Thursday’s semi-final wager at the 2013 Sony Open was another winner, with Maria Sharapova crushing Jelena Jankovic as expected. Jankovic’s cause wasn’t helped by the crazy scheduling that saw her play a late night three setter and be back on court 12 hours later, but Sharapova was in fine form and not to be denied. Our unders bet never looked in doubt right from the off.
But Maria had the kind of opponent that she loves in Jankovic – someone who tries to trade with her but doesn’t have the power to do so. Sharapova won’t be getting that today in the match-up from hell for her – a final against Serena Williams, which kicks off at 4pm UK time,
Serena dished out a drubbing of her own against defending champion Aga Radwanska on Thursday night, handing out a first set bagel to the Pole and showing her best form all tournament.
Somewhat bizarrely, the post match interviewers declined to ask Williams a single question about the fitness problems she’s had this week and instead opted to ask her vitally important questions about the Miami Dolphins and the Superbowl. Assuming that she’s close to fully fit it’s very hard to make a case for Sharapova, the Russian having lost ten in a row to Williams – the last six in straight sets.
Williams has won the last four on outdoor hard, indoor hard, grass and clay and the last time they met here in Miami Serena won 6-1, 6-1. So unless the American is struggling, which didn’t appear to be the case, I can’t see much changing.
Maria’s bullying style of play simply doesn’t work against an opponent who can outbully her and Sharapova’s record of never having won this title despite reaching four previous finals seems likely to continue.
Indeed, the Russian has never won a set in the final in Miami, losing to Radwanska, Vika Azarenka, Sveta Kuznetsova and Kim Clijsters all in straight sets. I would think that Williams will get this done in under 21.5 games at around 1.60
Best bet: Back under 21.5 total games at 1.60