Steve’s Debrief, and WTA Madrid Qualifying Preview – Diyas vs Kozlova

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4-2 for a small profit overnight. Hanfmann took the first set 6-2, however a lapse early in set 2 made it tough work for covering the -4 games in the end. The other losing selection of Trevisan saw a relatively one-sided scoreline to Diyas. The interesting stat? Diyas put 90% of first serves into play. Diyas looks under the odds again today against Kozlova, so I will be opposing her again below against a capable claycourter.

Of the winners, Kostyuk/Gasparyan was lucky to get the chocolates given Gasparyan was serving at *4-5 40/15. Kostyuk was a constant presence on the return of serve though, and broke down Gasparyan for a 6-1 second set. Bogdan was solid without being spectacular against Siniakova, Martinez did get the job done over a disinterested Bublik, and Begu and Siegemund both progressed (and covered their handicaps if you could find them).

Of the five singles, CLV versus the closing Pinnacle line was obtained in 4/5 (only miss there was Martinez vs Bublik). The results spreadsheet has now been updated for daily previews. A link can be found by clicking here. This will be updated at the time of posting each preview online.

WTA Madrid Qualifying

Diyas vs Kozlova

Whilst Zarina Diyas was able to put the highest recorded percentage of first serves in play in her CAREER against Martina Trevisan, she may have trouble backing up that feat against a capable claycourter in Kateryna Kozlova.

The hold/break stats for Kozlova compared to Diyas on the surface give her a distinct advantage, however I do wonder if there is a hint of recency bias shown from Diyas’ win over Trevisan yesterday. Diyas won in straight sets, however was able to put 54/60, or 90%, of first serves in play. That took one of her major weaknesses on the surface, the second serve, out of play, and she took control. Casting an eye over the career first serve % stats on Tennis Abstract, this looks to be the best first serve percentage for her career. You would anticipate a regression toward the average again today, and Kozlova is definitely the type of player that is able to take advantage of the style of play of Diyas in the conditions.

Kozlova is a player that tends to pop up as value regularly, as it can be difficult to translate her limited schedule to the rest of the tour. She has played 110 matches since the start of 2018, and only her fourth tournament since COVID impacted the tour. She returned to the tour for 2021 in Istanbul, losing a tight two set match to eventual champion Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-7. She turned up to Madrid qualifying from there, knocking off the dangerous Kaia Kanepi (who beat Diyas in straight last week) in 73 minutes. She has the power to be offputting for Diyas on hard, and should be able to regularly dictate throughout.

I have Kozlova priced as $1.65, so there is plenty of value in her head to head price to kick off today. I have capped this at 2 units given the limited tennis, however what I have seen, I have liked.

Suggested Bet

2 units Kozlova to defeat Diyas at $1.97 at Unibet