Steve’s WTA Nur-Sultan Preview: Van Uytvanck vs Gracheva

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You may have noticed from some of my tweets this week that it appears that Varvara Gracheva has been a touch underappreciated in the market to date. I see that as being the case here again today.

After an underwhelming clay and grass season through the middle months of the year, it appears as though the Russian is rounding her way back into form, as she looks to remain inside the Top 100. Although Gracheva’s success on clay at the lower levels a couple of years ago was part of the catalyst for her rise in the rankings, I don’t think her game is as unsuited to indoor hardcourt, especially a slower indoor hardcourt, than many suggest. After a loss to Paula Badosa last week, she has responded with strong wins over Kristyna Pliskova and Lesia Tsurenko as an underdog on both occasions. Given those two opponents, she shouldn’t be fazed by the pace coming from the other end of the court today from Alison Van Uytvanck.

AVU is another who is looking for solid performances to maintain her ranking inside the Top 100, sitting a place below Gracheva in 89th. Whilst the performances of concern in recent months for Gracheva have largely come on clay and grass, AVU has underperformed on hardcourts in my opinion. She has looked below her best in her three indoor hardcourt outings in recent weeks, and it is her consistency in finding her best level that makes it hard to see value her price in the $1.60’s today. She was a point away from a *5-0 lead against Anna-Lena Friedsam yesterday, then found herself down a break of serve midway through the decider. The mid-match lapse, where she went 9 return games without earning a break point opportunity, highlights the question marks I have around her maintaining the required level in her current form. That lack of consistency in a game that at times has minimal margin for error is a concern at her current odds, and against a player like Gracheva, who will have taken some confidence from her last couple of outings in the conditions, I cannot take her as the favourite at that price.

There looks to be value here for a 1 unit selection on Gracheva.

Suggested Bet

1 unit Gracheva to defeat AVU at $2.38 at Unibet (some available at $2.40+ at Betfair minus commission)

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