WTA Indian Wells – 2nd Round – Donna Vekic vs Zarina Diyas
It’s a tough card tonight at Indian Wells with very few matches jumping off the page at me. However one player I do think is short is Zarina Diyas, who is available at a best price 1.27 against Donna Vekic this evening.
This price is a mark (and an over-reaction) of how these two young prospects careers have differed in the last 12-18 months. Vekic was at one point considered much the better youngster. Still 18, the young Croatian has plenty of time on her side, but at 21 years of age, Diyas has kicked on in 2014 and finds herself ranked at a lofty 32 in the world.
A glance at the stats from 2013 showed Vekic to be a player of immense potential at 16 years of age, holding 66.7% and breaking 33.5%. This has dropped to 63.0% and 32.1% respectively in the last 12 months and a drop of around 5% combined is very rare for a young player. She’s had plenty of issues off-court which may have taken their toll. Diyas managed just four main tour matches in 2013 before exploding onto the WTA Tour last year.
Based on the 12 month stats, my model priced Diyas at 1.55 for this clash, indicating very strong value on the 1.27 market prices. My model price is almost identical to the market prices for their previous match in Shenzhen in January, and I feel that Diyas’ win there has caused an over-reaction. One head to head win means very little.
There are also several additional factors which make Diyas worth taking on tonight.
Firstly, she’s already lost three matches as favourite this year, against Saisai Zheng in Shenzhen, Alison Riske in Hobart and Daniela Hantuchova in Pattaya City. She currently is having issues beating players considered worse by her than the market.
Secondly, Vekic, after falling behind by an early break in the first set, got the better of the young American Louisa Chirico 6-4 6-3 when priced as an underdog, and having game time on these slow courts of Indian Wells, which do not suit many players, will be of immense benefit. Diyas, seeded 28, had a bye in the opening round.
In addition to these factors, Diyas has had some difficulties despatching players in straight sets when priced between 1.20 and 1.49, winning just 6 of 12 WTA main draw matches by a 2-0 scoreline in this price range in the last 12 months. Conversely, Vekic has a superb career record of taking sets priced between 3.00 and 5.99, doing so six out of nine matches.
With all avenues pointing to value on the Croatian, there is no reason why the 2.30 on Vekic +1.5 sets does not represent value and this is tonight’s recommendation.
Recommendation: Back Donna Vekic +1.5 sets at 2.30
Prices correct at time of writing.
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