The women's singles at the US Open reaches the fourth round tonight, and with numerous big names in action, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews this evening's four matches...
"Let's get this straight though, I don't think Barty should be remotely close to an underdog here obviously, but I do think she is short at market prices given the discrepancies between the two players hard court statistics. "
Bencic and Andreescu progress on day six
Our pick from yesterday, Belinda Bencic, moved into the fourth round but not in the way we would have wanted. She picked up a walkover against Anett Kontaveit and now faces Naomi Osaka in tomorrow night's fourth round. Osaka eased to a comfortable win over Cori Gauff, who could well be over-rated by the markets in the coming weeks.
We also saw our Q2 outright pick, Bianca Andreescu, get a straight sets win over Caroline Wozniacki and the Canadian talent now is odds-on to win that quarter. Elise Mertens looks the main threat in that bracket.
Difficult to find value among big names
Moving on to today, though, we have an interesting card full of big names but unfortunately, not particularly full of value. I've made the point numerous times that it is illogical to expect there to be much value in matches featuring big name players, on the whole, given their more exposed form lines and greater market knowledge about their ability, and this is certainly the case today.
Wang capable of competing against Barty
The best spot today, based on my numbers, would be Qiang Wang on the game handicap against Ashleigh Barty. The Australian looks short at [1.26] against a very competent hard courter indeed and it's worth noting in the final of the Zhuhai Championships at the end of last season, Barty was actually a slight underdog to Wang.
Let's get this straight though, I don't think Barty should be remotely close to an underdog here obviously, but I do think she is short at market prices given the discrepancies between the two players hard court statistics.
We should be able to get in the high [1.60]s about Wang with a 5.5 game head start - general market prices are around the [1.67] mark - and that's also the price with the Sportsbook as well. Wang +5.5 games is 4/6 and this is the best spot, for a small stake, of a bad card for value today.
Pliskova with edge for serve-orientated encounter
Karolina Pliskova has won six of her seven previous meetings against Johanna Konta but this is a head to head series which deserves greater context. It's 3-1 since Konta broke into the top 30 and there's zero relevance to their first three meetings, in 2011, 2013 and 2015 where Konta was ranked outside the top 100 for all of them.
Their last two head to head meetings, however, have been extremely serve-orientated (hold percentage was around 80% across those matches) and I'm anticipating more of the same here. Pliskova does enjoy a solid hold/break percentage advantage, and this makes her market price of [1.60] relatively accurate.
Serena heavy favourite over Martic
Later on in the evening, Serena Williams is [1.19] against another lower-profile, but capable hard courter, in Petra Martic, but it would be a surprise if Serena was beaten here today. Even given her absences and injury issues this year, she's still got the best hard court numbers in 2019 on the WTA Tour (combined hold/break around the 123% mark) and she does look the player to beat here - assuming full fitness, at least.
Keys with stats advantage over Svitolina
Finally, there's a competitive-looking match for the night owls, as Madison Keys takes on Elina Svitolina.
The American, Keys, looks justified in being a slight [1.87] favourite with her serve giving her an advantage based on 2019 hard court numbers. She's won 4% more service points on the surface this year than her Ukranian rival, and while Svitolina has a marginally better return game, Keys looks about right at market prices to get the win in front of her home crowd tonight.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
Dan's US Open P&L:-
12 Units Staked
16.4 Units Returned
Back Qiang Wang +5.5 games at [1.67] to beat Ashleigh Barty