Tennis Betting Advice - September 2021

US Open Day 10 - according to the robots...

Wednesday 8th September 2021

In Ones to Watch today:

  • US Open – Day 10…
  • Quarter Finals…
  • The computer says Yes…

All about the ‘W’…

There have been some fantastic matches at this year’s US Open. Upsets, surprises, comebacks. Tears. Laughter. Disbelief. Several have gone the full distance to a deciding final-set tiebreak. Teenager Leylah Fernandez was involved in one of those yesterday. Fending off Elina Svitolina, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, to reach a debut Grand Slam semi final, age just 19 years old.

Yesterday’s Night Session on the Arthur Ashe stadium court, however, was not a classic. The men’s match was over quickly, due to an injury retirement from 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, against another regularly featured Ones to Watch youngster, 21-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime.

The other night match was over in two anti-climactic sets. In terms of our bet position, that didn’t matter… Aryna Sabalenka thumped and thudded her way through her quarter final against an under-par Barbora Krejcikova, 6-1, 6-4.

It was a pretty scrappy match, with little rhythm. That’s kind of part of Sabalenka’s game, though. The ferocious hitting and serving of the Belarusian doesn’t tend to lend itself to too many long rallies. If she can finish the point in one or two shots, she will (win or lose).

Last night, Aryna crashed seven Double Faults from her racket, either going long, wide, or into the net. Nerves were clearly playing a part. The 23-year-old has the unwanted stat of having served the Most Double Faults in the women’s tournament this year, with 35 from five matches. The flipside is that Sabalenka is also ranked 3rd for Most Aces. She hit six last night. She’s also in 3rd place for 1st Serve Points Won. When she gets the ball in, she’s very, very effective.

Krejcikova wasn’t fully at the races yesterday. But as the old saying goes, you can only beat what’s put in front of you. And Sabalenka deserves credit for what she’s achieving this season. For all the ‘hit-or-miss’ comments (myself included), let’s not forget that this is the player currently ranked no.2 in the world. You don’t get to sit that high in the sport without being a consistent performer. Tuesday’s result was Aryna’s 43rd match win of the year – putting her top of the WTA pile for total number of victories in 2021.

After reaching a career-first Grand Slam semi final at Wimbledon, Sabalenka has now reached the last four for the second successive Major. Our 22/1+ early-bird pick from back in January, this morning’s revised US Open Outright Winner market has Aryna as the 5/4 (2.25) favourite for the title.

  • Sabalenka will play Fernandez in the semi finals on Thursday

Day 10 – Women’s Quarter Finals…

As discussed in yesterday’s update, we’ve also got two other women in contention…

In the top half of the draw, Belinda Bencic (top price 33/1 last week), and Maria Sakkari (50/1) both play their respective quarter finals today:

  • Bencic v Emma Raducanu is first up on the Arthur Ashe court, kicking off the Day Session from 5pm UK time
  • Sakkari v Karolina Pliskova opens proceedings in the Night Session, just after Midnight

On what we’ve so far in the tournament, Bencic and Raducanu – both yet to drop a set – should produce some high-quality tennis.

Likewise, the figher Sakkari against the resurgent 2016 runner-up Pliskova. Both women have the power to produce fireworks here, and the fast-playing Flushing Meadows courts play into both of their hands in that respect.

Pliskova is out in front for Most Aces in the tournament, with 58 from five matches – over 20 ahead of any other woman here.

The head-to-head is 1-1, from matches played on clay in 2018 & 2019. Sakkari is looking to reach a second Grand Slam semi final of the year – having made the initial breakthrough at Roland Garros this spring.

July’s Wimbledon runner-up Pliskova is also proving a regular at the business end of the Majors this season. Doubts remain over the Czech’s mentality in particular, though. For example, Karolina has lost her last four finals, including a 6-0, 6-0 ‘double bagel’ defeat against Iga Swiatek in the Rome Masters final in May.

Tonight’s match isn’t a final, of course. But expect Sakkari to bring the same level of intensity as if it was. 

Both women will be dealing with nerves. And the same goes for Bencic v Raducanu. It’s a matter of who can cope with it best, and rise to the situation. As with Sabalenka last night, ultimately, it’s all about getting the ‘W’ by your name.

The computer says Yes…

According to the IBM ‘Powered by Watson’ Match Insights on the official US Open website, our players are given positive chances to win today.

Explained on the site as follows:

‘Match Insights with Watson are AI-generated fact sheets that help fans quickly get up to speed ahead of every singles match at US Open. They use enterprise-grade AI and the IBM Cloud to mine the most recent player statistics and media commentary for insight, including the latest IBM Power Rankings, relevant quotes from various media sources, and a natural language summary of key performance metrics.’

K. Pliskova v M. Sakkari

Sakkari is given a 51% ‘Likelihood to Win.’ Which, if you were to make a direct comparison with the chance implied by the bookmakers’ Match Winner odds of 11/10 (eg. 48% if taken as ‘true odds’). Then the AI-generated percentage suggests Sakkari is slightly more likely to win that the bookies’ odds say she is.

E. Raducanu v B. Bencic

Bencic is given a 68% nod by the IBM computer. Betting odds of 8/11 imply the Swiss has a 58% chance.

Have the robots got it right? If so, then Bencic and Sakkari will go on to face each other in the semi finals. We’ll find out tonight.

Double Faults value…

The Serving department is another area where the stats & numbers can help us identify some potential betting value…

As we’ve noted, Pliskova is the clear no.1 woman in the tournament for Aces. In the Most Aces market for tonight’s match v Sakkari, the bookies have uniformly installed the Czech at short odds-on. With Skybet going 1/3 (1.33), and Paddy Power just 1/8 (1.12).

The Most Double Faults prices offer more intrigue though. And the value looks to be with the Greek. Yes, we want Sakkari to come through this match. But as we saw with Sabalenka last night, you can hit the Most Double Faults, and still reach the next round…

The tournament totals have these two pretty much neck-and-neck. With Pliskova on 24 Double Faults overall, and Sakkari on 20. Both women have played the same number of sets (9). Producing close averages of 2.67 Double Faults per Set for Pliskova, and 2.22 for Sakkari.

A key stat for me is in the head-to-head. In both of their previous meetings, Sakkari has served the Most Double Faults.

Add in the fact that Maria racked up nine DF’s in her dramatic 2-1 win over Bianca Andreescu in the last round, and there’s a fair case for backing her at underdog prices in today’s market.

Ones to Watch – US Open 2021

Karolina Pliskova v Maria Sakkari

  • Most Double Faults – Sakkari @ 199/100 (2.99) Marathonbet, 13/8 (2.63) Bet365, Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 8/5 (2.6) Sportingbet, Bwin, 6/4 (2.5) Skybet

I’ll be back tomorrow with your Day 11 email.

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Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch