Wimbledon Day Five Women's Tips: Hercog a big price to end Gauff's journey

Slovenian Tennis Player Polona Hercog
Polona Hercog can end Cori Gauff's dream run...

The women's singles at Wimbledon continues on Friday with eight third-round matches on the schedule. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, gives his thoughts on today's card...

"In theory at least, this level should be too good for Gauff more often than not, and it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that Gauff was regularly losing to players ranked outside the top 150 (including a 6-1 6-1 loss to world ranked 334 Quinn Gleason two months ago) in the recent past. "

Barty and Pliskova leading the outright market

Shocks continued on day four of Wimbledon with the latest casualty being Angelique Kerber. The German succumbed in three sets to Lauren Davis, while Serena Williams scraped through against the Slovenian prospect, Kaja Juvan, winning 6-4 in the third set.

The outright market is fascinating, with Williams practically unchanged from pre-tournament despite winning two matches, currently trading at 9.08/1 on the Exchange. Pre-tournament favourite Ashleigh Barty is now into 4.1, while Karolina Pliskova is now the clear second favourite, at 5.59/2.

As mentioned yesterday, Cori Gauff's outright line is utterly bizarre, and she's drifted a few ticks since I wrote that, while our three outright picks have all made it through to this stage, with Jo Konta defeating Katerina Siniakova yesterday in straight sets. A cash out now would yield around 1.4x profit on an initial stake, although I don't perceive this as necessary at this point.

Svitolina and Halep potentially trappy value

In a general theme from this week, today's card is quite a tricky one to negiotiate. Based on longer-term grass data, Elina Svitolina looks decent value at 2.186/5 against Maria Sakkari, although I'm not absurdly convinced about the Ukrainian's current level - since Indian Wells she's 3-6 and that includes her retirement win over Margarita Gasparyan, who was a set up before being forced to bow out.

I also quite like Simona Halep against Victoria Azarenka, with my model pricing the Romanian at 1.728/11, a fair bit smaller than the current 2.0421/20 market line. The problem here is that both players haven't played much of a sample size of grass court matches in the last 18 months, although Halep is the better player on other surfaces.

No option but to oppose Gauff

However, for today's recommendation, we are going with opposition of Cori Gauff, with the market massively over-reacting on her current progress in the tournament. I've already said it reminds me of the situation when Lukas Rosol beat Rafa Nadal in Wimbledon 2012, and if it continues it's going to eventually be like the final race of Frankie Dettori's seven-timer at Ascot in 1996!

The 15-year-old now faces Polona Hercog and the Slovenian is solid enough on grass, winning more than 50% of her main tour matches in the last couple of seasons, including beating the likes of Madison Keys and Barbora Strycova, who is strong on grass.

In theory at least, this level should be too good for Gauff more often than not, and it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Gauff was regularly losing to players ranked outside the top 150 (including a 6-1 6-1 loss to world ranked 334 Quinn Gleason two months ago) in the recent past.

I make Hercog around a 1.608/13 favourite here so the market line of 2.6813/8 about her looks impossible to ignore as today's recommendation.

Outright picks Martic and Wozniacki in third round action

In other matches, two of our outright picks, Petra Martic and Caroline Wozniacki, are in action. Martic is a 1.454/9 favourite to get past Danielle Collins, and despite a small sample size for Collins on grass, I make this price about right. As for Wozniacki, she looks a bit big against the veteran Shuai Zhang, who apart from one victory against Caroline Garcia here, hasn't achieved much of note on grass in her career. In fact, coming into Eastbourne last week, Zhang had lost her last six on grass, and I'd be surprised if the Dane didn't come through here.

Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings and watch all the action from Wimbledon on Betfair Live Video

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