It’s final day at the 2013 Coupe Rogers after a couple of semi-finals that didn’t go the way most would have predicted in Toronto last night.
I managed to escape with one winner from my two best bets, with Sorana Cirstea not only covering the first set handicap, but cruising to the 6-1 win and going on to take the match over an out-of-sorts Na Li.
The second semi was a strange affair, with Serena Williams struggling with some sort of stomach issue. At times she was just awful, but she managed to do enough to beat Aga Radwanska, for whom Serena is a nightmare match-up.
So it’s a first ever Premier 5 final for Cirstea. She will need all the help she’s been getting from Adidas coach Darren Cahill if she’s not to collapse in a bundle of emotional turmoil in her third career meeting with Williams.
The first two didn’t go too well for the Romanian, who has taken a sum total of five games from the American in those meetings. On previous form this looks simple for Serena, but she’ll need to play a lot better than last night if she wants to beat an improving Cirstea as comfortably again.
Sori has benefitted, as I said a few weeks ago, from intensive fitness training of late and looks quicker and more confident as a result. The only problem is her questionable temperament and she may well have a meltdown if she starts badly this evening.
Hopefully, the ever calm Cahill will be able to talk some sense into her, as he’s done well so far. Her tennis is good enough at the moment for Cirstea to be able to perform better against Serena than in the past.
The market clearly thinks Williams will walk it, but I’m going to side with the improving Cirstea on the handicap and hope that Cahill can do the business with her again during the match. The +7.5 games looks a good bet at 1.62 here.
Best bet: Back Cirstea +7.5 games to beat Williams at 1.62