Daria Gavrilova and Svetlana Kuznetsova will square off Thursday morning in the WTA Rome third round, with Kuznetsova rated as a 1.40 – 1.45 favorite by the bookies in what will be the first match of the day.
Gavrilova seemed to be a player on the rise last year, playing good and consistent tennis, particularly at this stage of the season on the European clay – and reaching a career high ranking of No.22 as a result in January 2017. However, she wasn`t quite as solid so far this year, dropping out of Top 30 and struggling until the clay court season began. Here in Rome she is having arguably her best week of 2017, already winning 4 matches, passing qualifications and defeating Keys and Garcia on the main draw.
Kuznetsova is having a very good season and is on the back of a semifinal appearance in Madrid, where she lost a tight two setter against Mladenovic. Despite playing a lot of matches last week, she came out fresh and with the same intensity here in Rome, playing very well in her first match to get past Siniakova in the second round (6-1 7-6).Bet on Gavrilova v Kuznetsova and get your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Kuznetsova has utterly dominated the H2H against Gavrilova, leading 4-0 (1-0 on clay) and losing a single set. The two players actually met here in Rome last year at the same stage of the tournament and Kuznetsova won 6-2 2-6 6-3. They also met earlier this year on indoor hard in Sankt Petersburg, with Svetlana winning 6-1 6-3.
Kuznetsova is playing some top quality tennis right now and she is definitely a big favorite to take care of Gavrilova in this match. It`s true that the Australian is in good rhythm after winning 4 matches in Rome, but she`s not exactly at a fantastic level.
Gavrilova did well to reach this stage and played Ok, but also showed plenty of weaknesses. She lost 3 sets in 4 matches and her main draw wins against Keys and Garcia were both three set thrillers. The opposition was good but not great, and Gavrilova had plenty of moments in which she played poorly, making unforced errors. She`s not quite at her best level, probably not even close.
Kuznetsova is the better player, she is in better form, and looking at the H2H she clearly has an important matchup advantage against her opponent. She beat Gavrilova at the same venue last year, when the Australian was playing the best tennis of her life, so it`s hard to see Kuznetsova losing this one against an inferior version of Gavrilova.
If Svetlana doesn`t play an absolute stinker, and there`s no reason to believe she will, she should win this. Odds on her victory stand at just 1.45, but even so they look good to me, as I wouldn`t have priced her above 1.35 – 1.40.
My tip is Kuznetsova to win and I`m happy to take this bet with high stakes even if the odds don`t provide a spectacular ROI. Price is dropping and might continue to go down overnight. Prediction: Daria Gavrilova – Svetlana Kuznetsova 5-7 3-6.