The French Open moves into the fourth round stage today, and after a heavy underdog winner on day seven, Dan Weston returns to with his preview and tips...
"Yes, Podoroska has been very strong on clay this season post-lockdown in ITF and WTA Challenger events, but she hasn't played many opponents of main tour quality on the surface in those events. My perception so far is that the market is over-valuing her based on easy wins against mediocre opposition."
Badosa Gibert nets us a heavy underdog winner
There were plenty of surprises on day seven with a number of favourites exiting. Aryna Sabalenka and Petra Martic left the tournament with losses against Ons Jabeur and Petra Martic, while we discussed the upset potential of both Paula Badosa Gibert and Danielle Collins for their matches versus Jelena Ostapenko and Garbine Muguruza, respectively.
We eventually settled on Badosa Gibert for her match against Ostapenko, and the 85/403.10 shot eased to a straight-set victory, and it was pleasing to see Ostapenko serve 10 double faults in 10 service games after highlighting that as a weakness in our preview.
Swiatek playing at a really high level ahead of Halep clash
Action begins at 10:00 UK time this morning, as it has done throughout the last week, and there's a fantastic match in prospect with the tournament favourite, Simona Halep, facing up to the young prospect, Iga Swiatek.
Halep is the 1/61.17 favourite which looks a little short to me against a player who has had little difficulty in translating stellar ITF numbers to the main tour - over the last 18 months on clay, Swiatek is running at just shy of 106% combined service/return points won with continued further upside, so she's clearly one of the better clay-courters on tour based on those numbers.
Having said that, Halep's numbers are still quite a bit ahead of this, and I don't doubt that she should be a strong favourite here, but it wouldn't surprise me at all if Swiatek gave an excellent account of herself and surprised some observers.
Bertens a strong favourite over Trevisan
Also starting at 10am is Kiki Bertens' clash with Martina Trevisan, who has done superbly, having qualified, to get to this stage. The Italian, Trevisan, has never broken the top 140 at the age of 26, but of course having reached this stage, will see her ranking receive a very nice boost even if she loses today.
Bertens created a surprise in the previous round with a 6-2 6-2 win over Katerina Siniakova which went against market sentiment after the market assumed that she had bad injury concerns following leaving the court in a wheelchair after her win over Sara Errani in round two. The market is much less strong on Bertens being injured here and is chalking her up as a 1/31.33 favourite, which doesn't look far out of line.
Krejcikova again under-rated by the market
The main match I want to focus on for today's recommendation is the next match on court which is Nadia Podoroska versus Barbora Krejcikova. We netted a really nice winner on Friday from Krejcikova and we're relying on the Czech to get another win for us today, against the Argentine qualifier, Podoroska.
I am really struggling to get my head around these prices. Yes, Podoroska has been very strong on clay this season post-lockdown in ITF and WTA Challenger events, but she hasn't played many opponents of main tour quality on the surface in those events. My perception so far is that the market is over-valuing her based on easy wins against mediocre opposition.
In any case, Krejcikova's ITF numbers across the last 18 months are actually better than Podoroska's. She has, however, been less impressive since the tour resumed and I think this recency bias is influencing the market here. I make Krejcikova the favourite here so the 9/52.80 market price looks obvious for today's recommendation.
Svitolina a justified favourite over Garcia
The other match on the card could be a high-quality one, with Elina Svitolina facing Caroline Garcia. Garcia has struggled in the last 12-18 months compared to previous levels, but it will be interesting to see whether winning Strasbourg last week will create fatigue issues for Svitolina - she's now played 10 matches in the last three weeks having made the quarter-final in Rome.
Svitolina is the 8/131.61 favourite, which looks about right to me.
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Back Barbora Krejcikova at 9/52.80 to beat Nadia Podoroska