Sharma vs Townsend (Approx 07:00am AEST)
After an unfortunate start to 2020, I think the tour suspension will have done the world of good for Astra Sharma, as she takes to the court here against American Taylor Townsend.
The change in hardcourt surface to a perhaps even slower hardcourt is not the end of the world for Sharma, who had great success on the clay in altitude in 2019. She struggled through the Australian summer this year with what looked to be some injury struggles, combined with the pressure associated with defending a large bulk of ranking points. Sharma looked to just find her confidence in Mexico in March before the tour was suspended mid-tournament. She is incredibly smart tactically, and has the decision making and shot making to handle the variety and serve-and-volley play of Townsend. It is worth noting that Sharma herself is also comfortable at the net, having had some solid doubles success in the last 18 months.
After a slow start in her exhibition run, Townsend did start to find some form in late May, albeit against lower-ranked players than Sharma. Her game is quirky, with a lot of serve and volley and disrupting of her opponents’ rhythm, however on a slow hardcourt I have Sharma’s backhand matching up quite well with the left handed forehand of Townsend.
I think these are the best conditions for Sharma’s game at the moment. Her serve should still be quite aggressive, and given her ability to play high-IQ tennis for long periods, she looks value today at an underdog price. I am happy to take her in the head to head market for 1 unit, and although it is shorter than the opening price that Pinnacle led with, there is still value at $2.75.
1 unit Sharma to defeat Townsend at $2.75 at Bet365