US Open Ladies Singles Day Six: Niculescu solid underdog value against Brady

Lucie Safarova is among the heavy favourites on day six...
Lucie Safarova is among the heavy favourites on day six...

Saturday's ladies singles action at the US Open sees some excellent-looking matches, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, assesses where the value lies as the third round concludes...

"On hard court this year, the return-orientated Niculescu has won 53.7% of service points, which is poor, but 47.6% on return, which is excellent, and this 101.3% combined percentage makes her out to be a solid competitor on the WTA Tour."

Barty unable to convert chances in Stephens defeat


Our pick, Ash Barty, was disappointing last night in defeat to Sloane Stephens although it's worth noting that yet again, the American over-performed on break points, converting six of nine, while Barty only managed to do so on three of her 11. A 6-2 6-4 scoreline sounds dominant, but the match stats paint a slightly different picture.

Without doubt, if we are offered odds-against in the knowledge that our player will have more break point chances, it would be an excellent long-term proposition, and we have to pick ourselves up and move on to today's matches, which sees 16 players fighting for the eight remaining fourth round spots.


Niculescu surprisingly underdog against Brady


My model liked just one player in tonight's matches - Monica Niculescu - with the Romanian facing Jennifer Brady in one of the lower-profile third round matches on the schedule tonight.

The unorthodox Niculescu has impressed so far, defeating the fancied (by some) Kristina Mladenovic in her opener before backing this up against countrywoman Ana Bodgan, and I feel Brady is a little over-rated following a very dominant victory over Barbora Strycova on Thursday evening.

On hard court this year, the return-orientated Niculescu has won 53.7% of service points, which is poor, but 47.6% on return, which is excellent, and this 101.3% combined percentage makes her out to be a solid competitor on the WTA Tour.

Brady is just breaking through on the main tour but she's another one who has over-performed on break points while doing so, and Niculescu as a 2.1211/10 underdog makes a lot of sense.


Return orientated clash in prospect between promising talents


In other matches, I expect the clash between two very promising young prospects, French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, and Darya Kasatkina, to be extremely return orientated - traders are likely to find this a swingy encounter.


Radwanska with head-to-head advantage over Vandeweghe


Another match worth examining briefly is Agnieszka Radwanska's clash with Coco Vandeweghe, which is an exhibition of two very different styles.

With a 5-1 head-to-head deficit, Vandeweghe's power game hasn't performed well in this particular match-up, but there is little doubt that she will have her supporters this evening in what is looks to be one of the more fascinating matches tonight.


Numerous big names looking to advance to round four


Also in action as heavy favourites are world number one Karolina Pliskova, Lucie Safarova, Elina Svitolina and Madison Keys, and with most of the big names still left in this event, unlike their male compatriots, there is plenty for Tennis fans and bettors to get their teeth into on day six.


Recommended Bets
Back Monica Niculescu at 2.1211/10 to beat Jennifer Brady


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