Tennis Betting Advice - August 2020

Two long ones in Italy…

Tuesday 4th August 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • WTA Palermo…
  • Today’s matches – play starts 3pm…
  • Three-set scraps…

It’s good to have it back…

The WTA Tour got back underway yesterday. After a five-month hiatus, it was almost surreal to see familiar names back in action in a proper tournament.

Day one at WTA Palermo didn’t disappoint. There were three underdog wins for home players, with the Italian trio of Sara Errani, Jasmine Paolini and Elisabetta Cocciaretto all making it through to the 2nd round at outsider prices.

In the evening match – which didn’t end until 2am local time, under the floodlights – 3rd seed Maria Sakkari was dispatched in straight sets by Kristyna Pliskova, with the upset coming at odds of 9/4 (3.25). Sakkari was in with the 8/1 tournament favourites at the start of the week.

Three-set scraps…

Clay court matches often produce long rallies and lengthy matches. A lack of speed coming off the court can also expose any weak serving, and that was certainly the case in the scrappy encounter between Paolini and the pre-match favourite, our old friend Daria Kasatkina.

I really like Kasatkina, but in the last 18 months or so the talented Russian has dropped from a high of no.10 in the world to outside the top 50. She needs to sort her serve out. Kasatkina’s second serve was being wiped away with point-winning returns by her world no.93-ranked Italian opponent last night.

That match contained a whopping 50 break points, and 21 breaks of serve. Across the second & third sets, Kasatkina lost all 10 of her service games. Those are bad numbers.

The Paolini-Kasatkina match went over the three-hour mark, which puts it in epic territory. Earlier in the day. Errani’s 2-1 win over Sorana Cirstea clocked in at two hours and 59 minutes, too.

Two matches on today’s schedule have the potential to play out in similarly winding and long-winded ways…

These appeal to me in the Total Sets markets, with a three-set result the pick:

Tamara Zidansek v Oceane Dodin

Aged 22 and 23 respectively, these two have shown signs of improvement in the last 12 months, and are capable of bettering their current rankings of no.71 and no.116.

Zidansek is the match favourite and has the greater clay-court pedigree. But the Slovenian hasn’t played since before lockdown.

Dodin came through qualifying here in Palermo over the weekend, albeit only getting her place in the main draw as a Lucky Loser. The Frenchwoman will already have got to grips a bit with the playing conditions here. Dodin’s last two matches over the weekend both went to three sets.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich v Elise Mertens

Mertens is 5th seed and one of the favourites this week, at around 8/1 to lift the trophy. However, the Belgian didn’t play in any exhibition events during the break in play, and could well be a bit rusty in this her first competitive match since February.

Sasnovich came through qualifying in good form, without dropping a set. The Belarusian is the match outsider today. But the head-to-head v Mertens suggests this could be a close one. The previous match scores between these two have been:

Mertens 3-6, 6-3, 6-1
Sasnovich 7-6, 7-6
Sasnovich 2-6, 7-5, 6-2

That’s two three-set battles, with the other only settled by a pair of 7-6 tiebreaks.

With the first-week-back situation being as it, these two matches look good contenders to go the distance today.

WTA Palermo:

Play starts 3pm UK time
Live on Amazon Prime Video

  • Tamara Zidansek v Oceane Dodin: Over 2.5 Sets is 93/50 (2.86) with Marathonbet. Total Sets: 3 is 13/8 (2.63) with Bet365, BetVictor, 6/4 (2.5) Betfred, Skybet, 7/5 (2.4) Ladbrokes, Coral, 11/8 (2.38) William Hill
  • Aliaksandra Sasnovich v Elise Mertens: Over 2.5 Sets is 17/10 (2.7) with Marathonbet. Total Sets: 3 is 13/8 (2.63) with Bet365, BetVictor, 6/4 (2.5) Betfred, Skybet, 29/20 (2.45) Ladbrokes, Coral, 11/8 (2.38) William Hill

Our two Outright Winner picks play in the 1st round today. From Sunday night’s preview, we’re on Anett Kontaveit (12/1) and Fiona Ferro (25/1), Each Way.

I’ll be back in the week with more from Palermo.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch