Steve’s WTA Madrid Qualifying Preview: Schmiedlova vs Zvonareva

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Anna Schmiedlova is a player I will rarely get involved in as a favourite, given the potential for significant fluctuations in her on-court level. As an underdog here to Vera Zvonareva, I am happy to get involved.

The moneyline is far more appealing than the game handicap in this one, especially given Schmiedlova receiving a first set bagel in round 1 of qualifying against Alison Van Uytvanck. From there, she flicked the switch and only lost 2 more games on her way to victory. She is more than capable on the surface, with a 17-11 record on clay since the start of 2019 (6-3 record against Top 75 players), and we saw just what she is capable of at Roland Garros last year defeating Victoria Azarenka as a big underdog. She will be able to dictate today relatively consistently against Zvonareva, and will have more time on the ball today than she did yesterday against AVU.

Clay hasn’t always been the happiest hunting ground for Zvonareva. She holds a 9-12 record since returning to the tour in 2017, and is 5-6 vs Top 100 players in that time. Whilst she did defeat Rus comfortably yesterday, it is in no way her strongest surface either, and again I think too much has been read into the result. I am struggling to draw a line through the performances of both players on the surface of late, as well as their overall form, and coming out with the same opinion as the current prices in having the Russian as a clear favourite.

I will be backing AKS in here for 2 units. I would also consider a nibble at the 2-0 set betting.

Suggested Bet

2 units Schmiedlova to defeat Zvonareva at $2.18 at Unibet ($2.23 at Pinnacle, and $2.44 at Betfair)