It's the final day of the tournaments in Bastad and Bad Gastein, with championships matches take place at both venues.
Serena Williams’ level in the opening set of her semi-final in Bastad against Klara Zakopalova pretty much ended my overs hopes in that match, as the American served up a bagel set. Even then the Czech was a single hold away from taking it past the 17.5 games mark, but she failed in the end. My other wager yesterday was just as unfortunate, Elina Svitolina coming out on the wrong end of a tight match with Andrea Hlavackova in which the former scored more points.
Williams faces home hope Johanna Larsson in Sunday’s final in Bastad at 1pm UK time. I have attempted to take Serena on a few times this week but won’t be doing it in a final against an opponent as limited as Larsson.
Serena has faced Johanna once this year and came away with a two and two win on hard. I would expect something similar today, with the crowd’s assistance the only hint of a hope that Larsson may have here. Williams will win 2-0 and probably very comfortably, but there is no value to speak of in terms of a bet in this one.
Over in Bad Gastein another home hope is in the final and this one has a much better chance when Yvonne Meusberger takes on Hlavackova at 12pm UK time. This is Meusberger’s second WTA Tour final in as many weeks. Having lost out to Simona Halep in Budapest she’ll be gunning for this title in her home country of Austria.
I said yesterday that Hlavackova has had a very helpful draw this week but she did play well at times on Saturday in an event she’s done well at before in doubles. But this is her first final at tour level in singles and indeed this event represents her first time past the last eight at this level.
Meusberger has been here before, having lost the final here in 2007 to Fran Schiavone and you have to feel that her defensive game will draw the errors out of the impatient and occasionally errant Hlavackova sooner or later. The 30-year-old Austrian is a tad short in the betting, but I like her chances of covering a -3.5 game handicap at around 1.70.
Best bet: Back Meusberger to beat Hlavackova 2-0 at 1.70