French Open Day Nine Women's Tips: Jabeur value to defeat Gauff
Fourth round action at the French Open continues today with the final four matches of the round taking place. Our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, runs through the day ahead...
Rybakina eliminates Serena on day eight
Second favourite for the tournament, Serena Williams, was eliminated yesterday afternoon as our pick, Elena Rybakina, earned a straight set victory over the former world number one. Another former world number one, Victoria Azarenka, also exited the tournament with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova fighting back to win in three sets. One of the in-form players of the clay court season so far, Paula Badosa, continued her progress with a three-set victory over Marketa Vondrousova, while the Slovenian clay-courter, Tamara Zidansek, got the better of Sorana Cirstea.
Swiatek shortens in outright market
Without even walking onto court, Iga Swiatek has seen her price shorten to marginally odds-on to 1.98, with Paula Badosa the only other player at single-digit pricing at 6.8. Cori Gauff at 18.5 is the fourth favourite, and today the American faces Ons Jabeur.
Jabeur with better numbers than Gauff this year
I mentioned earlier in the tournament that I think Gauff is frequently over-rated by the market and I'm going to stick with this assertion here against the Tunisian, Jabeur. Across all surfaces this year, Jabeur has won a higher percentage of service and return points won, and the same dynamic exists as well on clay.
Given this, the 2.60 about Jabeur stands out as being rather out of line. She had picked up a leg issue in a retirement loss to Belinda Bencic in Madrid just over a month ago, but has performed well to get to this stage with some pretty dominant wins so far.
Krejcikova and Sakkari justified favourites to progress
The other matches today look pretty accurately priced. Barbora Krejcikova has great clay numbers and I agree with the market, which makes her 1.59 to defeat 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens at the time of writing.
Maria Sakkari is a similar price to get the better of the surprise runner-up from last year, Sofia Kenin. Before this tournament, Kenin had lost six of her last seven matches in a run going back to the Australian Open, including four losses as favourite, so expectations on the American, Kenin, aren't quite at the level which they may have been in the last year or two.
Swiatek and Kostyuk not dropped a set so far
Finally, tournament favourite Swiatek has looked utterly dominant so far - both on clay in general and in this tournament - and her three straight-set wins to get to this stage now sees her go 20 sets unbeaten after she won the tournament without dropping a single set last year.
Marta Kostyuk is her next opponent, and she has also not dropped a set so far including a heavy underdog win over Garbine Muguruza in round one. Something has to give here, although I think it would take a pretty brave person to oppose Swiatek given her dominance in the event so far. Swiatek is 1.13 to continue her progress.
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