Short and sweet, however I wasn’t convinced by the win of Kuznetsova over Wang in round 1. Coming up against a player that has played in Dubai as well as anyone in recent years in Elina Svitolina, things are about to become a whole lot more difficult.
The further the tournament progresses, the less keen I am to get involved with Svitolina, especially as a favourite. I don’t feel as though Kuznetsova at this stage of her career in these conditions is going to be a significant threat for Svitolina, making the -4.5 game handicap appeal here. Whilst Svitolina was disappointing in her loss to an injured Azarenka last week, her other losses recently have come in 3 sets to Pegula and Mertens (in a match tiebreak), which stacks up as decent form overall to start the year.
Early in the tournament, as well as the form edge, leads me to backing Svitolina. Just the 1.5 unit selection, however Svitolina should be too consistent for Kuznetsova. The Russian would need to lift her recent form, and I am happy to bet against that today.
1.5 units Svitolina -4.5 games vs Kuznetsova at $1.91 (-110) at Unibet ($1.90 at Bet365)