I wrote about how well Gavrilova has been training and preparing herself for the summer of tennis in Australia, and the proof was in her performance yesterday. It was one way traffic against Kuzmova, with the Australian winning 6-2 6-0 in just over an hour. Gavrilova was aggressive on the return of serve, winning 59% of points on the Kuzmova serve, including 56% on the first ball. She looked to be moving incredibly well on her return, and will prove to be a strong test for Serena Williams.
I don’t think this is the type of opponent Serena was looking for in her first official match of the Australian summer. Serena is sub $1.20 in this market, and looking through her entire form dating back to the start of August, I cannot justify that price.
In that time she has only had three straight set wins, two against Kristie Ahn and the other against Gasparyan. She has dropped sets to Pera, Venus, Rus, Stephens, Sakkari and Pironkova. She has lost to Rogers, Sakkari and Azarenka, with the latter two more appealing to this match-up as both had the ability to reduce their unforced error output and turn their matches into more of a grind. In those matches Serena cramped (vs Sakkari) and struggled late with an apparent ankle injury (vs Azarenka).
Ultimately, I cannot justify this price in a tournament the week before a grand slam. This match means so much more to Gavrilova than it does to Williams. Gavrilova as a big underdog will have the pressure off a touch, and if yesterday is any indication she is a big chance here.
If Serena cleans house and wipes her off the court, then fair play to her. That being said, $5+ for Gavrilova here I cannot pass up. Worst case for Gavrilova, she will look to extend this match out as much as she can. I am comfortable taking this price even if Serena dominates, and I am prepared to accept that and open myself up to criticism there. This is value, and value leads to bigger staking. I have Gavrilova significantly shorter in the market, so let’s see what she can do.
2 units Gavrilova to defeat Williams at $5.60 (+460) at Unibet