With all 16 players left in the ladies singles draw at Wimbledon taking to the court today, there are a number of superb matches in prospect. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, assesses the value for today's play at SW19...
"In the last 12 months, Radwanska has won a higher percentage of both service and return points on grass and she seems insulted by this price."
Few heavy favourites in wide-open ladies draw
In what is the most wide-open Grand Slam event I can ever remember, almost all of the 16 ladies remaining in the singles draw will feel they have a strong case for winning the title, and the competitiveness of the draw is further illustrated by the fact that only two players are sub-1.50 favourites for their matches today.
These players are Johanna Konta, who looks short at [1.40] against the significantly improving Caroline Garcia, and also Magdelena Rybarikova, who is [1.35] for her clash with another player who has shown great form in recent months in Petra Martic.
Konta looks short against the improving Garcia
I'm certainly surprised to see Konta at such a mark, and I think the market might be getting a little carried away with the Brit, who is the [6.40] tournament outright favourite. Garcia has already beaten Konta twice since 2016, including a three-set epic at Indian Wells in March, and from a service points won/return points won perspective, there isn't much to separate the duo.
Looking at these stats, Konta has a wafer-thin edge on serve, winning 63.2% of service points compared to Garcia's 62.9%, and a slightly bigger one on return, doing so 43.7% as opposed to 41.6%. With this in mind, it is clear that Konta should be favourite, but not at these prices.
Another positive for Garcia is her solid record priced as a 3.00-6.00 underdog, winning 16 of 44 career matches in this price range, but it's worth noting that in these historical matches, she's either tended to win them or lose easily, so handicap options are a little constricted on that basis. Taking the Frenchwoman to win the match looks likely to be the best option here, at a generous [3.40].
Market over-reaction on Muguruza progress
Other matches which I made value include Angelique Kerber, who has much better grass data than Garbine Muguruza, and I feel that the market has over-reacted to Muguruza's facile passage through the draw so far, and completely forgotten the player who lost 6-1 6-0 to Barbora Strycova at Eastbourne a fortnight ago. World number one Kerber is [2.60] to progress.
Radwanska again underdog value
Agnieszka Radwanska was discussed as value on Saturday against Timea Bacsinszky and the Pole duly came through a three setter, with Bacsinszky notably flagging in the final set, and Radwanska today is a value underdog again, this time for her match with Svetlana Kuznetsova.
I mentioned on Saturday that Kuznetsova's record on grass is not the best, and I stand by that despite her routing Polona Hercog in the second set, with the Slovenian, Hercog, capitulating after losing a tight first, and prices around the [2.86] mark seem to under-rate Radwanska.
In the last 12 months, Radwanska has won a higher percentage of both service and return points on grass and she seems insulted by this price.
Fascinating remaining matches in the last 16
In other matches, I'm intrigued to see who will come out on top between Jelena Ostapenko and Elina Svitolina - both players came into the event with much to prove on the surface still, but have done well so far - while Victoria Azarenka's match against Simona Halep will give us a great idea of where Azarenka's level is following her return to tour. Halep is slightly favoured by the market in this clash.
Also in action are Ana Konjuh and Venus Williams, with Konjuh likely to provide a stern test of the American veteran's abilities - the young Croat has plenty of upside generally, and particularly on grass - while the big-serving Coco Vandeweghe is a slight favourite for her match with Caroline Wozniacki, in what will be a match-up of two rather contrasting styles.
Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings
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