WTA French Open Day 9: Cepede handicap value against Pliskova

Karolina Pliskova has struggled to cover large handicap lines on clay...
Karolina Pliskova has struggled to cover large handicap lines on clay...
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Fourth round action continues on the WTA Tour today at the French Open, and with all matches available on Betfair Live Video, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, checks out the value and goes for his ninth consecutive WTA win...


"Going back to the start of 2015, Pliskova has only covered the -5.5 game handicap line five times in 13 matches on clay, when priced [1.10] to [1.35]"

Bacsinszky gives us eight from eight on Sunday


After what was a bizarre first set where she relinquished a double break 4-1 lead, Sunday's selection, Timea Bacsinszky, powered through the next two sets with the loss of just three games to thrash Venus Williams, giving us eight WTA wins, with no losses, since the French Open began last Sunday.

However, today's action gives us very little in the way of value propositions, with the market being much more efficient than it was in that match yesterday, although there is one player, in the later matches, that had just enough pre-match value to be considered.

There is a split 10am/3:30pm schedule in the WTA today with two matches getting underway at the former time, and two at the latter time, and in the opening two matches, tournament favourites Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina take to the courts, against Carla Suarez Navarro and Petra Martic, respectively.


Halep likely to pressure Suarez Navarro serve


The markets, and my model, agree that the Romanian, Halep, has a tougher task against Carla Suarez Navarro than Svitolina faces against Petra Martic, and Halep is currently available at [1.33] on the Exchange to get the better of the Spaniard.

My model broadly agreed with this, and with Halep's magnificent return data in mind (she's broken opponents 55.2% on clay in the last 12 months), I'm expecting Suarez Navarro's serve to come under fairly consistent pressure this morning.

That's also the case for Martic - Svitolina has broken opponents even more, 56.8% in the same time period, and while I've mentioned last week that the Croat has done superbly on the ITF Tour and has been value several times already in this particular tournament, she takes on an opponent who is a huge upgrade on anything she's faced so far. Svitolina is [1.22] to make it into the quarter-finals.


Tough match to price between Garcia and Cornet


In the latter two matches, there is an all-French clash as Caroline Garcia takes on Alize Cornet, and trying to establish an accurate sample size for data is crucial here. If we use a very small 2017 sample, Cornet would be value at the current [1.76], while if we use a longer sample, Garcia would be priced as a favourite by my model.

Therefore, in quite a tough spot, I used some weighted ratios to take in both time periods, and this actually made the current prices fairly accurate - my model priced Cornet as a [1.84] favourite to progress.

On this basis, the value player must be in the final match that I will discuss - Veronica Cepede against Karolina Pliskova.


Pliskova short against underdog Cepede


World number three, Pliskova, is a [1.22] favourite to win, but my model priced this as short, considering [1.31] more accurate about the Czech.

In truth, Pliskova's clay data really doesn't justify such a short price against a player who has done superbly well in the first week here, and who is entirely comfortable on red clay - something that Pliskova cannot boast, compared to other surfaces, as the data reflects.

In 2017, Pliskova has held serve 76.7% on clay, breaking opponents 32.5% (combined 109.2%) and her numbers in 2016 (combined 110.9%) were not much better. Of course, these are very solid numbers indeed, but they fall well below the cusp of the 120% elite level - a level that both Halep and Svitolina easily come into - and, as mentioned several times in the past week, the market seems to be influenced by a 'name' player.


Pliskova struggles to cover large handicap lines


The handicap market on Cepede is still forming on the Exchange and slightly bigger prices than this recommendation may be available in the run-up to the match, but this is the avenue I would like to go down - going back to the start of 2015, Pliskova has only covered the -5.5 game handicap line five times in 13 matches on clay, when priced [1.10] to [1.35].


Recommended Bets

Back Veronica Cepede +5.5 games at [1.69]


***


Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings


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