Steve’s 0-4 Debrief and WTA Rome Preview: Alexandrova vs Pegula

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I am my harshest critic (apologies to BT on Twitter, close but no cigar).

Pera, Millman, Dellien and Sorribes Tormo all lost yesterday. Millman, Dellien and Sorribes Tormo not covering their + game handicaps gives me some solace regarding decision making, however I shouldn’t have opposed Berrettini given the friendlier scheduling for him today. I would rather be taking these bigger prices for smaller units than getting involved in their handicaps in some instances.

Pera was unfortunate, but there is a reason why she was a heavy underdog in this one, and the last six games of the match is part of the reason.

The results spreadsheet has been updated, and can be found here. Quite a lot of red since the transition to the clay.

WTA Rome

Alexandrova vs Pegula

There looks to have been a slight overreaction to Pegula’s claycourt win over Naomi Osaka. Map this out over medium to longer term form, and I have Alexandrova pegged as a slight favourite.

Pegula looks a little more comfortable in the clay when she has more time on the ball, as we saw against Kasatkina in round 1. Naomi Osaka was uncharacteristic in her inablity to convert in key spots, unable to convert any of three set points across Pegula’s service games at *4-5 and *5-6 in the first set. Osaka significantly dropped her level in set 2, with Pegula continuing her run over overperforming on break point conversion for the week in Rome. She has converted 10/14 break point chances whilst saving 12/18 on her own serve. Against a more aggressive opponent in Alexandrova today, and a player who has shown more comfort on clay than Osaka, I would envisage this to change slightly. It is also worth noting that Sorana Cirstea hurt herself in her match against Pegula, and hasn’t been seen since on tour.

Rybakina (in better form last year), Siniakova, Svitolina, Halep and Azarenka are the last five to beat Alexandrova on clay, so it generally takes a decent player to beat the Russian at her current level (generally…). Recent wins over Muchova, Bencic and Kostyuk are staking up quite well, and I generally prefer to support her in matches against other big strikers.

I will keep this to 1.5 units, however Alexandrova at the +2.5 game handicap here looks value if you can get north of $1.90 (-111).

Suggested Bet

1.5 units Alexandrova +2.5 games vs Pegula at $1.97 at Topsport ($1.99 at Pinnacle)