Australian Open Women's Singles Day Two: Tomljanovic can continue Sevastova's woes

Day two of the women's singles at the Australian Open tomorrow sees Monday's rescheduled matches take place as well as the 32 scheduled for Tuesday. Dan Weston is back to check out the value...

Top players through with minimal fuss

It was business as usual for most of the WTA Tour on day one - at least those lucky enough to get their matches played with the rain around - with the likes of Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, Ashleigh Barty, Petra Kvitova and tournament favourite Serena Williams all progressing.
Further big names are in action on day two with the bottom half of the draw originally scheduled for Tuesday being played, assuming no further weather interventions - Karolina Pliskova, Maria Sharapova, Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber are among those beginning their campaigns.
As is often the case I want to dig a little deeper than these big names when looking for early round pre-match value, and there's a couple of interesting matches that I'm keen to discuss.

Hon capable of surprising Kozlova

First up is Priscilla Hon's meeting with Kateryna Kozlova, with the Australian 21 year old, Hon, on a reasonable upward curve and facing a player with relatively unimpressive hard court data. While Hon has found it tough on the main tour so far, with a win percentage below 30% in the last 12 months, it's worth noting that her data isn't much worse than Kozlova's - perhaps making her 2.82 look a little generous.

Bellis with much to prove after injury comeback

Priced a little bigger is Tatjana Maria against CiCi Bellis, which is a really tough match-up to call. Maria's numbers are unspectacular but Bellis is just getting herself back on tour after long term injury, and her data from the matches she's played so far is nothing special either. The market currently has Bellis at 1.32 which I think hugely factors in her long-term potential - I've written numerous times previously that the numbers she was producing at 16/17 years of age put her on the pathway to elite level - but it's a bit of a leap of faith to consider Bertens at such a skinny price tomorrow.

Collins short priced against inconsistent Diatchenko

Another American who looks short is Danielle Collins at 1.18 against Vitalia Diatchenko, with the Russian, Diatchenko, never quite seeming to be able to put the consistent run together that her talent hints that she might. Collins has a high ceiling but has struggled with consistency herself following a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, but I'm not convinced she should be so short tomorrow.

Tomljanovic can continue Sevastova's poor form

However, my pick for day two is Ajla Tomljanovic as a marginal 2.04 underdog against Anastasija Sevastova. The Australian, Tomljanovic, should enjoy decent home support but also has a 12 month hard court data advantage over the 31st seed, with Sevastova struggling in the last few months in particular.
While I do think Sevastova's numbers are better than her recent win rate would suggest, I make Tomljanovic favourite for this so taking her at an underdog price makes a lot of sense. Her only defeats this year have come against Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep, and both were creditable displays, and I think she can give us an underdog winner on day two.

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