US Open Women's Singles Day Nine Tips: Brady and Osaka favourites to make semi-finals

It's the start of the women's singles quarter-finals on day nine of the US Open, and returning to preview the two matches is our tennis columnist, Dan Weston...

Mertens helps us with underdog winner

We picked up a nice underdog winner on Monday night with Elise Mertens getting the better of Sofia Kenin in two straight sets, losing just six games in the process. Joining the Belgian in the quarter-finals tomorrow is Victoria Azarenka, who needed to fight back from a set down to beat Karolina Muchova, and also Tsvetana Pironkova and Serena Williams, with the latter three winners all winning deciding sets.

Brady with superb post-lockdown numbers

Prior to their quarter-finals tomorrow, however, are the two quarter-finals tonight with action getting underway at 1700 UK time. In the first, Jennifer Brady is 1.35 favourite to progress over Yulia Putintseva, and I'm now wondering whether it's time to admit that Brady is one of those players who looks to have dramatically kicked on post-lockdown, making a mockery of previous data.

The 25-year-old American is running at 114% combined service/return points won since the tour resumed - world class numbers - and these are far in excess of what today's opponent, Putintseva, can boast (just short of 105%). I'm less convinced that 12 month data, which makes the gap between the duo smaller, can be trusted, and I'm not hugely keen on taking on Brady even at this price.

Third underdog victory likely to be too much for Rogers

In the second semi-final, played much later in the night for European viewers, tournament favourite Naomi Osaka faces Shelby Rogers, who will benefit from this run in terms of a big jump in her world ranking even if she loses tonight having lost in qualifying here last year.

With their three previous meetings being when Osaka was rising up the rankings herself, Rogers actually has won six out of six sets, but all this shows is the potential irrelevance of many head-to-head records between players - they often lack context.

Based on 12 month hard court numbers, the price of 1.24 about Osaka looks about right. She has a decent advantage on return, and holds serve in around 10% more service games as well, so it would be a pretty big surprise if Rogers considered her excellent run in this tournament. Her win over Petra Kvitova in the previous round was rather fortunate, and was her second win here when priced in excess of 3.00 - a third here against Osaka looks pretty unlikely.

American Tennis Player Shelby Rogers

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