WTA Hua Hin
Peng vs Paquet (Approx 10:30pm AEDST)
Shuai Peng is a player to keep an eye on early this year. Fresh off her suspension surrounding her doubles appearance, Peng ended the 2018 season incredibly well at ITF record to earn some much needed ranking points.
I am pretty happy to ignore her performance at the Australian Open against Bouchard, as Peng notoriously struggles in extreme heat conditions. The day they played was one of the hottest days, so it doesn’t surprise me that she struggled after a slow start.
When you look at the form of Peng over the last 12 months, I struggle to see how Paquet is going to match it with her in this one. Paquet doesn’t have a lot of experience against top 100 players (yes Peng isn’t technically in the top 100 but I have her rated as a top 50 player), and what experience she has hasn’t been too kind.
Unless Paquet has a supreme first serve percentage, I don’t quite see her pressuring Peng here in any facet. Cast an eye over her tournaments since returning from suspension and it includes comfortable wins against players far better than Paquet. The qualifying form doesn’t quite stack up here either, so I am happy to make a 2.5 unit selection on Peng at the -5.5 game handicap in this one.
-4.5 games and -5 games is available at most bookmakers. I will record against -5.5 games as I feel 1) there is value in that price and 2) I feel the -5.5 will be the line at the time of match start. If you have access to -4.5 I would suggest increasing stake slightly.
2.5 units Peng -5.5 game handicap v Paquet at $2.06 (+106 or 53/50) at Topsport