Wimbledon: Muguruza and Kuznetsova to battle to the finish

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WIMBLEDON reaches the Quarter-Final stage on Tuesday. Here tennis analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) shares his favourite fancies from SW19.

Wimbledon Day 8 | Tuesday 12:00 | BBC

‘Manic Monday’ saw all of our remaining outright bets continue to make progress, as well as our daily pick of Caroline Garcia to keep it close with Johanna Konta paying out.

Tuesday is quarter-finals day in the Ladies Singles.  At the end of the day I am hoping that we will have some return for our quarter winner bets involving Coco Vandeweghe and Simona Halep, who we backed at 17/2 and 8/1 respectively.

The matches are all expected to be completed under the Centre Court roof due to rain that will stream constantly over SW19 today.

Garbine Muguruza v Svetlana Kuznetsova | Tuesday 13:00 | BBC

Garbine Muguruza starts as a 7/10 favourite in her semi-final with Svetlana Kuznetsova. This will be Kuznetsova’s fourth Wimbledon quarter-final, but it is her first since 2007.  

The Russian is known not to be the happiest of campers on the grass but this year her form has exceeded her efforts of recent years.

Muguruza is a proven player on the grass making the Wimbledon final a couple of years ago, she holds a healthy head to head advantage over Kuznetsova but it is a little bit deceiving.  In their two most recent meetings Kuznetsova clearly tanked after winning the first set, and in Australia she was favourite before the off but served poorly.

I would still give Muguruza the edge on this surface and the odds reflect a fair price.  However, I certainly do not discount the chances of Kuznetsova, who is rarely this deep at Wimbledon and will surely throw everything at winning a Grand Slam title at an event where she hasn’t always been able to produce the goods.

On the surface numbers for this season there is a minor edge in favour of Kuznetsova. This has the feeling of a three set match.  I wouldn’t put anybody off backing a 2-1 set scoreline in favour of either player. Muguruza to win 2-1 is 13/4 with Betway, whilst Kuznetsova 2-1 is 43/10 with Unibet.

Johanna Konta v Simona Halep | Tuesday 14:45 | BBC

The bookies can’t separate the pair, as both start around the evens mark. A look through their data and you can understand why.  

Firstly, they share a 2/2 head to head.  However, in Konta’s two victories it required a major choke from Halep for the Brit to get the win.  

Konta’s numbers on the grass are more impressive than Halep, holding 10% more than the Romanian. However, Halep is a fantastic player at returning serve and there will likely be a dent in the Konta numbers by the end of the match at the very least.

This could become a nervy affair. Konta is playing at home and is being touted as the favourite to win the title. She would not be the first to falter under the suffocating pressure of an expectant British crowd.  

On the other hand, a win for Halep will secure the world number one ranking.  The last time she was in this position was in the French Open final when she led by a set and 3-0 before crumbling.

I have my dog in this fight.  WeLoveBetting backers that are also on Halep to win the quarter at 8/1 should consider covering their stake with Konta here.  The Brit is 21/20 to beat Halep with BWin. I favour Halep to win, but you would be wrong headed not to cover your stake here.

Venus Williams v Jelena Ostapenko | Tuesday 13:30 | BBC

The veteran American starts as an 8/11 favourite against the red hot Jelena Ostapenko who has continued her French Open form.

Ostapenko has come through some challenging fixtures, whilst Williams has looked fairly comfortable on the Wimbledon grass this year.  

Williams also appears to be coming out on top of her off court problems with police stating that she was not responsible for causing the death of an elderly driver in Florida last month. This is an intriguing matchup and the favouritism of Williams is just about warranted.

A look at their recent form and history on grass shows that they play plenty of close sets.  I can see at least one tiebreak in this match. Ostapenko will not hold the trepidation against Williams that Ana Konjuh did in the last round.  

Bet365 price the appearance of a tiebreak in this match at 12/5, which is too high given their form and propensity to play close sets.  

Magdalena Rybarikova v Coco Vandeweghe | Tuesday 14:15 | BBC

Coco Vandeweghe begins the match as the strongest priced favourite today at 8/15 with William Hill to win her match with Magdalena Rybarikova.

The pair met in the first round of Roland Garros and Vandeweghe won only five games in what looked to be a horror match up for her.  

Rybarikova mixes up her play with drop shots and slices and for a player like Vandeweghe whose approach is to hit every ball harder than the last, it can go very wrong.

A repeat of her Paris performance will still see Vandeweghe exit today, but she is a much better player on the grass and I expect her to handle the occasion better than Rybarikova.  

Rybarikova has the ability to get very nervous and that is the most important factor today.  If Rybarikova takes the lead and you are not already on the 17/2 for Vandeweghe to win the quarter, then the American will likely hold value in play.

Unless Rybarikova completely blows Vandeweghe away, which is unlikely, I can’t envisage the Slovakian holding her nerve to book a semi final spot.

Best Bets

Garbine Muguruza v Svetlana Kuznetsova – Muguruza to win 2-1 (13/4 Betway)

Garbine Muguruza v Svetlana Kuznetsova – Kuznetsova to win 2-1 (43/10 Unibet)

Venus Williams v Jelena Ostapenko – Tiebreak? Yes (12/5 Bet365)

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