Wimbledon Ladies Day Three Tips: Underdog Rodina can get better of Cirstea

Russian Tennis Player Evgeniya Rodina
Evgeniya Rodina looks value against Sorana Cirstea today...
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There a number of big-names in action in the ladies singles at Wimbledon, and here to discuss the value, is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...

"I'm surprised to see Cirstea a favourite here given that her record on grass is unspectacular, running at 97.5% combined in the last two years and 98.7% in three years and Rodina can actually trump this, with the Russian running at 101.5% and 99.8% respectively herself."

Kenin provides a winner on day two

We went one from two with our underdog selections on day two, with Sofia Kenin getting the better of Maria Sakkari - I wonder if this will signal the beginning of my predicted mean-reversion for the Greek player - but Carina Witthoeft failed to do herself justice against Carla Suarez Navarro. We've had a solid start to the event though, going three from four in the ladies tournament (and also the men's) and also saw Ash Barty boost our outright portfolio with her win over Stefanie Voegele.

Williams market favourite following Kvitova shock

Today marks the start of the second-round of the ladies singles event, but we saw a huge shock last night with Petra Kvitova being dumped out by Aliaksandra Sasnovich. The effects of this see Serena Williams go outright favourite to win the event, and I very much doubt that will change in the near future with her having a virtual bye against the qualifier, Victoriya Tomova, this afternoon.

Pliskova slight favourite to defeat Azarenka in match of the day

Karolina Pliskova versus Victoria Azarenka is arguably the highlight of the action today, and it's Pliskova who is the correctly-priced market favourite at [1.79]. However, Azarenka isn't without a chance, particularly if the issues that frequently blight Pliskova's Grand Slam campaigns - where she has grossly underperformed in general - manifest themselves again.

Other big names in action include the older Williams sister, Venus, who is a heavy favourite against Alexandra Dulgheru, while Madison Keys is similarly priced against Luksika Kumkhum, and Caroline Wozniacki likewise as she faces Ekaterina Makarova. All are around the [1.20] mark to make it into round three on Friday.

Bertens over-rated for Blinkova clash

As has been the case this week, I prefer to look at the more closer matched encounters on the schedule and one of these is Kiki Bertens versus Anna Blinkova. Bertens has done her best work throughout her career on clay and I wondered out loud yesterday on Twitter whether backers of her at [1.54] - she was around [1.45] yesterday have managed to sneak a clay court into Wimbledon for this match.

The Dutchwoman has shown very little aptitude on grass, going 2-5 (96.4% combined serve/return points won) in the last 18 months on the surface, and 4-7 (95.9%) in the last three years. She's 8-13 (96.2%) throughout her career.

Blinkova has won nine of her 15 matches on grass in the last two years, albeit mainly at lower levels (ITF and qualifier matches) but she's running at 104.6% combined serve/return points won percentage in those matches and I think she's very generously priced at [2.80] to beat Bertens here.

Rodina capable of defeating Cirstea

Indeed, the other match where I want to recommend a player also sees a player with a solid grass court record face a bigger name who doesn't, with Evgeniya Rodina a [2.90] underdog as she faces Sorana Cirstea.

I'm surprised to see Cirstea a favourite here given that her record on grass is unspectacular, running at 97.5% combined in the last two years and 98.7% in three years and Rodina can actually trump this, with the Russian running at 101.5% and 99.8% respectively herself.

In addition, Rodina has a strong record in lower level grass events, being 16-9 in all grass court matches in the last two years, and she's made the latter stages of two ITF events this season already. There really is no evidence Cirstea is the better grass courter currently, so Rodina as an underdog looks decent value.

Market cautious about Radwanska chances

In other matches, it will be interesting to see if Agnieszka Radwanska's issues against Gabriela Ruse will continue as she faces Lucie Safarova. The market is certainly cautious about this, with the Pole a slight [2.12] underdog on the Exchange.

As for favourite backers, my numbers indicate they are most likely to find joy on Mihaela Buzarnescu at a backed-in [1.26] as she faces Katie Swan. The Brit did well to beat Irina Begu, who was poor, on Monday, but should find the in-form Buzarnescu way too hot to handle.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings

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