One of the best matches to bet in the first round of Australian Open is one in the WTA draw; a match between veteran American, Venus Williams, and lefty Romanian, Mihaela Buzarnescu.
38 years young and ranked #37 in the world, Venus didn’t get any seedings in the Australian Open draw and has, let’s say, a hard road ahead if she wants to achieve something during these two weeks.
Venus had a decent 2018 with 17 wins and 11 losses, from those 12 wins and 7 losses on hard courts. Her best results came at the beginning of the year, a reason why I do back her here. She took a set off Kerber in Sydney back then and lost to Bencic in the 1st round of Australian Open (a hard opponent to face in R1). After those two matches, she got to the Indian Wells SF and tot e Miami QF.
In the past 52 weeks, she only had a single lefty player, Arantxa Rus, which she defeated 6-1 6-4 in the Fed Cup in February 2018. Her career record against lefties shows that she doesn’t really struggle against this kind of players, having won 73 matches and lost only 16. In 2017 she won all matches against lefties, against Safarova, Haddad, Kerber, and Kvitova.
The main reason why I do bet on Venus here is, in fact, Mihaela Buzarnescu. She did injure herself during Montreal 2018 (August), where she twisted her ankle. Since then she won 0 professional matches, losing to Sasnovich twice and Minella in 2018, and Tsurenko and Bencic in 2019. She did win 3 matches in the France Championship in November 2018 (a Club League), where she defeated Parmentier, Kerkhove, and Soler (not really important in my opinion). This year Buzarnescu lost 6-0 6-2 to Tsurenko and 4-6 6-3 7-5 to Bencic (could have lost this match in 2 sets too, but Bencic struggled with some fitness after playing so much Hopman).
Buzarnescu’s record in Australian Open is 2 wins (both qualification matches) and 3 losses, and only one main draw appearance (lost 6-2 6-3 to Wozniacki in the 1st round of 2018). Venus, on the other hand, has a big history at this Slam, reaching two finals, 1 SF and 6 quarterfinals during her long career.
Last 15 matches on hard courts show some difference in form, Venus having a 10-5 record, while Micky an 8-7 one. The Serve/Break stats during last year on hard courts show Venus a bit better (103.5% vs 102.1%).
I have watches Buzarnescu play in past months, and she still struggles big time with the movement. The biggest flaw in her game is the mental instability, as she constantly talks to herself, throws the racquet and swears in Romanian. This kind of attitude will be punished by an experienced player like Venus.
For me it is clear that Venus should win this match and I will back her at 1.727 with Pinnacle (10 units).
Venus Williams to win @ 1.727 (Pinnacle via SportMarket) – 10 units
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