Azarenka fightback completes game handicap victory
On day five of Wimbledon, we picked up a winner with Victoria Azarenka turning her match around with Heather Watson to cover the -3.5 game handicap, and on a day where there were numerous straight set wins across both singles events, real shocks were in short supply.
Considering the upsets over the previous two days in the ladies singles, this was something of a surprise in itself, and there are a number of competitive-looking matches today as the remaining eight third round matches are played, with the winners moving into the fourth round, and week two, on Monday.
Big names in action on day six
Three of the players at the forefront of the outright betting are in action, with Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza both around the 1.25 mark for their matches with Shelby Rogers and Sorana Cirstea, respectively, while Coco Vandeweghe is bigger, at 1.48 for her clash with fellow American, Alison Riske. Of the trio, Muguruza is the one who looks shortest priced, but it's certainly nothing noteworthy.
Grass stats also made Anett Kontaveit some value as an underdog at 2.14 against Caroline Wozniacki, with my model pricing her as a slight favourite, but my concern with the Estonian, as noted on Thursday, is that she may be a touch flattered by facing a number of weak opponents, and without doubt, the Dane, Wozniacki, is a significant upgrade on those.
Kuznetsova short against improving Hercog
However, I do feel that Polona Hercog offers solid value as an underdog against Svetlana Kuznetsova on what is the Russian favourite's worst surface. Kuznetsova is a current 1.14 with the Exchange, and I priced her bigger, at 1.31, for this match against the Slovenian qualifier.
Hercog has impressed at SW19, coming through qualifying before ousting both Annika Beck and Varvara Lepchenko, and after almost a year off tour with injury, coming back at the end of May, she's making up for lost time. She showed some form prior to Wimbledon by winning an ITF event on clay last month, and she certainly will have plenty of motivation here, with a win likely to rank her back somewhere around where she was before her lay-off.
Kuznetsova's 12-6 record in the last three years on the surface is solid rather than spectacular, and when you consider that she's won just 101.7% combined service and return points won on grass in that time period, it's easy to understand why I feel that she's over-rated on the surface currently.
I do feel that Hercog can keep this close, and we can back her at 1.93 getting a +5.5 game head start, and it wouldn't surprise me if this price rose a little in the run-up to the match.
Radwanska drift a 'market knows' moment?
In other matches, a huge drift puts Agnieszka Radwanska into value territory at 2.56 versus Timea Bacsinszky, but I wonder if the 'market knows' here, and am duly a little reticent, while the in-form duo of Magdalena Rybarikova (against Lesia Tsurenko) and Petra Martic (faces Zarina Diyas) look accurately priced on the Exchange.
Therefore, it is the Slovenian, Hercog, who carries our hopes on day six of Wimbledon.