With seeds rapidly falling by the wayside the ladies singles tournament is a wide-open affair and previewing today's third-round matches is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...
"Both players have good grass data, with Goerges having a slight edge based on two year data, with a combined 106.2% serve/return points won percentage, as opposed to Strycova's 105.9%."
Williams firming as favourite following more shock exits
Yesterday's preview mentioned that Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza being a little vulnerable for their matches against Dominika Cibulkova and Alison van Uytvanck, respectively, and so this proved, with both being eliminated on day four.
This has firmed up Serena Williams as the outright favourite, with the American priced at 4.57/2 on the Exchange at the time of writing, and like Roger Federer in the men's tournament, I make this short considering that Williams hasn't been tested by her weak level of opponents so far.
Mladenovic can give Williams a stronger test today
Kristina Mladenovic in quick conditions is certainly a considerable upgrade on both Arantxa Rus and Victoriya Tomova, and only if we use Williams' elite-level grass data can we justify the 1.271/4 price on her to progress today, against an opponent who thrives on grass. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Mladenovic was able to keep this close, at the very least.
Serena's older sister, Venus, is also in action, but looks accurately priced against Kiki Bertens, at a current 1.608/13. I am keen to oppose the clay-courter, Bertens, again at some point on grass, but this doesn't look like the match to do so.
Goerges value as an underdog against Strycova
One player I do like as value today is Julia Goerges, who looks a false underdog at 2.166/5 against Barbora Strycova despite being shorter in the outright prices. Both players have good grass data, with Goerges having a slight edge based on two year data, with a combined 106.2% serve/return points won percentage, as opposed to Strycova's 105.9%.
We have Goerges in the outright, too, but I feel that the 2.166/5 price about the German today is also worth recommending.
Wickmayer can test short-looking Vekic
Yanina Wickmayer is decent enough in quicker conditions and the Belgian is a 3.412/5 underdog against the rapidly improving Donna Vekic, who is starting to finally get her game together after breaking through as a teenager. At around 17/18 years of age, my data showed Vekic to be a player of rich potential and her subsequent lack of progress was a surprise, but this year has been one of great improvement for the Croat.
However, Vekic looks short at 1.412/5 for this against a player very competent on grass and it wouldn't surprise me at all if Wickmayer severely tested her today.
Pliskova vulnerable against Buzarnescu
After all the shocks of the women's event so far, it wouldn't be a major surprise if Karolina Pliskova - who has underwhelmed frequently at Grand Slams throughout her career - was another big name to fall today as she faces Mihaela Buzarnescu. I make the 1.511/2 price about Pliskova a little short against one of the most improved players on tour this year, and Buzarnescu is very capable of causing a shock.
In other matches, Madison Keys is a 1.152/13 favourite to get the better of our hero from Wednesday, Evgeniya Rodina, while Camila Giorgi and Lucie Safarova also look correctly priced at around the 1.654/6 mark as they face Katerina Siniakova and Ekaterina Makarova, respectively. It wouldn't have been a surprise to see the market over-react and give Makarova more of a chance following her win over Caroline Wozniacki, and I was surprised when I saw the market lines.
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Back Julia Goerges at 2.166/5