Australian Open, Women’s Final – Serena Williams VS Maria Sharapova
The hold/break statistics give Williams an edge, with the world number one holding 82.0% on hard court in the last 12 months, and Sharapova doing so 73.9% of the time. The Russian does have the edge on return, however, breaking 47.0% to 44.8% in the same time period.
It’s worth making the point that 12-18 months ago, Williams’ return statistics showed over 50% breaks, and this return-orientated decline should be noted by bettors and we may find some opportunities to oppose her on game handicaps in the future.
Combined, this gives the American a 5.9% hold/break edge and ordinarily, this would make Sharapova very good value at current prices of around 3.25 – Williams is currently trading around 1.41, as favourite.
This would be further enhanced by Sharapova boasting better stats at the Australian Open, holding 85.5% to Williams’ 83.3% across the six victories to get to this stage, and breaking 55.6% compared to 49.2%. Considering the mean opponent ranks for the tournament are almost identical at 67.3 for Williams and 67.7 for Sharapova, this is quite significant.
However, Sharapova has huge match-up issues with Williams. After taking two of their first three meetings, the world number two has won none of the next 15, including straight-set defeats in their last four meetings. Quite incredibly, Williams has won by a margin of four games or more in their last ten head to head clashes.
With this extremely negative head to head holding some strong weight, no position on Sharapova can be considered for this match. Having adjusted for this, my model made market prices almost spot-on.
After examining various angles for this mouth-watering WTA Australian Open Final, I am unable to find a viable pre-match betting proposition.
Recommendation: No bet
Due to this no bet, @Tennisratings has been kind enough to preview another match where he has found a cracking odds against shot!
ATP Challenger Hong Kong Semi-Final – Kyle Edmund vs Yoshihito Nishioaka
For those bettors who wish to have a bet this evening, we can take a trip to Hong Kong for the clash between Kyle Edmund and Yoshihito Nishioaka.
I feel the markets have over-rated Edmund for this match, due to the ease of his progress to the semi-final stage – three straight-sets wins. Nishioaka has needed to survive two deciding set tiebreaks to advance.
However, I believe the talented 19 year old Japanese prospect can cause a shock and get past the young Brit – he’s already a lower rank than Edmund and hold/break stats are very similar indeed. These would price Nishioaka at 2.25 for this clash, making the current 2.96 excellent value.
Furthermore, Nishioaka has a stellar record as an underdog in his young career – he’s actually won 15/27 as any price underdog in the last 12 months. This would indicate that he has been historically under-rated by the market in that time, in similar clashes.
This statistic adds increased confidence to our position that we are getting an excellent price on an underdog for this match.
Recommendation: Back Yoshihito Nishioaka at 2.96
Price correct at the time of writing.