Following wins for Tamara Zidansek and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova yesterday, the final two women's singles quarter-finals take place at Roland Garros. Dan Weston previews the action...
"Swiatek has now won 22 sets in a row at Roland Garros and has a large service points won advantage on Sakkari, who is has more of a return-orientated dynamic."
Swiatek shortens in outright market without playing
Yesterday was the day of the underdog with both pre-match underdogs Zidansek and Pavlyuchenkova getting wins over Paula Badosa and Elena Rybakina, respectively. Without even stepping on to court, Iga Swiatek has shortened by nine ticks to 1.758/11 in the outright market following the losses of two favourites, with Pavlyuchenkova rocketing in to being 7.413/2 second favourite for the title.
Gauff causing us problems so far in the event
Both Zidansek and Pavlyuchenkova have never made a Grand Slam semi-final previously and neither have the two players competing in today's first quarter-final, between Cori Gauff and Barbora Krejcikova - Gauff is the 1.9420/21 favourite to make the semi-finals.
We've suffered a couple of losses this tournament at the hands of Gauff as she defeated Jennifer Brady and Ons Jabeur, and to be honest, I'm not sure how to proceed with her at this point in time. It's very rare that I'll say this about a player but is there scope to suggest that Gauff is somehow a better player than the numbers indicate?
Slight potential value on Krejcikova
On clay, though, it is worth pointing out that Krejcikova does have marginally better clay court numbers this year - she's won just over 2% more service points and around 1% fewer return points - and the main difference in terms of win rate is that Gauff seems to have this ability to win tight sets and matches, and is performing well in tiebreaks.
The problem is that this type of overperformance is pretty much always unsustainable. There are one or two outliers - Nick Kyrgios on the ATP Tour is one - but most players will mean-revert to expectation eventually. Can Gauff be the WTA version of Kyrgios in this respect? It's certainly possible. Numbers suggest that there's some slight value on Krejcikova today but I'm also happy to wait until a potential semi-final which would see Gauff face Iga Swiatek - I'd have the tournament favourite as a considerable favourite for that.
Swiatek now 22 sets unbeaten at Roland Garros
To get to the semi-finals, though, Swiatek has to defeat Maria Sakkari, and the market line of 1.292/7 for her to do looks about right to me. Swiatek has now won 22 sets in a row at Roland Garros and has a large service points won advantage on Sakkari, who is more of a return-orientated dynamic. Swiatek has also won 11 matches in a row on clay, having won the Rome Premier several weeks ago, and her numbers are absolutely stratospheric.
Could Swiatek become the WTA version of Rafa Nadal on clay? It's extremely possible.
Sakkari, who is an excellent clay-courter herself, will have to play very well today to push Swiatek but it would be rather brave for anyone to go against Swiatek with her recent results on tour, and history at the venue.
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