Never say never in this game, as backing Anastasija Sevastova at $6+ is a price I am willing to involve myself with in the week after a grand slam.
Ever the consistent performer, I am not entirely sure I am keen to involve myself in the price of Elise Mertens at sub-$1.20. Whilst her consistency is an incredibly important part of her overall game and her success at the level, her lack of a genuine overall weapon can sometimes leave her vulnerable. Mertens has put together a significant body of work over the last couple of weeks. She won the lead-up tournament which finished the day before the Australian Open, then reached the 4th round of the Aus Open singles, where she squandered a great start to ultimately fall to Karolina Muchova in straight sets. That wasn’t the end of her journey in Melbourne though, as she went on to win the women’s doubles title with Aryna Sabalenka.
Sevastova was able to get on the board in round 1 in Adelaide with a win over Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-4. The scoreline itself is quite impressive considering Garcia was able to put 71% of first serves into play, with the Latvian able to win 50% of points against Garcia’s first serve and 68% on the second serve return, a positive sign given Garcia’s relative power levels compared to Mertens. A win is a win at this level, and Sevastova will take any confidence boost she can get, even if it is a win against Garcia.
Part of the reason the last couple of weeks have been successful has been the ability to pick the right times to pull the trigger on the bigger money line prices then to up the unit staking and take plus game handicaps. Whilst that does ultimately result in some losses that are quite one-sided (see Konta vs Rogers yesterday), it is the strategy that will continue to be adopted moving forward.
The current top odds available for Sevastova are at $6.75 (+575), which implies a 14.8% winning chance. I am not sure I could justify that price in a grand slam match-up, let alone in the week after a slam at a smaller tournament. A more widely available price is $6.25, which implies a 16% winning chance. The ceiling of Sevastova is high enough to take a bite at the larger odds today. I would rather take a 1.5 unit staking on the head to head price than take her at the game handicap for a higher unit staking.
1.5 units Sevastova to defeat Mertens at $6.25 (+525) at Topsport/Unibet (note: $6.50 at Pinnacle)