Kerber vs Flipkens (Approx Midday AEDST)
It is pretty hard to find a legitimate reason to oppose Angelique Kerber in her current form, and I think the game handicap today represents a significant amount of value.
Whilst Kristen Flipkens is one of those plays who can use her variety and experience to defeat younger players, I don’t think her opponent today will be particularly phased by what is standing across the net. In round 1, Flipkens was able to use her experience to comfortably handle an out of form Danilovic, before defeating Jakupovic in round 2, who struggled to find rhythm with a low first serve percentage.
Flipkens holds a 2-7 record against top 50 players on hardcourt in the last 12 months. The wins? Against an injured CoCo Vandeweghe, and the inexperienced Viki Kuzmova. Of those 7 losses, she has lost a combined total of 47 games more than she has won, whilst covering a +5.5 game handicap on two occasions only. Of the 14 sets she lost in those 7 matches, half of them have been a score of 1-6. With a handicap set at 5.5, even a 6-2 set (let alone a 6-1 set) should be able to get Kerber to cover the game handicap today.
You can even push the stats above out to Vs Top 100 players on hardcourt in the last 12 months, and the overall record is 5-13. The three extra wins came against an unwell Bouchard, and Jakupovic twice. I don’t feel there is too much of a need to push the stats out that far, as Angelique clearly is categorised many tiers above those at the bottom end of the top 100.
I think Kerber’s 6-3 6-4 win over Muchova is underrated, as Muchova has been very solid this year. Kerber consistently found herself deep in Muchova’s service games, and I would anticipate the same to occur today against Flipkens, who doesn’t have the strongest serve on tour.
I struggle to find areas in this match where Flipkens will be able to have the upper hand for long enough periods to be a threat here. She doesn’t have the power to hit through Kerber, and Angelique just doesn’t provide enough unforced errors for Flipkens to be competitive. Considering I give Kerber the significant fitness edge as well, the -5.5 game handicap seems to be a very solid play. On recent form I would anticipate a cheap set to favour Kerber here, which should be enough to get the job done.
4 units Kerber -5.5 games vs Flipkens at $2 (+100 or 1/1) at Bet365/Topsport