French Open Ladies Singles Day Six: Siniakova can continue Strycova's 2018 decline

Czech Tennis Player Barbora Strycova
It has been a frustrating clay season for Barbora Strycova...
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Women's action at Roland Garros sees eight third-round matches take place, and with a number of big names in action, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, discusses the value...

"Statistically, on clay, Siniakova has a decent edge and of the two players, Siniakova's career has much more of an upward trajectory, being 22 and improving, as opposed to Strycova being 32 and declining. I'm more than happy to recommend Siniakova at current market prices today."

Pliskova and Serena fight back from a set down on day five

There were few shocks on day five in Paris yesterday, with the high-profile players making it through to Saturday's round three matches, although it's fair to suggest that not all had it their own way.

Not least in this respect was Karolina Pliskova, who dropped the first set to her Czech compatriot, Lucie Safarova, while Serena Williams was forced to tough out three sets to Ash Barty, in what was a very serve-orientated match with few break point chances. It will be interesting to see if Williams can address this deficiency - she only created five across 14 return games - as the tournament progresses.

Wozniacki and Svitolina look short as heavy favourites

Moving on to today, several heavy favourites look a little vulnerable, with Caroline Wozniacki, priced at [1.13], looking a little short against the in-form Pauline Parmentier. The Frenchwoman, Parmentier, is pretty competent on clay, and while Wozniacki is obviously the better player by a distance, clay is statistically not nearly as strong a surface for her as hard court.

Tournament favourite Elina Svitolina also looks a touch short at [1.19] against a rapidly improving Mihaela Buzarnescu, whose clay stats are heading towards top 20 territory. My model made Svitolina [1.30] to progress.

Putintseva with chances as underdog against Wang

Also with chances is Yulia Putintseva, who picked up a winner for us on Wednesday, as she faces Qiang Wang. Putintseva is the [2.32] underdog here, and my model virtually reversed these prices, with perhaps Wang being over-rated by the market following two excellent wins over Venus Williams and Petra Martic.

Siniakova can see off declining Strycova

Katerina Siniakova is another women's player who was a winner for us in previous days, and she looks big at [1.91] to beat Barbora Strycova, who is yet to show close to her best on clay in recent months.

Prior to defeating Kurumi Nara on clay here in the first round, Strycova had lost all four of her clay court matches this season, and came in off an eight match run of defeats, against opponents of varying levels.

Statistically, on clay, Siniakova has a decent edge and of the two players, Siniakova's career has much more of an upward trajectory, being 22 and improving, as opposed to Strycova being 32 and declining. I'm more than happy to recommend Siniakova at current market prices today.

Giorgi capable of surprising Stephens

The other match where I felt a player was priced a little generously was Camila Giorgi's match with Sloane Stephens, with Giorgi a [2.52] underdog.

In truth, both players can be frustratingly inconsistent, but Giorgi has been able to show a higher recent level on clay, recording better combined service/return points won percentages on clay both this year and in the last 18 months.

Osaka and Sakkari looking over-rated by many on clay currently

In other matches, Madison Keys is correctly priced at [1.68] against the over-rated (on clay) Naomi Osaka in what should be quite a serve-orientated battle, while our outright selection, Petra Kvitova, is priced at [1.42] to get the better of an improving young player in Anett Kontaveit.

Finally, another improving young player is Maria Sakkari, who faces Daria Kasatkina. Having discussed Sakkari's potential on social media several days ago, it is evident that the Greek prospect will have her supporters at [3.95] here, although I feel she is a little over-rated, and much of her success this year is down to unsustainable break point over performance that is likely to mean-revert to around top 50 level in the future.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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