Wimbledon Day Five Women's Tips: Mertens capable of edging inconsistent Keys

Spanish Tennis Player Garbine Muguruza
Garbine Muguruza is one of the potential value players today...

There is a further eight matches on the women's singles event at Wimbledon today as the third round gets underway. Returning to preview the day ahead is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...

"Keys has really struggled with injury and inconsistency in the last year or two - she hasn't won three matches at a tournament since she reached the final of Brisbane in 2020."

Barty win continues outright market dominance

Ash Barty continues her dominance at the top of the outright market, following her straight set win over Anna Blinkova yesterday, while there were defeats for Elina Svitolina, Victoria Azarenka and also, Marketa Vondrousova who was stunned by the high potential British player, Emma Raducanu. Barty is now 6.25/1 to win the event, with Aryna Sabalenka 10.09/1 second favourite.

Sabalenka should get past Osorio Serrano

Barty has a rest day today with Sabalenka back in action with her clash against the Colombian qualifier, Maria Osorio Serrano, who has had a fantastic run to get to this stage, with a big underdog win over Ekaterina Alexandrova in round two the highlight.

This progression from Osorio Serrano is rather a surprise, with her being largely a clay-court specialist, although her results in clay 250s this year have been impressive - she looks on a strong upward curve. However, even considering this, it would be a huge shock if Sabalenka at 1.121/8 lost this.

To a slightly lesser extent, this would also be the case for Iga Swiatek, against Irina Begu, and Karolina Pliskova, for her match against fellow Czech player Tereza Martincova. Both the top ten players are priced around the 1.251/4 mark.

Muguruza justified favourite over Jabeur

However, there are some more competitive-looking clashes today with Garbine Muguruza looking a little generously-priced at 1.674/6 for her clash with Ons Jabeur. The Tunisian, Jabeur, has breezed through her opening two matches but should find far greater resistance in Muguruza, who is one of the strongest grass courters on tour and has also dominated her opening two matches.

The Spaniard won here in 2017 and reached the final in 2015, so has clear grass court pedigree and I'd be keen to keep Muguruza onside for this match.

Mertens with advantage over Keys

Another player who I'm keen to keep onside is Elise Mertens, with the Belgian 2.021/1 for a 'pick-em' match with Madison Keys. Mertens has dropped just six games to get to this stage, and if we look at hard court numbers she's done much better than Keys in the last year or so.

Not only this, but Keys has really struggled with injury and inconsistency in the last year or two - she hasn't won three matches at a tournament since she reached the final of Brisbane in 2020. That run contains 11 completed events since the tour resumed in July last year, accurately illustrating Keys' issues in the last year. Mertens is today's pick.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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