Australian Open Women's Singles Day Three: Martic can oust Goerges in big-serving clash
It's day three of the Australian Open women's singles on Wednesday, and after going two from two yesterday, Dan Weston returns to give his thoughts...
Minnen and Tomljanovic get us off to a winning start
After a tough start with the men's event, it was nice to pick up two winners yesterday on the women's side with both Gretje Minnen (delayed from Monday) and Ajla Tomljanovic triumphing as underdogs in their opening round matches. However, we did lose Marketa Vondrousouva from the outright picks with the Czech player disappointing against the veteran, Svetlana Kuznetsova. Following Monday's rain, there are also a number of first round matches in the women's draw still to be played, so there's a bit of a backlog as we move into day three.
Martic value in clash of big-servers against Goerges
As I mentioned in the men's preview, my data would suggest that the courts are playing slower than previous years in the opening round, and if that is the case then I'm not positive on Julia Goerges' chances for her match with Petra Martic.
While both players are rather serve-orientated, I consider Goerges to be something of a fast-court specialist and in any case, 12 month hard court numbers slightly favour Martic. I make Martic's price to be around the 1.70 mark for this, which is a fair bit shorter than the Exchange market currently has her, at2.10. With both players strong servers, I expect tight sets and relatively few break chances, but I make Martic some value to progress to round three.
Wozniacki can continue to delay retirement with another win
This was the best spot according to my model although it also liked Caroline Wozniacki at2.48 against the 19 year old Ukrainian, Dayana Yastremska. Wozniacki will be retiring after this event so if she was to lose here, it will be her last career match, so she should have all the incentive she needs to put in a strong display.
12 month data makes this a very level match-up, while from a small sample of matches this year, Wozniacki still holds the edge numbers-wise, winning slightly fewer service points but having a considerable advantage on return. What I do think has happened is that the market has over-reacted following Yastremska's run at Adelaide last week, where she beat three top 20 opponents before losing to Ashleigh Barty in the final. She didn't finish last season particularly strongly, and while it can be the case that young players dramatically improve during the off-season, I think Wozniacki is under-rated by the market here.
I don't see there being an abundance of out of line spots in the remaining matches, with numerous big names including Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty, Madison Keys, Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka all being extremely short-priced favourites - justifiably so. Given this, I'll stick with Martic on day three.