While the focus of the tennis world is fairly and squarely on Melbourne for Federer vs Cilic, I think I have found a bit of value over in Russia in the second round of qualifying.
Yastremska vs Kuzmova
Dayana Yastremska is definitely a player to watch in the next couple of years. The 17 year old Ukrainian has impressively already risen to 177 in the WTA rankings, mainly off the back of some pretty solid results in the back end of 2017. Wins over Vekic, Sabalenka, Zhuk, Doi and Petkovic in the last couple of months show that she is well and truly on the right track considering her age. What also impressed me was her performance in the first round of qualifying, where she was able to come back from a set and a break down to Ekaterina Alexandrova, playing in her home tournament in her ideal conditions of indoor hardcourt.
I know you can only beat the player that is in front of you on the other side of the court, but I am not as sold on the form of Kuzmova. She did what she should have done on the way through to the Aus Open qualifying, before winning only 3 games vs Elise Mertens flying across from winning the Hobart title. Kuzmova was in no way convincing against 397th ranked Anshba in the first round of qualifying here, winning 6-4 6-2 at a $1.08 favourite, however there were a number of long games throughout the match. Surprisingly, Kuzmova won a higher percentage of points on second serve than first serve. She does have a great record at lower level tournaments over the last 12 months, but I am just not sure she is at a level of form that is good enough to win this meeting.
The form for Yastremska is far stronger in my opinion, and as a result I am happy to make a larger play at a value price for her to get the job done here.
5 units Yastremska to defeat Kuzmova at $1.94 at Pinnacle