WTA French Open Day 14: Ostapenko a vulnerable front-runner in first Slam final

Simona Halep's experience may prove critical today...
Simona Halep's experience may prove critical today...
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After a superb tournament, it's the WTA final at the French Open today, and with the match available on Betfair Live Video, our Tennis columnist, Dan Weston, is back to analyse where the title is heading...


"With Halep's return data magnificent at 52.8% opponent breaks in the last 12 months, this has a very adverse effect on Ostapenko's projected hold percentage today, which is around the 50% mark. "

Ostapenko and Halep meet in French Open final


Our magnificent 11-match unbeaten run at the French Open ended on Thursday, with Timea Bacsinszky falling in three sets to Jelena Ostapenko. Considering the Swiss player picked up an injury in the first set, requiring a lengthy medical timeout, she certainly gave her best efforts to try and keep our winning streak going, and we can have no regrets about how the match played out.

Pre-tournament favourite, Simona Halep, also required three sets to get past Karolina Pliskova, and the Romanian is a similar price to that match today, at [1.35] on the Exchange, to beat Ostapenko and claim her maiden Grand Slam title.


Halep's extra Slam final experience useful


My model largely agreed with this price, making Halep a marginally shorter [1.30] to beat the Latvian, although it makes no subjective adjustment to the fact that this is Ostapenko's first Grand Slam final.

While Halep has never won a Slam either, she did lose a very tight 3-setter to Maria Sharapova here in 2014 and she may benefit from the experience, and she's now also played four Slam semi-finals.

However, it's impossible to quantify this, and it may have zero impact anyway, but certainly I'd prefer backing Halep as favourite than Ostapenko as underdog. I mentioned on Thursday's preview that Halep has an excellent record covering game handicap lines as a strong favourite on clay, and if I was forced to bet pre-match on this event, this would be the position that I would take.


Ostapenko's unforced errors could cause her difficulty


Ostapenko's success at Roland Garros has been built on a foundation of hitting vast numbers of winners and much has been made of how she's hit so many winners - 243 - in her six matches in Paris. However, she's also hit 217 unforced errors, and against a very solid opponent in Halep, whose unforced error count for the event is around half of this total, Ostapenko will need to find a way of curbing these errors if she is to claim a shock victory.


Ostapenko with a vulnerable front-runner profile


The line I do like for this is an in-play option - opposing Ostapenko when a break up in the match. With Halep's return data magnificent at 52.8% opponent breaks in the last 12 months, this has a very adverse effect on Ostapenko's projected hold percentage today, which is around the 50% mark. Certainly, I do expect Halep to be able to pressurise Ostapenko's serve a great deal today.

Furthermore, Halep has strong break deficit recovery data, with Ostapenko being historically vulnerable as a front-runner as well, so taking this approach is worth considering in a match where as I have already mentioned that she will possibly feel extra pressure.

Without a doubt, it would be a real test if Ostapenko was in a position where she needed to serve out to win her first Grand Slam title and there are likely to be spots where she can be opposed in-running today.


Recommended Bets

Lay Jelena Ostapenko when a set and break up, or a break up in the final set


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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings


Dan Weston's French Open 2017 P&L

26 bets
+8.12 Units
31.23% ROI

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