US Open Ladies Singles Day Seven: Sharapova value to be backed at bigger prices in-running

Maria Sharapova's break deficit recovery data is tour-leading...
Maria Sharapova's break deficit recovery data is tour-leading...

Maria Sharapova and Garbine Muguruza are among the players in action on day seven of the US Open, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews the fourth-round schedule tonight...

"What Sharapova also offers is magnificent mental strength, as I’ve mentioned previously, and over the last couple of years she’s recovered around an incredible 80% of break deficits - a tour-leading stat which only Serena Williams comes close to."

Pliskova scrapes through Zhang test on day six


Yesterday's selection of Monica Niculescu ended up in last-minute defeat, with the Romanian slight underdog falling to Jennifer Brady in a final-set tiebreak on what was a very long night at the US Open - Elena Vesnina and Madison Keys' match didn't start until much before 5am UK time.

In one of the earlier matches, one of our outright selections, Karolina Pliskova, again took the scenic route, fending off a match point from Shuai Zhang in the second set, when Zhang was serving for the match at 5-4. Zhang traded just below 1.101/10 at this stage, but Pliskova lives to fight another day, and faces Brady in one of the easier-looking fourth round matches on Monday.


Sharapova's break deficit recovery stats gives trading angle


Our other outright selection, Maria Sharapova, is already trading considerably shorter at 7.26/1 than the 34.033/1 advised, and the Russian takes on Anastasija Sevastova in the opening ladies match this evening.

Sharapova is currently a 1.412/5 favourite to win tonight, which looks about right, and there is no doubt that her stats are around the peak of the women's level right now. Since her return to tour, she's won 60.7% of serve points and 47.6% on return, and the 108.3% combined percentage is similar to the leading players on tour currently.

What Sharapova also offers is magnificent mental strength, as I've mentioned previously, and over the last couple of years she's recovered around an incredible 80% of break deficits - a tour-leading stat which only Serena Williams comes close to - and in the absence of any pre-match value in any of today's WTA matches, I like backing Sharapova when a break down and either level or losing in sets. This should give us a solid position to trade at a shorter price should Sharapova recover the deficit.


Stephens priced correctly against big-serving Goerges


To use a poker phrase, Sloane Stephens is no doubt 'running good' currently, but she takes a 4-1 head-to-head lead into her match with Julia Goerges, which contributed to my model largely agreeing with the 1.608/13 about the American. Should she get past the serve-orientated Goerges, bigger tests await.


Suarez Navarro not enough value to act upon


Following this, Venus Williams faces Carla Suarez Navarro, and looks slightly short at 1.491/2 against an opponent who hasn't performed badly in previous head-to-heads, but this price discrepancy is really nothing worth acting on - implied value on the Spaniard is around 2%, not nearly enough for me.

Suarez Navarro doesn't quite fit the profile of a vulnerable front-runner here, but it wouldn't be at all a shock if she struggled to maintain leads against the veteran Williams sister this evening.


Muguruza improvement justifies Kvitova match-up prices


Arguably the match of the day on the women's side is reserved for the night owls, with Petra Kvitova a heavy underdog to beat Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, whose current price of 1.402/5 looks about right.

In the past, there could certainly have been a solid case for these odds to be reversed, but Kvitova's numbers since her return to tour are far from magnificent, and having barely lost a match in the last few months, Muguruza's stats have improved considerably, although I do consider there is some potential for her to be over-rated in some latter round matches here against select opponents.


Recommended Bets
Back Maria Sharapova when a break down and level or losing in sets


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