Eight third-round matches take the focus on day six of the ladies singles event at Wimbledon, and after another winner yesterday, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston returns with his thoughts...
"Anett Kontaveit has really improved this year and on grass, she has excellent data generally. In the last 18 months she's 9-3 on the surface, winning 62.5% of service points and 45.8% on return."
Goerges winner gives us daily and outright boost
We bagged another winner on a decent Wimbledon campaign for us so far as Julia Goerges toughed out an epic 10-8 final set win over Barbora Strycova. The German also keeps our outright position on her going, and she's into [38.0] from a recommended [180.0] in the tournament winner market, with Serena Williams firming up as event favourite.
Usually playing a lengthy match like this will be considered a big negative, but I'm not unduly concerned given she can enjoy today and Sunday off prior to returning to court on Monday against Donna Vekic. Prior to the event, we'd certainly have taken a round four match against Vekic for our Goerges bet, and with top seeds and big names rapidly dropping out of the event, a win against the Croat would bring some hedging potential onto the horizon.
Keys and Venus eliminated as shocks continue
One of the latest big names and market leaders to fall yesterday was Madison Keys, with the American being shocked by Evgeniya Rodina. I mentioned on Wednesday, when Rodina won for us as an underdog, that the Russian is capable on grass, although I must admit I didn't see this result coming.
Venus Williams also was eliminated, losing a final set thriller 8-6 to Kiki Bertens, while Karolina Pliskova wasn't far from danger either, fighting back from a set and a break down to get the better of Mihaela Buzarnescu.
Draw opening up for tournament favourite Serena
As for Serena, she scraped past Kristina Mladenovic in a predictably serve-orientated match. The younger Williams sister still has some questions to answer on return against a top opponent though, although she has got very lucky with Rodina's win over Keys meaning that she now avoids Keys in the last 16.
Moving onto today's matches, there isn't an abundance of value for us to take advantage of today, so I'll just get it out there straight away with today's recommendation.
Kontaveit can see off Van Uytvanck
Anett Kontaveit has really improved this year and on grass, she has excellent data generally. In the last 18 months she's 9-3 on the surface, winning 62.5% of service points and 45.8% on return, and I'm surprised to see the market price up her match with Alison Van Uytvanck so competitively.
Kontaveit is a [1.79] favourite to take this on the Exchange, but I make her chances closer to [1.50] here, and again I feel that the market is over-valuing a lower-ranked player in Van Uytvanck, who beat a big name - Garbine Muguruza - in the previous round.
It would be a mistake to suggest Van Uytvanck is not a good player on the surface - I accept that she is - but Kontaveit's stats are considerably better and in what is a very closely matched market, we must side with the Estonian.
Halep and Ostapenko heavy favourites in action
There are several heavy favourites in action today, with Simona Halep [1.17] to progress past Su-Wei Hsieh, and Jelena Ostapenko [1.29] against Maria Sharapova's conqueror, Vitalia Diatchenko. I'm still not convinced Ostapenko possesses close to a top-level game on grass although whether Diatchenko can take advantage is another matter entirely.
Angelique Kerber looks a little short at [1.54] against another rapidly improving player in Naomi Osaka, while we have outright interest still in Ash Barty, with the Australian looking good in the event so far. Today Barty faces her toughest test in Darya Kasatkina, but is correctly priced at [1.53] to make it into the last 16.
Cibulkova not far from value against Bencic
In other matches, Daria Gavrilova looks about right as a marginal favourite over Aliaksandra Sasnovich, while the same can be said of Belinda Bencic as she faces Carla Suarez Navarro. Dominika Cibulkova's match with Elise Mertens looks very close indeed, and I made her a very marginal favourite, so the [2.04] about the Slovak isn't far from being value.
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