We’re down to the last four in Toronto at the 2013 Rogers Cup, and it’s semi-finals day on Saturday in this Premier 5 event.
Yesterday’s wagers yielded one winner from my two bets, with Aga Radwanska and Sara Errani comfortably going past the overs mark, while Domi Cibulkova was unlucky not to take the first set against Na Li.
First up today at 6pm UK are Na Li and Sorana Cirstea, who had a good win over a woeful Petra Kvitova. After taking the first set, the latter completely lost it and could barely find the court for the rest of the match. Cirstea tried her best to choke though and much of the credit for her win must go to coach Darren Cahill.
The Romanian is a 3.40 shot to make the final at the expense of the Chinese today, which is a price that I make about right. They’ve met on five previous occasions, with Li winning four of them. Their most recent match-up was on hard in Melbourne this year, when Li was a comfortable winner.
Cirstea has an awful record in semi-finals (two wins and 11 losses) and hasn’t won a set in her last five straight. But she has improved since the intensive fitness coaching in the last months and may present more of a challenge to Li than in the past. The first set will be huge here and I’ll side with Cirstea with a 2.5 game start in set one on the handicap at 1.63.
The second semi at 11.30pm UK time sees Serena Williams face Radwanska for the sixth time in total and the second time on hard courts. Their most recent clash was in Miami on slower hard in the spring, when Williams won very comfortably. The American has dropped just the one set to the Pole lifetime, which was in the Wimbledon final of 2012. This is a good match-up for Williams, who has few problems hitting through Aga.
Serena is yet to be even vaguely tested here this week in Toronto and Aga’s game has very little to worry Williams, who should get this done in under 18.5 games at 1.70.
Back Cirstea +2.5 games in set one at 1.63
Back under 18.5 games in Williams vs Radwanska at 1.70