The quarter-finals commence on day ten of the French Open, and both matches can be viewed on Betfair Live Video. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, is in red-hot form at Roland Garros and today searches for his tenth consecutive WTA winner. Read on for his bets...
"The Swiss player dropped just nine games across six sets in the opening three rounds, and lost just three games against Venus Williams in the latter two sets of her round of 16 victory at the weekend."
Cepede game handicap brings up our ninth WTA winner in a row
In the evening match on Monday, a 6-2 first set win virtually guaranteed that Veronica Cepede would cover the +5.5 game handicap against Karolina Pliskova and this duly provided us with our ninth WTA preview win in a row, despite the Czech coming back to take the match in three sets.
Halep and Svitolina progress in differing fashion
In yesterday's other matches, the two tournament favourites, Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina, both made it through to tomorrow's second set of quarter finals, although in vastly different fashion.
Halep eased past Carla Suarez Navarro, mocking their clay head-to-head record - again illustrating why it is critical that head-to-head results are not over-rated and also dealt with the context of the current match-up - but Svitolina was on the verge of elimination, with opponent Petra Martic blowing a 5-2 30-0* lead in a dramatic final set.
Caroline Garcia also progressed, beating countrywoman Alize Cornet in straight sets, to further continue French interest in the event.
There's also a Frenchwoman - Kristina Mladenovic - in action today in the WTA quarter-finals, which both take place at 1pm UK time. The French Open has this bizarre tendency where both WTA quarter-finals are played at the same time, and then the ATP quarter-finals take place, also at the same time, and it defies logic as to why the organisers would deliberately plan so that all matches cannot be viewed independently, on a day where there are only four singles matches to begin with.
Updated stats prefer Bacsinszky over Mladenovic
Mladenovic takes on our hero from Sunday, Timea Bacsinszky, and it's a match that's very interesting to analyse. Mladenovic was our outright selection to win the quarter in this segment of the draw and, pre-event, she had stellar 2017 clay stats.
However, following three very tight wins - 9-7, 8-6 and 6-3 final sets - her stats have stagnated, as players with high hold/break stats will see them either stay at a similar level, or drop, following a series of close victories.
This allows us a flexible in-tournament strategy, and Mladenovic's opponent, Bacsinszky, has conversely managed to win numerous dominant sets in the event. The Swiss player dropped just nine games across six sets in the opening three rounds, and lost just three games against Venus Williams in the latter two sets of her round of 16 victory at the weekend.
The effect of this is profound - while Mladenovic's stats haven't improved in the process of getting to this stage, Bacsinszky's have, and in 2017, Bacsinszky has now broken opponents an elite-level 51.0% of the time. While Mladenovic boasts more impressive service numbers, she can only break opponents 33.3% of the time this year on the surface.
With this in mind, my model priced Bacsinszky at [1.70] and this makes the Exchange prices value at [2.08]. Of course, as I've mentioned several times this week, this isn't the first time that a French player has been short-priced, and Mladenovic does look a false favourite at [1.92] here.
Wozniacki needs to reverse head-to-head to defeat Ostapenko
The second quarter-final is also an intriguing affair, with Caroline Wozniacki [1.79] to get the better of young-gun Jelena Ostapenko.
My model would have made this a value price on the Dane, but for the fact that Ostapenko has already defeated her on three occasions this year - twice on clay - and this is an example of a head-to-head record which should have more respect.
Factoring this head-to-head record in, there was little difference between my model and the market, and in what I anticipate to be a match with plenty of breaks of serve, both players look accurately priced by the market.
Back Timea Bacsinszky at [2.08]
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
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