The semi-finals of the Generali Ladies Linz are all set for Saturday afternoon in Austria, with two intriguing matches on the schedule today.
Friday’s results were a little surprising, with Stefanie Voegele taking down Sloane Stephens and Carla Suarez Navarro making light work of Kirsten Flipkens to foil one of my bets. Ana Ivanovic overcame a 0-3 second set deficit to win a set early against Dominika Cibulkova, which was disappointing, but it was a fine effort from the Serbian.
Carla Suarez Navarro vs Angelique Kerber
Suarez Navarro’s win over Flipkens may not amount to much, as before the match the Belgian stated that she is ready for the season to end as she’s exhausted.
It would have been nice if she’d said that a little sooner, but such is tennis at this stage of the year unfortunately. I’m not too sure what we’re going to get from Kerber today either, as the German qualified for the year end championships with her easy win over Patricia Mayr-Achleitner last night and one assumes that Kerber’s goal here this week in taking a late wild card here was to do just that.
I would like to think that the number one seed would be out for revenge today over Suarez Navarro, who got the better of Kerber in a thriller in New York last month, but it’s not a certainty that she’ll turn up motivated for this now.
Kerber is the 1.35 favourite and I have no interest in prices like that at this time of year, with motivation and fitness little more than guesswork. The fact that it’s played indoors should give Kerber the edge, but I’m not sure it’s a big one and I’d be tempted with the +4.5 games on the Spaniard here at 1.83.
Stefanie Voegele vs Ana Ivanovic
The second semi-final at around 3pm UK time today features Ivanovic, who has looked the most motivated player here this week taking on Swiss world number 58 Voegele for the very first time in their careers.
Stefanie will surely be more than a touch jaded after enduring three final set battles to reach this stage, while Ana has breezed through all of her rounds here with little difficulty in straight sets.
Voegele is 4-19 against top-20 ranked players such as Ivanovic, with that win over Stephens yesterday being the fourth victory. It’s hard to really evaluate that win as Sloane looked disinterested throughout, but it will be a boost for Stefanie nonetheless.
It’s tough to see her backing that up against Ivanovic though, with the Serbian holding a 20-4 winning mark against opponents ranked at number 51 or lower in the last 12 months. All of those four losses came early on in tournaments though and now that she’s at the semi-final stage it looks a good thing that she’ll make another indoor final here.
Favourite backers will almost certainly get a more determined performance from Ana than Kerber and she looks a better short priced bet and the 2-0 to the Serb looks good here at around 1.6.
Back Ivanovic to beat Voegele 2-0 at 1.6
Follow Sean Calvert's tennis betting tips every day