vekic to be strong. She now faces the winner of this afternoon's Anett Kontaveit vs Laura Siegemund match, while Errani is likely to be a heavy underdog for her match against Ferro tomorrow.
Siegemund unlikely to be outclassed
As has been the case this week, action gets underway at 15:00 UK time, and that match between Kontaveit and Siegemund starts proceedings. When I priced up the match, it might have been realistic to think Siegemund might trade in excess of [3.0], and she'd look a touch of value at that type of price. However, she's still a little short of this, at a current market price of [2.92]. It's a shame, because I think this spot is probably the best of a bad bunch when it comes to pre-match value, but it's a reluctant pass for me.
Siegemund being a little under-rated on clay isn't nothing new - she beat the market's expectations on a regular basis in 2017 on the surface - before a lay-off which saw her ranking plummet. It's her best surface by some distance and it wouldn't be a surprise at all if she pushed Kontaveit here today.
Martic should have enough to get past Samsonova
Following this, Petra Martic, who destroyed Alison Van Uytvanck in her opener, faces the qualifier Ludmilla Samsonova, and Martic is a solid favourite to progress further, at a current line of [1.41]. Again, this price is a few ticks short of where I'd like her price to be to consider it as value, and if she was, say, [1.45]+, it might be actionable for a small stake.
Martic's clay data is very good across the last couple of years - she's running in excess of 105% combined service/return points won - and this should be enough to see off the threat of Samsonova, who can't quite boast that level on the surface even on the lower ITF Tour.
Giorgi match-up with Juvan intrigues
In other matches, Camila Giorgi's match against Kaja Juvan intrigues - Giorgi's match in the first round here was her first competitive match for over two years on clay, while the Slovenian qualifier, Juvan, loves clay and has a superb record on it (109% combined) on the surface in the last couple of years in ITFs. Looking at Giorgi's longer-term clay data, the market line of [1.75] about the Italian looks about right, but it's not a confident point of view.
Finally, in the night match, the lucky loser Oceane Dodin is a heavy underdog against Danaya Yastremska, who is [1.27] to get the win. I was surprised Dodin got the better of the clay-loving Tamara Zidansek in round one, and Yastremska is a further step up in quality. My model agreed with the market price here as well.
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