US Open Women's Day Two Tips: Stephens vulnerable against improving Kalinskaya

Belarussian Tennis Player Victoria Azarenka
Victoria Azarenka is a marginal underdog in the match of the day...

There is more first round action at the women's US Open today, and after a big-priced winner on the opening day, Dan Weston returns to give his thoughts on some of tonight's matches...

"We should be able to get around [1.90] on Kalinskaya with a 4.5 game head start, and against a serve-orientated opponent who has only broken just over 30% of the time on hard court this season, this looks a reasonable opportunity."

Bolkvadze with a big-priced day one winner

We had a spectacular start on the opening day of the US Open with a heavy underdog winner, as Mariam Bolkvadze, priced in excess of [4.0], got past Bernarda Pera in three sets. In truth, it could have been even easier for the Georgian qualifier, being a set and *5-3 up in set two, but she took the scenic route before getting over the line. Someone tweeted me after the match and accurately summarised the match by saying 'took an extra hour but nice hit'!

Kerber eliminated on opening day

As is usually the case in women's Grand Slam events, we saw big names drop out on day one. Angelique Kerber was the biggest name, eliminated by Kristina Mladenovic, while we also saw one of the favourites, Ashleigh Barty, needing a comeback three-set victory over Zarina Diyas.

The anticipated match of the day was unfortunately far from competitive, with Maria Sharapova recording just two games in her drubbing by Serena Williams, who has strengthened her position at the top of the outright market to [4.9] following her display against the Russian.

Muguruza fitness in doubt for Riske clash

So, to Tuesday's action. As with the men's, matches get underway from 16:00 UK time, and there's a few matches that catch my attention. If Garbine Muguruza is fit, she would look decent value at [1.75] against Alison Riske. However, I'm not convinced that's a given - she's only played once since losing in round one at Wimbledon, and although that was a creditable display against Madison Keys at Cincinnati, it is difficult to have complete faith in the Spaniard.

Stephens vulnerable against improving Kalinskaya


Another player who it is difficult to have much faith in currently is Sloane Stephens, who has lost four of her last five - all but one as favourite - and since a decent enough clay season, has really struggled. Inconsistency does seem to beset the American on a fairly regular basis, but the market retains faith in her abilities despite there being a decent case for it not to - she's running at double digits negative ROI this year at level stakes.

Tonight, Stephens faces the Russian qualifier, Anna Kalinskaya, who has shown nice improvement of late, reaching the semi-finals in Washington at the start of the month before qualifying to be here. The 20 year old is not far from breaking into the top 100 for the first time and a decent display here will ensure this, and she looks to have a better chance than is indicated by the [3.6] market pricing.

We should be able to get around [1.90] on Kalinskaya with a 4.5 game head start, and against a serve-orientated opponent who has only broken just over 30% of the time on hard court this season, this looks a reasonable opportunity.

Potapova another with fitness doubts

I'm also interested to see who can win the battle of young prospects, with Anastasia Potapova a [2.40] underdog to get past Cori Gauff, and the Russian would look decent value against the currently over-hyped American if she hadn't retired last time out, against Katerina Siniakova in New York last week. 18 year old Potapova is another decent prospect and if in decent condition, would have a solid chance of getting past Gauff.

Numerous big names are also in action, with top seed Naomi Osaka - another retirer last time out - opening her campaign against Anna Blinkova, while Simona Halep looks a little short at [1.06] against home player Nicole Gibbs. Match of the day is the Belarussian duo, Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka's clash, with the higher ranked Sabalenka the marginal [1.76] favourite.


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Dan Weston,

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