The final of the 2013 US Open is upon us and after a fortnight that involved plenty of surprises we’ve ended up with the number one and two seeds contesting the championship match.
Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka
The 17th meeting between Serena and Vika is a repeat of last year’s final, which Williams won only narrowly, by just seven points in total. Much will depend on the Williams serve here and if she does produce near to her best numbers I would expect her to win this reasonably comfortably, but this is a Slam final and can she still produce her best when it matters the most?
We’ve seen plenty of evidence of vulnerability from Williams in the last year or so and in the cauldron of Arthur Ashe Stadium Court she’s certainly been found wanting in the past. One recalls the meltdown against Kim Clijsters and the no-show followed by another meltdown against Sam Stosur in recent losses here, which doesn’t give me much confidence in her at 1.20.
Williams is yet to drop a set here this year, but she’s faced nothing. Li Na was mentally gone before she even finished the warm-up in the semi-finals. Nothing like that will happen to the bullish Azarenka tonight and the Belarusian has won two of their last three meetings, including in Cincy on hard courts ahead of this tournament.
Azarenka has been scratchy this fortnight and she was outplayed at times by Alize Cornet and Ana Ivanovic here, but she’s always battled well and the results of those two matches were hardly in doubt given the competitive nature of Azarenka.
There are several wagers that appeal here, including the total games at 19.5 priced at 1.66 and the Azarenka +1.5 sets at 2.18, but I fancy the +11.5 total points on the number two seed here at 2.0. You have to go all the way back to the 2011 US Open third round to find the last time that Williams beat Azarenka by more than that on a hard court and if you think, as I do, that this will be closer than the prices suggest, then that’s the pick of the bets.
Back Azarenka +11.5 points to beat Williams at 2.0
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