WTA Wimbledon Quarter-Final Tips: Underdog Tomljanovic can stay competitive

The remaining two matches from the women's singles at Wimbledon take to the courts on Wednesday, and returning to preview them is Dan Weston...

Impressive Halep short odds

For me, the pick of the quarter-finals takes place on Wednesday, with Simona Halep taking on Amanda Anisimova. The Romanian, Halep, is a solid 1.48 favourite to make the semi-finals, and prior to Monday's action, I'd have been keen to question this line.

However, Halep produced her best performance of the tournament in her fourth round match on Monday by beating Paula Badosa for the loss of just three games, and she's a similar market price against the American prospect, Anisimova, in the quarter-final.

Anisimova's journey to this stage, however, has been impressive. She got the better of Cori Gauff in round three, before easing past the giant-killing Harmony Tan on Monday - showing none of the problems against Tan which other players have had in this tournament.

The duo met in the quarter-finals of the Bad Homburg warm-up tournament several weeks ago, with Halep picking up a dominant 6-2 6-1 victory, but was priced up at around the 1.70 mark for that particular meeting - hence why I was initially surprised at the market line for this match on Wednesday.

Over the last two years on grass, Halep does have a big advantage though, with a markedly higher service and return points won percentage - so it's pretty tricky to dispute the market right now.

Anisimova has talent, though, so don't be surprised if she puts up a much better fight than she did in Bad Homburg.

Tomljanovic will be competitive

The other semi-final is, in theory, a little lower-profile in terms of the names involved. Elena Rybakina is a 1.57 favourite over Ajla Tomljanovic, with both being pretty competent grass-courters.

The lower-ranked Tomljanovic eased through the first couple of rounds, but has dropped the opening set against higher level opposition in the last two, and Rybakina should be a further upgrade in opposition quality - and this is the biggest pre-match price which Tomljanovic has been so far in this event.

Rybakina is yet to drop a set in the event so far, arguably against better opposition, so has impressed en route to this stage albeit with numerous tight sets to her credit.

Of her eight sets she's played, her best set margin is 6-3. She's won three tiebreakers and three 7-5 sets, which indicates that she's had the better of the key points in those previous matches.

This is a polarised battle of Rybakina's better serve but more limited return game compared to Tomljanovic on grass, and while I do think Rybakina should be favourite here, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the match was pretty competitive.

It's not something I'm hugely strong on, but if I was forced to get involved with this match, I'd be looking at Tomljanovic +3.5 games on the game handicap market at a shade of odds-on with the Betfair Exchange.

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