A dominant display from Serena Williams yesterday made it five winners from six bets this week in Doha. An under-the-weather Williams was too much for Maria Sharapova, who hates the match-up with the American. Once she went an early break down, the Russian’s belief left her and she was error-ridden on the ground.
Williams will return to the ranking of number one female tennis player in the world when the rankings come out tomorrow regardless of what happens in the Doha final today against current number one Vika Azarenka and so we have the perfect final to savour.
It’s another match-up that Williams has enjoyed over the years, with an 11-1 career series lead over Azarenka. She’s won the last nine in a row, which makes her a warm favourite at around 1.38 today.
Serena will want to win this one to prove a point that she is the rightful world number one and I would expect her to do just that. But I don’t think it will be comfortable and I’m happy to take on the over 2.5 sets at around 2.60 in this one.
As well as Williams played yesterday she didn’t look 100% to me at all and much of Sharapova’s defeat was in the mental game, having such a poor record against Serena.
Williams wasn’t chasing down every ball and appeared to be saving something, presumably due to the virus she’s been fighting. Knowing Serena she’ll probably shrug that off and go on to win, but this for me represents a decent chance for Azarenka to make a statement of her own today.
The Australian Open champion will need to serve much better than she did against Williams in their last meeting in Istanbul, when she threw in nine doubles, but much will depend on how Williams serves today. The Williams second serve will be Azarenka’s attack point and if she can get a look at enough of those today then she has a shot in this.
There’s little value in the 1.38 on Williams and I think this one will go to a decider, so the total sets looks the bet.
Best bet: Back over 2.5 total sets in Williams vs Azarenka at 2.60