US Open Women's Singles Day Seven Tips: Kerber underdog value over Brady

The fourth round of the women's singles gets underway at the US Open on Sunday afternoon, and after several shocks on day five, our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, discusses today's matches...

Serena fights back to cover handicap

We've started to pick up some decent results in the women's tournament with Serena Williams covering the -3.5 game handicap in her win over Sloane Stephens yesterday. After losing the first set 6-2, this outcome looked pretty unlikely, but arguably the greatest women's player of all time reeled off two consecutive 6-2 sets to get us over the line.

There were also several shocks, with Tsvetana Pironkova's dream return to the tour continuing after beating Donna Vekic in straight sets, while Madison Keys retired en route to defeat to Alize Cornet.

Kerber a big opponent upgrade for Brady

We are also going to be relying on an underdog victory to keep our unbeaten run going with Angelique Kerber being Sunday's pick on a day where, her match apart, my model broadly agreed with the market.

I've mentioned several times that the market is pricing Jennifer Brady almost as a top-ten player currently but despite this, her improvement isn't hugely reflected in 12-month data still. In fairness, her numbers post-lockdown are very good (114% combined service/return points won) but she hasn't played a single opponent ranked in the top 35 - and she's been a solid favourite in every single match since the tour resumed.

Despite opponent Kerber not perhaps being at peak level, she is a significant upgrade on most of Brady's previous opponents since the start of August, and she is still yet to drop a set herself in the tournament so far. 12 month numbers make Kerber a marginal favourite, yet her price on the Exchange is currently much higher, as a 2.64 underdog to make the quarter-finals.

German Tennis Player Angelique Kerber

Outright picks favourites for tonight's matches

Our winner on Friday, Yulia Putintseva, is next up against one of our outright picks, Petra Martic, and it's Martic who looks about right as the 1.59 favourite for that match. Putintseva is better on return, but Martic has considerably better serve numbers which makes her the justified favourite to progress.

Moving on to the evening matches, our other outright pick, Petra Kvitova, returns to action against Shelby Rogers, who is considerably better than her ranking just inside the top 100. Kvitova looks fairly priced at 1.37 to progress, but the improving Rogers should be a tricky test for the Czech left-hander.

Osaka could be tested by Kontaveit

Finally, the night match is arguably the match of the round with Naomi Osaka a solid 1.53 favourite to end the tournament of Anett Kontaveit. Osaka has dropped several sets so far to get to this stage, and it wouldn't be a huge surprise if Kontaveit pushed her as well here. The price looks about right to me - Kontaveit has better return numbers but Osaka has an elite-level hold percentage on hard court over the last year, running at almost 85%.

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