Eastbourne quarter-finals: Last home hope Konta battles Bencic
Heather Watson’s third round exit to Sloane Stephens leave just one British representative at the WTA AEGON International at Eastbourne.
Giant-killer Johanna Konta is that woman, and the Australian-born player meets Swiss teenage sensation Belinda Bencic following upsets of seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Garbine Muguruza.
Coral make Konta 13/8 to add the 18-year-old to that list, and she beat Bencic in straight sets at this event 12 months ago. Superb odds of 7/2 say that result can be repeated here.
Bencic is odds-on 4/9 match favourite, however, having been a set and break up against Eugenie Bouchard, the Wimbledon ladies’ singles finalist last year, who retired injured.
Konta looks well worth betting on, despite Bencic knocking out defending Eastbourne champion Madison Keyes.
Elsewhere at the AEGON International, second seed Caroline Wozniacki plays Andrea Petkoic for the first-time on grass and outside the USA.
Wozniacki is the WTA’s world number five and the Dane’s German opponent is nine places below her in the rankings. This gap, plus the fact that Petkovic has lost twice in major meetings (both at the US Open), means she is a 2/1 outsider for victory.
Odds-on at 4/11, punters can enhance that price on Wozniacki winning to evens if you back her to win in straight sets.
Ninth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, a former Wimbledon finalist, meanwhile, takes on Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, but will be wary of this fellow Eastern European opponent.
Although Radwanska has a dominant 8-2 advantage from previous meetings and is also an odds-on 2/5 match favourite, including three SW19 victories, Pironkova shocked her with a straight sets victory at Eastbourne back in 2012.
Punters can be confident that was a blip, however, and Radwanska looks awesome value at 11/4 to take this one in three sets.
And finally, Watson’s conqueror Stephens faces Russian Daria Gavrilova (another 7/4 chance) in their initial encounter. The American is odds-on at 2/5 to get past this opponent, and 11/10 to do so without dropping a set.
Coral betting tip: Take those superb 7/2 odds for Konta to beat Bencic in straight sets.