Osaka is clearly the form horse in ladies tennis at the moment after a scintillating display at Indian Wells last week capturing her maiden WTA title. She has won eight matches on the bounce, most recently beating Serena Williams on Wednesday in straight sets. But, even after listing all of Osaka’s impressive credentials we have to side with Svitolina here.
Their head to head stands at two a piece with Svitolina having beaten Osaka a mere two weeks ago in Dubai. The no. 4 ranked player in the world, Svitolina, had a rare slip up to Carla Suarez Navarro last week but won Dubai outright the week previous. She is clearly playing excellent tennis and it is rare that you get a chance to back her at such good value. 8/11 for her to win this match-up has to be taken.
We are going against the grain here and siding with the Belarusian teenager Sabalenka. Kvitova looked poor last week in Indian Wells, scraping past Yulia Putintseva in the first round and losing to 16 year-old Amanda Anisimova in the second. She has been playing a lot of tennis recently so she may be finally feeling the effects.
Sabalenka on the other hand seems primed for a break out tournament. She has the potential to be a star on the tour in a few years and it wouldn’t surprise us if she made a good run through the draw this week. Another bonus is, if she is struggling to beat Kvitova with her tennis ability, the notoriously loud shrieker Sabalenka will no doubt create enough distractions for Kvitova to cause plenty of unforced errors (A. Barty et al Australian Open 2018 – see below).
"Ladies & gentlemen please, during the rally, do not scream."
The Chair Umpire may have regretted her choice of words during this 🇦🇺 Barty v 🇧🇾
Sabalenka #AusOpen match…
— #7TENNIS 🎾 (@7tennis) January 16, 2018
Both of these men are making West Brom’s form look impressive at the moment. They’ve both lost four of their last five matches, so surely there is no better bet to have than backing the overs in the first set. These lads would probably struggling to break an egg these days so trying to break an opponent’s serve seems a ludicrous task for these gargantuan men (fun fact of the day – they stand at a combined height of 13’3”). Added to the point that they are both excellent servers, the first set total games over 10.5 at even money seems cracking value here.