Let’s get straight down to business. If you have any questions, as always please get in touch with me on Twitter – @Ace_TheProfits
Svitolina vs Allertova
This presents as a really interesting match up that will take place late at night on Rod Laver Arena. Neither player is a stranger to the conditions on the main stage in Melbourne. Svitolina has played there a couple of times this week, and Allertova played here vs Konta in a previous Australian Open.
Here we have two players who are arguably in career best form, both looking for the chance to challenge Elise Mertens for a spot in the semi final.
Svitolina has had a decent run to the third round, dropping only one set on her way to tonight. The Brisbane champ dropped the first set against Siniakova in the second round, but it has otherwise been smooth sailing against Jorovic, Siniakova and Kostyuk. It hasn’t been a bit of a dream run for Svitolina, however Siniakova did show us that the best way to challenge Svitolina is with power and placement. Siniakova absolutely hit through Svitolina in the first set, saving break points with some seriously courageous tennis. Siniakova just didn’t quite look like she had the composure and confidence to go on with it, which is something you definitely need when playing Svitolina.
Allertova is on quite the hot streak at the moment, having won through qualifying and the first three rounds in straight sets. She is serving well and hitting off both wings exceptionally well, and everything just seems to be clicking at the moment.
This play falls along similar lines to the play I made on Allertova to defeat Zhang in round 2. Cast an eye over the losses from Svitolina over the last 12 months and you’ll notice that the majority of them have come to bigger strikers of the ball – Garcia, Goerges, Pliskova, Giorgi, Keys, Ostapenko, Matthek Sands amongst others. When you consider the best method to beat Svitolina, the form of Allertova, and the fact Allertova has won their previous meeting in straight sets, then the $5+ on offer for Allertova seems very generous, especially late at night in a half empty stadium.
3.5 units Allertova to defeat Svitolina at $5.91 at Pinnacle
Elise mertens vs petra martic
Here we have one of the in form players in the women’s game, against one of the best unseeded Grand Slam performers of the past 12 months.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, Petra Martic is perfect example of performing when it matters. Having made her 3rd fourth round in the last 4 Grand Slams, and playing very poorly outside of Grand Slams.
Petra has had a dream run of sorts on her way to the third round, where she has been overrated odds wise on each occasion, and now appears to be too short for mine as a result in the 4th round. Martic beat an out of sorts Van Uytvanck in round 1 (just had to keep the ball in), then we got the chocolates backing her to win round 2 against a clearly fatigued Begu in straight sets. Martic wouldn’t have been able to believe her luck to find herself against Kumkhum in the 3rd round of the Australian Open, but that is what she managed to have on Friday. Martic survived a long 3 set match on Rod Laver Arena in the heat of the day, prevailing 7-5 in the third set. Statistically it wasn’t a great match from Martic, allowing 44 winners from Kumkhum, as well as winning only 59% of first serve points and 48% of second serve points.
Her opponents have been either fatigued, or don’t display great form against players who just get that extra ball back and make you play that one more shot.
This match is on the racquet of Mertens, and I think she has justified the trust today for her to be able to go on and win this. She showed exceptional composure on Friday to defeat Alize Cornet in straight sets in what were very difficult conditions for tennis before the cool change. When you look at Mertens’ ability to beat the faster, less powerful players overall, you don’t need to look too far back in her formline to see she is pretty decent in that department. Wins this year over Cornet, Gavrilova, Watson, Niculescu, Nara, and Watson show that she is more than capable at generating her own pace and taking control of the match. Whereas Martic’s slice backhand came in very handy against her last 3 opponents, it isn’t going to work as favourably today for her against Mertens. Also, although it was the Hopman Cup, in a live rubber she took Kerber to 2 tiebreaks, which all of a sudden is looking VERY impressive.
This match is on Mertens, who is incredibly confident and on top of her game at the moment. I like Mertens to cover the 3.5 game handicap on offer here in what should be a pretty interesting match on Margaret Court Arena.
4 units Mertens -3.5 game handicap at $1.96 at Pinnacle
Anett Kontaveit vs Carla Suarez Navarro
Now what did I say was the only time I ever really find myself tempted to back Carla Suarez Navarro? Let’s track back to Friday’s preview:
“Now there is only one style of match-up in which I will ever find myself making an incredibly strong case in favour of backing Carla Suarez Navarro, and this is the case I am happy to present today.
The best match up that works of CSN is playing against big hitters who absolutely have no plan B – and here we are with Kaia Kanepi. No doubt Kanepi is playing some great tennis of late, but whenever you watch her you cannot help but get the feeling that there is no back up plan in action, except for maybe trying to hit is a little harder.
The craft, the angles, the fitness. I think it is enough to overcome Kanepi here.
Today is a bit of a rinse and repeat job for mine. Suarez Navarro did a brilliant job of grinding down Kaia Kanepi in best of 3 set tennis. You could almost sense the tide turned a bit when Kanepi couldn’t serve out that first set on the first opportunity at 5-1. In the second and third sets, Suarez Navarro was never really headed, breaking Kanepi almost at will along the way.
Kontaveit has had a brilliant run to the fourth round, defeating Krunic, Barthel and Ostapenko along the way. All three of those players play more of a brutal hitting game, so she has been able to find a bit of a rhythm against fellow big hitters. When you look back over her last couple of months, her achilles heel is definitely the CSN style of player. Losses to Watson, Gavrilova, Cabrera (granted she was unwell), and Sasnovich all play a similar style, although CSN is potentially a tad more crafty than all of those players.
What we definitely know is that Kontaveit won’t be getting 39 unforced errors worth of groundstrokes against CSN like she did on Friday night against Ostapenko. Suarez Navarro is in the frame of mine of taking on these big hitters, after dealing with Babos and Kanepi in the previous two rounds.
If Kontaveit plays the match of her life and hits 30-40+ winners and cannot miss, I will certainly tip my cap to her and say well played. That’s tennis sometimes, you never know what you are going to get. Personally though, 5 units on Suarez Navarro as an underdog is a must-play here based on my past experiences backing the Spaniard.
Let’s go Carla!
5 units Suarez Navarro to defeat Kontaveit at $2.29 at Pinnacle