Trouble for Azarenka
Barthel has won 85% of her matches played on hard-courts this year
The stats man, Ben Caudell, does not envisage a walk in the park win for Victoria Azarenka when she comes up against Mona Barthel in Day Five of the Australian Open.
•Mona, who is a year younger than her third seeded opponent at 21 years of age, is one of a handful of in-form players to grace the Australian hard-courts at the moment and has every chance of pushing the hot favourite Azarenka all the way.
•The German youngster has amassed some pretty impressive stats lately. She has won ten in a row overall, ten in a row on hard-courts and ten in a row in Australia.
•Having gone through eight rounds, including qualifying, at the Hobart Open to obtain her first WTA tour title after defeating Yanina Wickmayer in the final 6-1 6-2, the confident Barthel will no doubt have been relieved to have had a walkover against her doubles partner Anne Keothavong in the first round before a straight sets win over Petra Cetkovska in round two.
•Victoria Azarenka has won by -6.5 Games or more, just five times from her last fourteen matches. Therefore the above even money price on Barthel to take the handicap line, most definitely looks feasible.
•Barthel has won 85% of her matches played on hard-courts this year, she also has superior serve and return stats than her opponent on this surface, albeit with some of these matches being played at a level below the regular WTA tour.
5 Reasons to back Alexandr Dolgopolov @[2.30] to defeat Bernard Tomic
Today we are in for a real humdinger of a match, between tennis's two most promising rising stars. Tomic, the home favourite and aged just nineteen, faces Dolgopolov the twenty-three-year-old Ukrainian who has risen from 101 in the world rankings to 13 in the space of two years.
Tomic is the odds-on favourite, however, there are many stats that stand out to make me side with the unorthodox Dolgopolov and definite value in backing him pre-match.
•Both players are at career high ranking. However, Dolgopolov has the benefit of being ranked twenty-three places higher and on the verge of breaking into the top ten and also holds a superior Match Rating (Match Ratings assess form specific to the current tournament conditions and the opposing player, taking into account head-to-heads) and predicted chance of winning (68%)
•The Ukrainian number one comes into this match with a huge advantage, a 3-0 head-to-head series lead over Bernard. Moreover, all three wins have come in the last two years (Shanghai 2011, Sydney 2011, Brisbane 2010) all three were played on hard-courts, and two of the three were surprisingly won in Tomic's back yard.
•Dolgopolov has won five of his last six five set matches, six of his last seven in Australia, six of his last seven on hard-courts, six of his last seven at the Australian Open and of huge importance when dissecting this match, five in a row when priced as an underdog (2.00 - 2.99)
•Tomic has a 2-8 losing record against top 20 ranked players on hard-courts, has lost four out of four in Australia on hard and against top 20 players. He has also won only three matches from twelve against top twenty players on all surfaces (these stats do not including exhibition events)
•Surprisingly, Tomic has actually played more minutes on court than Dolgopolov even though both of the Ukrainian's matches were played out over five sets; Dolgopolov has played a total of 348 minutes and Tomic 384 minutes.