My best bet on Tuesday at the 2013 US Open proved the most comfortable of winners, as Serena Williams double bageled Carla Suarez Navarro.
Williams was in no mood to hang about and easily covered the minus 7.5 game handicap in easing through to the semi finals against the over matched Spaniard.
Today’s two remaining quarter-finals take place today at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre and we start with an all-Italian affair at 5pm UK time.
Roberta Vinci vs Flavia Pennetta
This section of the draw was the one that many outright punters, myself included, had their eye on for potential value, with Caroline Wozniacki, Vinci, Maria Kirilenko and Simona Halep as the top seeds.
Not too many would have sided with Pennetta, but she’s a proven performer here and has now reached the last eight in New York for the fourth time. Vinci reached the quarter-finals last year and has backed that up again by making the most of what’s been a pretty kind draw and she takes on her fellow Italian for the ninth time today.
Their personal series is tied at 4-4 and they’ve only played once previously on an outdoor hard court, which was back in 2009. This is their first meeting since 2010 and I have to favour Pennetta here given the vintage form that the 31-year-old has displayed so far.
Flavia was too good for the in-form Halep in the previous round and, having also brushed aside Sveta Kuznetsova and Sara Errani in earlier matches, she’s a backable price at around 1.88. Vinci’s variety and consistency is too much for many of the ball bashers on tour, but as long as Flavia uses her experience and stays calm I rate her as a decent bet at the price. I would have Pennetta around 1.70 for this, so there may be a touch of value here.
Victoria Azarenka vs Daniela Hantuchova
This has the look of a one-sided affair to me, with Vika highly likely to expose the questionable movement of Hantuchova in the rallies and if the Belarusian can keep Dani on the move this could end fairly quickly.
We haven’t seen the best of Azarenka in this tournament, but there again she was awful for a large proportion of Cincinnati and ended up beating Williams to land the title, so I wouldn’t be too concerned if you’re on Azarenka outright.
Hantuchova has done well this fortnight and it’s good to see her back playing some fine tennis in majors again. She is into her first quarter final in a Slam since Melbourne back in 2008 and her first here in New York since 2002, but I don’t see her being able to outhit Vika for long enough to win this match. I expect a two set win for Azarenka here, but it’s not a great price at all at 1.34 and perhaps a better option would be the 1.96 about the under 18.5 total games.
Back Pennetta to beat Vinci at 1.88