We didn’t have long to wait before heading to the payout queue yesterday, thanks to Roger Federer. In one of the fastest winning tennis bets I think I’ve ever had, the Swiss maestro took less than 25 minutes to wrap up set one against Novak Djokovic and earned us some quick loot in the process.
That quick start – which I highlighted as being key for Federer – helped him to go on and defeat Djokovic and set up a date with Andy Murray in the men’s final tomorrow.
But before all of that, we have the significant matter of the ladies’ final at 2pm this afternoon, contested by Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska.
At least I hope that it will be a contest, as on paper it seems to me like it could well be a procession for Williams.
The previous five ladies’ singles finals have been over in two sets and that certainly could be the case again today if the form that Serena has found in her last two matches continues.
Radwanska has reached the final in that familiar way that underdogs tend to do – taking advantage of a kindly draw. She’s has faced just one top-10 opponent in Angelique Kerber. The Pole has also been suffering with ill health and cancelled her press conference yesterday due to a respiratory infection that presumably won’t aid her cause much today.
Aga might not be out there long enough for it to cause a problem, though, as her counter-punching style should play into the hands of Williams as it has done in the past. They haven’t faced each other since 2008 when Williams won for the loss of just four games. The handicap market looks good again in today’s match in the absence of value in the outright betting.
When Williams is serving like she did against Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka, she’s nigh on impossible for any opponent to cope with. The two young pretenders in the women’s game were taken down in straight sets by first serve bombs of up to 120mph. With Williams’ second serve deliveries averaging over 90mph, she was just too good.
Compare that to Radwanska’s second serve average speed of around 75mph and there’s a huge disparity in power that the Pole can only deal with by using her court craft and changing up the pace and spin of her ground strokes.
Aga will have to move Williams around, bring her in to net and feed her plenty of junk balls to win this match, but it seems unlikely she’ll have the time on the ball in which to do that, given the power coming at her from the opposite side of the court.
Williams is going for two titles today, as she’s also in the doubles final with sister Venus later on, but she should have enough energy left if this match goes the way it looks like it will.
The only thing that might affect Williams is the occasion: she now has something to lose and she’s been shaky of late, as was witnessed at Roland Garros when she started crying mid-match in her loss there.
But the same could be said of Radwanska, who is sure to be nervous in her first major final, so all things considered I think this will be a quick win for Williams.
She should get it done in less than the total minutes mark of 81.5, which is my bet at 2.05
Back under 81.5 minutes at 2.05