Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Belinda Bencic: WTA Moscow Final

Tennis Pilot

Saturday, October 19, 2019 7:11 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 7:11 PM UTC

Home hope and indoor specialist Pavlyuchenkova can keep it close against Bencic in Moscow

<div><h2>Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Belinda Bencic (3)</h2><p><strong>Sunday, October 20, Moscow</strong></p><p>The crowd has had a lot to like this week with Russian players performing well and none more so than Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. She has been in fine form and the former world number 13 is a previous winner of this event and 2-time finalist. Bencic is world number 10, has a clear statistical edge and has shown solid form this week, so she’s a clear favourite overall and justifiably priced 1.8. However, several factors make me suspect this will be a tight match and I think the value lies in a side market.</p><p>Bencic is the third seed this week and has many factors going for her. She’s clearly the more elite player and I would argue she has a higher peak. She leads the 1 year main level service/return points won percentage by 3.7% and this week she leads by 1.3% against a similar level of opposition. Her overall win percentage is 15% higher in 2019 and her ROI is 23.8% compared to -0.8% for the Russian. Bencic also leads the H2H 4-1 so it’s easy to see why I flirted with the idea of backing the favourite outright at 1.8.</p><p>However, Bencic does her best work as the underdog and her big-hitting, high peak style doesn’t always lend itself to consistency against lower-ranked opposition. Her lifetime ROI at main level is a spectacular 35.3% as underdog but a poor -2.1% as favourite. Indoors is also one of her worst surfaces with a 16-13 record and -11.7% ROI at main level. Against the top 100 on the surface, she is 9-9 with a -14.5% ROI and against the top 50 she is 3-7 for a -54.1% ROI. Pavlyuchenkova is 40 in the world currently. Finally, Bencic has a tendency to struggle with the pressure of being the favourite late on in tournaments with a -6.1% ROI priced as favourite in quarters, semis and finals. On indoor hard she has lost 5 of her last 10 as favourite in quarters, semis and finals going back to 2017 for a -27.8% ROI.</p><p>Pavlyuchenkova’s big advantage this week is her quality indoors and she usually goes well in front of a home crowd, especially in Moscow. While she trails the 1 year data it may be more relevant to look at longer-term indoor hard specific numbers. Bencic still leads the 3 year main level service/return points won percentage on indoor hard but by just 0.6%. Moreover, Pavlyuchenkova has won 78% of her last 50 matches on the surface at main level for a 28.4% ROI while Bencic, as noted, is on just 55% (16-13) for a -11.7% ROI. The Russian has an excellent 20-10 record at this event (13.4% ROI) and she has a 14-8 record in quarters, semis and finals indoors for a 26.2% ROI. Against the top 20 indoors she has a 6-6 record and 35.2% ROI.</p><p>Lots of reasons to think it is unwise to oppose the underdog, but I don’t like the 2.16 available to back her directly. Given the prices on offer, I’ll go for 3 sets instead at 2.45 with <a href=";a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Betfred </a>in the hopes of a tight, possibly swingy and likely high-quality match.</p><p>Based on their respective forms this week I would expect this to be tough for both. Their games are similar, based on heavy-hitting, power and strong serving. Neither is very poor defensively but equally, they both prefer to be on the front foot. When two players with this style are both in form it can lead to very tight matches as whoever gets the first strike usually dictates and wins the point.</p><p>The stats bear this out. Pavlyuchenkova has gone the distance or the bet has been void in 42% of her last 50 priced 2 to 3 on indoor and outdoor hard. Indoors 10 of her 21 priced over 2 have gone the distance including 7 of 14 against the top 20. Bencic has gone the distance or the bet has been void in 24 of her last 50 priced 1.5 to 1.99 on indoor and outdoor hard. More broadly, 26 of her last 50 priced as favourite against the top 50 on indoor and outdoor hard have gone the distance or been void including 8 of 17 in 2019. The H2H is 4-1 to Bencic but she has only won in straight sets once and 3 of the 5 have gone the distance, including both indoors.</p><p>I would have said 2.2 was a fair price all things considered so it’s a bet at 2.3+ and certainly at 2.45.</p><p>Best bet: Total Sets: 3 at 2.45 with <a href=";a=1ba923f3-5341-4bda-b457-0138ac61ae7a&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Betfred</a></p></div>
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