It's women's semi-final day today at Wimbledon, and Dan Weston's pre-tournament [180.0] tip plays Serena. Will he hedge or not? Read on to find out...
"Our portfolio of long-shots who enjoy quick conditions looked a little shaky early on, with Coco Vandeweghe exiting, and then Ash Barty not making a significant impact into the tournament, but the German, Goerges, has done us proud, and the pre-event recommended back price of [180.0] has now been eroded into [12.5]."
Goerges win on Tuesday gives double cause for joy
Tuesday's action at SW19 was a huge positive for followers of this column, and in particular, those who have followed Julia Goerges throughout this event. Goerges' absurd price - she drifted to odds-against, versus the clay-courter, Kiki Bertens, helped our daily profits, as well as the outright position.
Our portfolio of long-shots who enjoy quick conditions looked a little shaky early on, with Coco Vandeweghe exiting, and then Ash Barty not making a significant impact into the tournament, but the German, Goerges, has done us proud. The pre-event recommended back price of [180.0] has now been eroded into [12.5].
Time to cash in on Goerges outright
Even regardless of individual player success, the fact that the entire women's top ten have been eliminated from the event gives further weight to our approach, and the WTA Tour is as open as it has ever been, certainly since I started analysing the sport many years ago.
I've been asked by a few people already what to do with the Goerges outright, and my advice has been consistent - wait until today. There was nothing to be gained by ditching Goerges at the [13.5] on the Exchange several hours after Tuesday's play, with other people looking to hedge off liability also, and I suspected that the price would get back to reality today.
While this hasn't really happened - the lay is [13.0] as I write, there was a miniscule chance that Serena would pull out of the event, as she did with little notice at the French Open, at which point anyone taking the huge pre-tournament prices on Goerges will have hit the jackpot.
Williams a strong favourite to see off our hero
Currently, Williams is [1.28] on the Exchange to get the better of our hero, and my model agreed with this line. She does lead the head to head series 3-0, although with only one meeting since 2011, it is of little relevance. However, when looking at the stats from Wimbledon so far, it is Williams with the edge.
The former world number one has won 68.8% of service points and 44.0% on return (combined 112.8%) which signals a return to world class levels - on serve at least - while Goerges is running at 64.6% and 42.6% (107.2%), which is a very solid top ten level.
Given the accuracy of the market prices, and Serena's status as a heavy market favourite, I think it's a decent stage now to take some, or potentially all, of the available profits on Goerges.
Ostapenko run at Wimbledon a surprise
Today's second semi-final is due to start after the first, not betore 14:30 UK time, and Angelique Kerber is a [1.65] favourite to get past a surprise package in Jelena Ostapenko.
I'll quite happily admit I did not expect the return-orientated Ostapenko to get this far at Wimbledon, despite her prowess here as a junior, and she definitely doesn't fit into the dynamic of players who tend to perform well on grass.
In fact, at Wimbledon this fortnight, she's actually got better data than Kerber, winning 61.7% of service points (to Kerber's 61.3%) and a stunning 51.2% on return, compared to 49.9% for her German rival.
Opponents have not even been able to hold serve in half their service games against Ostapenko, although it's worth noting that Kerber is obviously a huge upgrade, particularly on serve, compared to the likes of previous opponents Katy Dunne, Vitalia Diatchenko and Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Longer-term data makes Kerber price accurate
Particularly given such weak levels of opposition, it's tough to give much weighting to Ostapenko's record here at Wimbledon this year and looking at longer-term (18/24 month) data, it does give Kerber a fair edge which reflects market pricing accurately.
With this in mind, it's tough to consider a viable position for this match as well, although I do expect in-play traders to have some joy with both players fitting a vulnerable front-runner dynamic. Depending on how the match develops, there may be some opportunities for low-risk/high-reward opposition of front-runners when it comes to closing out the business end of sets, and indeed, the match.
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