Pliskova the latest favourite to be eliminated

On Wednesday, it was Petra Kvitova, and on Thursday, it was Karolina Pliskova. Both of the two pre-tournament favourites have been ousted from the event, and this has had a marked impact on the tournament outrights - Jo Konta is now into 7.40 favourite, with there being a further eight players priced between 10.00 and 20.00 on the Exchange. 

The obvious conclusion that can be drawn here is that this is probably the most open Grand Slam event that I can remember for a long time, and there will be plenty of players fancying their chances of lifting the trophy next Saturday.

All players, however, still need to win five matches to get that accolade, and third round action gets underway at 11:30am UK time today, with today's ladies matches promising to be much more competitive than the men's singles. Live streaming is available via Betfair Live Video.

Konta the only heavy favourite on day five

Only Konta, at 1.16 against Maria Sakkari, is a heavy favourite to progress, although it certainly will be interesting to see how much the Brit has left in the tank following her epic final set against Donna Vekic on Wednesday. Without a doubt, Konta will be looking to avoid another final set decider.

In other matches, Venus Williams (against Naomi Osaka), Elina Svitolina (versus Carina Witthoeft) and Simona Halep, who takes on Shuai Peng, are all priced a little south of 1.50 and my model largely agreed with these lines, as did it with Caroline Garcia, who is up against Kvitova's giant-killer, Madison Brengle. 

With my model also pricing up the big-hitting clash between Jelena Ostapenko and Camila Giorgi similar to the market, we are left with two matches where it indicated value - Dominica Cibulkova against Ana Konjuh, and Victoria Azarenka versus Heather Watson.

Cibulkova slight value despite Konjuh upside

In the former, Cibulkova looks a touch of value at 1.94 against the Croat, with Cibulkova having a small edge on serve, and a bigger one on return, but my concern here is that there is much more to come from Konjuh and she does have quite a bit of upside, both in the short-term and long-term.

Azarenka able to extend Watson's head to head misery

Given this, my recommendation comes in the shape of Victoria Azarenka, who can make week two of her first Grand Slam following her absence from tour with pregnancy. Currently, the Belarussian is 1.43 to get past Watson, and prices of this nature for this match-up would previously be unheard of, when Azarenka was at her best level.

At that time, she utterly schooled Watson in all their five head to head matches, dropping just 16 games across 10 sets, including six 'bakery products' - either a 6-0 or 6-1 set scoreline - and although Watson will no doubt be aware of the differing circumstances of today's match-up, this will still be a big mental hurdle that she will need to overcome.

On her return to tour, Azarenka has held serve 68.2% of the time, breaking 37.8%, and while her combined 106.0% figure is good, rather than great, it's also worth noting that she's 9.8% below expectation for saving break points, and 4.6% below for converting them. 

With this in mind, she should be able to improve these hold/break stats considerably in the future even if she just performs in line with expectation, and I'm anticipating her getting past the Brit today. I'm happy to recommend Azarenka -3.5 games at 1.85 this afternoon.

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