Wimbledon Day Nine Women's Tips: Strycova value to silence British crowd

BritishTennis Player Johanna Konta
Johanna Konta looks poor value this afternoon...
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There's a quick turnaround after Manic Monday for the women at Wimbledon with all four quarter-finals taking place this afternoon. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, previews the action...

"Konta is actually second-bottom to Riske on the combined serve/return points won percentages this tournament of remaining players, and her 38% return points won percentage is the lowest of the final eight by some distance."

Absurd scheduling prevents fans watching all four matches today

It's ladies quarter-final day today at Wimbledon and as seems to be rather a common theme, scheduling of the matches in the latter stages of Grand Slams seems to be utterly absurd, with two matches taking place at the same time. Surely, given the desire of fans to watch all four matches on the same day, and the obvious commercial benefits that this would bring, they should all be played back-to-back with no overlap.

However, we must simply deal with the hand that is dealt us and there are two matches starting at 13:00 UK time, with a further two scheduled not to start before 14:30. In the first batch, Simona Halep meets Shuai Zhang, while the conqueror of the previous tournament favourite Ashleigh Barty, Alison Riske, must do it all over again as she takes on Serena Williams.

Surprise package Zhang a heavy underdog to Halep

Zhang is probably the biggest surprise package of the tournament, coming into the event without much of a record on grass to note throughout her career, but she deserves to be here, winning the highest percentage of games played (64.5%) so far in the event of all the players in the quarter-finals today.

In fact, Zhang also has the highest combined hold/break percentage of all the remaining contenders, but it's also worth noting that she's hugely overperformed on break points and this is a major factor in those numbers. As I've said many times, it's very difficult for players to sustain break point overperformance in the long run.

Riske potentially fatigued for Serena clash

With this, and longer-term grass data in mind, I think Halep is about right at [1.23] today, and I also drew the same conclusions about Serena Williams against Riske. Serena is [1.30] to oust her fellow American, and when I looked at grass data over the last couple of years, she has a massive serve advantage, with similar return data.

During the tournament so far, Williams has spent the least time on court (310 minutes) and Riske the most (545) and the four hours of extra exertions are likely to take their toll on Riske eventually. She's not won in straight sets all tournament, and her 55% games won percentage is the lowest across all remaining players, as is her 104% combined serve/return points won percentage in her four matches here this year so far.

Muchova in a similar position to Riske

Following these two matches, Elina Svitolina isn't far from value at [1.47] against Karolina Muchova, who surely must be shattered following her surprise 13-11 final set win over Czech countrywoman Karolina Pliskova yesterday and the quick turnaround from that 199 minute epic to this afternoon.

However, Svitolina came into the event struggling and her tournament data isn't great here (107% combined serve/return points won percentage) when comparing it with players to reach this stage, and it wouldn't surprise me if Svitolina rather stumbled into Thursday's semi-finals.

Strycova can silence the British crowd

Another player who - contrary to media reports - has rather stumbled to this stage is our remaining outright pick, Johanna Konta. From a pre-tournament outright price of around [30.0], she's now into [6.0], and I think that's where our outright journey should end, for several reasons - we should look to hedge.

The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly, I make her price to win today against Barbora Strycova extremely short - she's trading at around [1.44] on the Exchange against an extremely competent grass courter who has impressed to get to this stage, but also because Konta's numbers in the tournament so far show she's not at a particularly high level in her previous matches.

Konta is actually second-bottom to Riske on the combined serve/return points won percentages this tournament of remaining players, and her 38% return points won percentage is the lowest of the final eight by some distance. Konta's path to this stage of the tournament has been based on her serve - she's held almost 94% of service games - but this figure is dramatically flattered by an incredible 16.9% overperformance on break points on her serve, which is utterly unsustainable.

Not only do I think that the outright should be hedged, I think Strycova is a really decent price at [3.25] to silence the British crowd today and that is today's recommendation.

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

Dan Weston,

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