There's a fascinating day's play in prospect at the French Open today in the women's singles, and returning to preview day six is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...
"Based on my numbers, the best spot on a tricky day is Polona Hercog at 2.707/4 for her match against Marketa Vondrousova, but year-long clay numbers on Vondrousova certainly don’t take into account her upside and she’s previously played at a much higher level."
Swiatek shortens after Barty and Pliskova exits
Thursday's action saw the retirement exit of Ash Barty to Magda Linette, and the Australian was joined by Karolina Pliskova who was defeated in straight sets by Sloane Stephens. Following her 2-0 win over Rebecca Peterson, Iga Swiatek has shortened at the top of the outright market to around 2.447/5, with Aryna Sabalenka 7.26/1 the only other player in single-digit pricing.
Market unconvinced about Serena
One of the 'next tier' of players in the outright market is Serena Williams, who has arguably unconvinced so far to get to this stage, and this is reflected in her market price of 1.695/7 to get the better of Danielle Collins who demolished Anhelina Kalinina as a slight underdog in round two.
The pricing looks about right for this all-American clash and it's interesting to note that in the Melbourne Australian Open warm-up tournament on hard court a few months ago, Williams was priced at around the 1.402/5 mark - illustrating the lack of market faith on the former world number one, particularly given Collins is also more of a noted hard courter.
Injury-hit Azarenka and Keys meet in tough match to call
Victoria Azarenka and Madison Keys have both had injury issues over the last few months and meet today for a place in round four. Azarenka has marginally better two-year clay data and I think her market price of 1.645/8 is broadly accurate, and this is a match which I'm not hugely keen to get involved with.
This is a general theme on the women's schedule today, with credit given to the market for it's accurate pricing today, and there isn't much out of line at all.
Hercog a capable player on clay
Based on my numbers, the best spot on a tricky day is Polona Hercog at 2.707/4 for her match against Marketa Vondrousova, but year-long clay numbers on Vondrousova certainly don't take into account her upside and she's previously played at a much higher level. Hercog is a very competent clay courter though, and will represent a test for Vondrousova in the evening match.
Sabalenka and Bogdan heavy favourites to progress
In other matches, the second favourite for the tournament, Sabalenka, is 1.251/4 to defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening match on the schedule, while Paula Badosa has been excellent on clay this year and is 1.211/5 to defeat Ana Bogdan - after her stunning clay-court season, Badosa looks a real threat to any of the bigger names on the surface right now.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
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