We are into the final of the Internazionali Femminili di Palermo which sees fourth seed Anett Kontaveit take on the talented Fiona Ferro. The market favorite is Kontaveit but she is 1-4 in main level finals (0-2 on clay) while Ferro has a perfect 1-0 record after winning on clay last year. Can Kontaveit break her losing streak or will the underdog prevail? Read on for my best tennis picks and predictions from the final!
(4) Anett Kontaveit vs. Fiona Ferro
Sunday, August 09, 2020 – 01:30 PM EDT – Palermo
Palermo saw the long-anticipated restart of the main tour and we have not been disappointed this week with high-quality tennis and lots of exciting matches. Home favorite Errani rolled back the years in her opening two rounds with wins as a decent underdog against Cirstea and Pliskova before her run was cut short by eventual finalist Ferro. There were also questionable performances from some of the top seeds, notably Mertens, Sakkari, and Vekic, and one suspects this was at least partially a result of a lack of match play and/or match fitness. Nonetheless, it was a good restart to the tour for value seekers with 11 of 26 underdogs winning so far in Palermo.
I’m not sure I would expect Ferro to add to that tally on Sunday, with Kontaveit looking in fine form in her victory over top seed Petra Martic. The Estonian has an abundance of talent and looked well prepared and ready for action in her return to the tour. She leads the main level 1 year hold/break stats by 7.1% (112.3% to 105.2%) and has won 27 of her last 50 matches against top 50 opposition compared to Ferro’s 8-16 record vs the top 50. She has looked very strong this week overall albeit with a few dips along the way and after defeating top seed Martic she is surely determined to land her first clay title at main level.
However, those stats don’t tell the whole story with Ferro playing at an increasingly high level over the last year or so, especially on clay. In terms of hold/break data, Ferro surprisingly has a tiny edge on clay over the last 2 years (108% to 107.9% for Kontaveit) though this is partly due to respective opposition quality. Perhaps more importantly, Ferro has been a money machine on clay as of late with a 34.4% ROI over her last 50 matches and a 29.6% ROI lifetime when priced similarly to this match (+100 to +200). Not a match where either player seems like clear value and perhaps a better angle is to take a chance on a tight match with +150 on offer for this to go to 3 sets.
Ferro hasn’t played much against top-ranked opposition but she’s certainly done well so far and more importantly she’s tended to play long matches. Of her 5 matches against the top 50, she has won 4, netting an ROI of 121.5% and in 3 of those matches, she went the distance (2 from 2 on clay). Overall Ferro has gone the distance in 4 of her last 10 priced +100 to +500 against top 50 opposition.
Kontaveit can play at a very high level but she often struggles for consistency, especially later on in tournaments. She has played 9 matches as slight favorite (-200 to -101) in quarters, semis, and finals against top 100 opposition and she has gone the distance in 6. Overall she has gone the distance in 43% of her 95 matches priced between -500 and -101 against top 100 opposition.
The two have met once before back in 2016 where Kontaveit won 7-5 6-7 6-2 priced 1.15 on indoor hard. Not a result that is likely to be relevant but if anything it is promising to see a 3 setter, especially at these WTA odds.
All things considered, I would expect this to be a well-contested final and I can’t see a strong argument for siding with either player. A price of +150 with BetOnline on these two going the distance is not huge but my price would be closer to +120 so I’m happy having a bet. (Visit our BetOnline Review)