French Open Ladies Singles Day Eight: Putintseva a value underdog against Strycova

Roland Garros French Open
There are four competitive looking French Open women's matches today...
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The ladies singles at the French Open brings us fourth round action today, and with no heavy favourites on the schedule, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, returns with his preview...

"She matches up with Barbora Strycova today, with the Czech, Strycova, the slight favourite, a status which my model virtually reversed. The reasoning for this is simple - this year on clay, Putintseva's combined hold/break percentage is 101.3%, and across this season and last, it is similar, at 101.9%."

Kvitova and Pliskova among exits on day seven

While favourites on the men's side have largely made it through to the latter stages, this wasn't the case in the women's event, with a number of high-profile players ending their campaign in yesterday's action.

Sadly, this included our outright pick, Petra Kvitova, and in addition, Karolina Pliskova was also eliminated with ease by Maria Sharapova - the nature of the win was certainly a shock - while Kiki Bertens, fancied by many as a good value outside pick, failed in two tiebreaks against Angelique Kerber.

We also saw a win for yesterday's recommendation, Serena Williams, with the former world number one never in a ton of trouble against Julia Goerges, and my assertion that Goerges would struggle against the Williams serve was proven correct - the German managed only one break point in the entire match.

Buzarnescu's improvement sees correct market price against Keys

Today's action begins at 10:00 UK time with Madison Keys a slight [1.62] favourite over one of the surprise packages of the event, Mihaela Buzarnescu. This price looks about right to me, with Buzarnescu's data very impressive - both at WTA and the lower ITF level - quite why it's taken her until she is 30 to make the breakthrough is beyond me.

Putintseva can convert for us again

Keeping Yulia Putintseva onside this week has yielded dividends for us, and on what is a day of limited value, the Kazakh provides us with today's recommendation.

She matches up with Barbora Strycova today, with the Czech, Strycova, the slight favourite, a status which my model virtually reversed. The reasoning for this is simple - this year on clay, Putintseva's combined hold/break percentage is 101.3%, and across this season and last, it is similar, at 101.9%.

We have to go back to 2016, when the 32 year old Strycova was at her peak, for her to be able to beat these numbers, so it is clear that this market pricing is being derived on reputation and ranking - Putintseva at [2.60] is today's value pick.

Kontaveit with slight edge over Stephens

Third on court in the women's event today is Anett Kontaveit versus Sloane Stephens, and I don't have a particular view here, in truth. Kontaveit is a narrow [1.81] favourite to beat her American rival, and looking at the data, that looks about right.

On clay, Kontaveit has an advantage on serve but Stephens can boast better return data to a slightly lesser extent, so I'm absolutely fine with this pricing.

Kasatkina needing win to rubber-stamp potential

This is also the case for the final match, which sees Caroline Wozniacki face Darya Kasatkina. The Dane, Wozniacki, is [1.87] to get the win here, which again looks about right. While it's probably fair to suggest Wozniacki isn't as adept on clay as she is on hard courts, her data is still pretty strong on the surface, and the dominant nature of her victories so far this week have improved her pre-tournament data as well.

Kasatkina has (correctly) long been touted as a high potential player on clay, but is yet to get past this round at Roland Garros. At 21 years of age, she has time on her side, and this is the type of match-up she will need to win to have an illustrious clay court career.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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