The Open GDF Suez has been little short of a disaster area for punters all week long and it continued yesterday, with Kiki Bertens taking down Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova getting beaten by Kristina Mladenovic. Sara Errani had to come from match point down against Carla Suarez Navarro to prevent another favourite from defeat in an amazing tournament that has now seen 14 favourites beaten in 24 matches. By way of comparison, just nine went down in the entire tournament 12 months ago.
So, in today’s semi-finals we have two Kikis – Bertens the lucky loser and Mladenovic the wild card. Both are in with a chance of reaching the final against Errani and Barthel respectively – particularly the way this tournament has gone. There certainly seems little point in backing either Errani at 1.40 or Barthel at 1.38, as surely at least one will be beaten.
I think a decent play is to back Bertens to take at least a set from Errani. The Italian has shown little so far this season and having received a virtual bye against Magdalena Rybarikova, who retired injured, she had to really pull out all the stops to defeat Suarez Navarro, who is certainly not at home on indoor hard courts.
On this quickish Paris surface there is a good chance that Bertens can hit through Errani if she continues to play as she has done all week. The 1.75 about the Dutch world number 65 with a 1.5 set start on the handicap looks the best bet today.
Barthel has been in fine form as well this week and she should be winning against Mladenovic, but it’s hard to discount the new crowd favourite after wins over Julia Goerges, Yanina Wickmayer and Kvitova.
The German has prevailed in two of their three meetings, which have all taken place indoors, but I certainly wouldn’t be interested in backing Barthel at 1.38 against a player on a hot streak like Mladenovic.
Best bet: Back Bertens +1.5 sets to beat Errani at 1.75