My winning streak of bets in the women’s singles in the 2013 French Open was brought to an end by a combination of an injury to Sara Errani and some good play from Carla Suarez Navarro. But earlier in the day my seventh straight winning bet in the women’s tournament came in when Angelique Kerber and Sveta Kuznetsova played out the predicted lengthy encounter.
The remaining four last-16 matches take place today in Paris, with both Maria Sharapova and Vika Azarenka in action. Number two seed Sharapova faces Sloane Stephens at around 4pm, while third seed Azarenka takes on former champion Fran Schiavone at 10am UK time.
Sharapova is taking on the young American for the third time in total, with the Russian having won both previous meetings pretty comfortably. Indeed, when they met on the dirt in Rome recently, Sharapova won for the loss of three games.
Stephens has done well to back up her fourth-round showing of last year after a poor start to the season, but since a famous win over Serena Williams she’s beaten no one of any note. This is a big step up from the Marina Erakovics and Vania Kings of this world. As Stephens doesn’t have much to hurt Maria with I like the under 18.5 total games in this one at 1.80.
I doubt that Azarenka will face any more of a challenge from Schiavone. The latter looked to be slipping down the rankings and towards retirement earlier this year, but she’s done well here this week and secured a fourth-round spot with a convincing win over home hope Marion Bartoli. But I just can’t see Fran’s style of play posing problems for Azarenka. I think Vika should get this one done in under 19.5 total games at around 1.83.
The other two matches are less clear-cut, but I think Jelena Jankovic is a touch short at around 1.38 against the in-form Jamie Hampton, who is fresh from a big win over Petra Kvitova.
Jankovic had a tough battle with Sam Stosur on Saturday and Hampton really has her eye in on the clay, having played a lot of tennis in the last fortnight. This could be another hard match for JJ and I’d rather take the 1.73 about Hampton winning with a 1.5 set start than back the Serb as low as 1.38.
The match between Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Maria Kirilenko is another tricky one. Kirilenko, like Jankovic, appears a touch too short for a player of her inconsistency and injury record, so the best option in that for my money is to side with the American with a 2.5 game start at 1.85.
Best bets: Back under 18.5 total games in Sharapova/Stephens at 1.80