French Open Ladies Singles Day 10: Stephens offers underdog value against Kasatkina

American Tennis Player Sloane Stephens
Sloane Stephens has a very high peak level on clay
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Tuesday's action at Roland Garros sees the first two ladies singles matches on the schedule, and returning to give his views on the matches, is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...

"Going back further into the archives, three-year data makes Stephens even more impressive and gives credence to the argument that she has a very high peak level on clay."

Williams' withdrawal gives Sharapova huge outright boost

Serena Williams' late withdrawal deprived tennis fans of the match-up that had everyone talking in the build up, and Maria Sharapova eases into the quarter-finals without needing to even pick up a racquet. The effect of this on the outright market was profound, with Sharapova moving from [15.0] to [7.8], and certainly, anyone with quick information on this Williams withdrawal will have been well in profit.

Aside from Williams' dramatic withdrawal, yesterday's matches in Paris were free of drama. Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber picked up straightforward victories in two sets, while Darya Kasatkina picked up the final three games of her interrupted clash with Caroline Wozniacki to progress. In addition Lesya Tsurenko was forced to retire when 2-0 down in the opening set against Garbine Muguruza.

Market accurate at perceiving Keys edge over Putintseva

Opening proceedings at 13:00 UK time today is Yulia Putintseva and Madison Keys, and we've ridden the Putintseva wave here in the past week, recommending her on several occasion at a value price.

Today she faces the big-serving American, Keys, who came into the tournament with an injury doubt, but now looks to have put those issues aside. Indeed, she comes into the match having won 64.3% of service points as well as 51.9% on return in the tournament so far, and this 116.2% combined figure is very strong indeed.

While Putintseva has been strong here in Paris, she can't come close to these numbers (109.0% combined) and on longer-term data, she's also found at a level below today's opponent.

With this in mind, my model made Keys [1.38] to get the win, so the [1.31] about her is a little short. However, the [4.1] about Putintseva isn't big enough to be actionable value - I'd want her to be [4.5] or greater - so it's tough to recommend the Kazakh here against an opponent with a very high peak level.

Stephens value as slight underdog for Kasatkina clash

In the second match, Sloane Stephens faces Darya Kasatkina, with the Russian prospect, Kasatkina, a [1.90] favourite.

This looks a little short to me - her 12 and 18 month clay data isn't elite level, and we have to go back two years to find her stats the most impressive. In the last two years on clay, Kasatkina - when at her most impressive - holding serve 65.0% and breaking opponents 48.0% (combined 113.0%) but this also sees Stephens with solid data.

Stephens with high peak level on clay

Stephens' clay data doesn't have the biggest sample, given her injury issues, but in the same time period, she's held 70.5% and broken 43.0% (combined 113.5%), so this data gives her a marginal edge. Going back further into the archives, three-year data makes Stephens even more impressive and gives credence to the argument that she - like her American compatriot, Keys - has a very high peak level on clay.

My model actually made Stephens the [1.90] favourite, so the [2.08] available on her via the Exchange is right on the cusp of value, and is just enough to make the American today's recommendation to get a win to progress to the semi-finals.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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