Dan Weston to previews the semi-final action from the women's side of the US Open....
"On hard court this season, Serena has won 5.6% more service points and 1.9% more return points than Svitolina (she's running at 112.3%, which absolutely makes her an elite-level hard courter)."
Bencic and Andreescu progress from Wednesday's quarter-finals
Unfortunately our underdog pick, Donna Vekic was unable to get past Belinda Bencic last night with the turning point surely being failing to serve out a 5-4 lead in the first set. However, we've had an extremely strong tournament (P&L figures below) and we must pick ourselves up and move on to the remaining matches in the event.
Bencic is joined in the semi-finals by our outright Q2 pick, Bianca Andreescu, who gave us a nice quarter winner last night beating Elise Mertens in three sets, and being the first player to win a set from the Belgian in the tournament, in the process. That victory was surely deserved, given Andreescu created 16 break point chances to Mertens' six, and only faced one in the latter two sets combined.
Andreescu justified as favourite tonight
Bencic and Andreescu meet today in the second semi-final, and Andreescu is the [1.75] market favourite to make the final, and continue her magnificent run in high level hard court tournaments this season.
I stated before the tournament that my numbers made her the second best hard courter on tour this year (behind Serena Williams) and having already won two Premier Mandatory titles this season (Indian Wells and Toronto) she isn't badly placed at all to top it off with her first Grand Slam title. To use a comparison with another sport, her progress reminds me a little bit of Rob Cross' progression to his first World Championship in Darts - his stats were superb and he performed very well in tournaments for a number of months prior to the World Championships, but still went into the tournament a little under-rated by many. Andreescu is pretty similar.
Tonight I think that Andreescu's price is a little too big, but not enough to consider her decent value. I think a price upwards of [1.80] might be more of interest. This year in main tour matches on hard court, Andreescu has won 1.3% more service points and 1.9% more return points than Bencic and these numbers certainly justify her being favourite here.
During the tournament to get this stage, however, Bencic does have a marginal edge on numbers (6.4% edge on service points won, 5.0% deficit on return points won) so Andreescu's progress to a final is far from a foregone conclusion, so the stage is set for a very competitive match.
Williams a strong market favourite to beat Svitolina
The market suspects this is less likely to be the case in the first semi-final though, with Serena Williams a strong [1.39] market favourite to get the better of Elina Svitolina.
Serena has done this in four of their five head-to-head meetings, but I can't give much credence to the head to head matches, given they've not played for three years and Svitolina was ranked 20 or higher in every single one of their matches - the match-up, with Svitolina a top 10 regular now and Williams, despite still being the best hard courter on tour, perhaps not quite at the peak of her powers.
On hard court this season, Serena has won 5.6% more service points and 1.9% more return points than Svitolina (she's running at 112.3%, which absolutely makes her an elite-level hard courter) and she has grown into the tournament well, putting aside an early struggle against Catherine McNally by demolishing Qiang Wang in little more than 40 minutes on Tuesday night for the loss of just one game.
There's little doubt that Serena should be a strong favourite here - my model agreed with market prices - so with the markets looking pretty accurate tonight, there's no recommendation for this evening's women's matches.
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Dan's US Open P&L:-
17 Units Staked
22.43 Units Returned