We’re down to the remaining three matches in week two of the 2014 WTA Tour tonight, with the final taking place in Sydney and semi-finals in Hobart.
Last night’s bet was a comfortable winner when Garbine Muguruza defeated Kirsten Flipkens in straight sets in a match that went the way I expected, with the Flipper slice not being effective against the power of the Spaniard.
Elsewhere in Hobart, Sam Stosur scored a rare routine win at home over Bojana Jovanovski, while Klara Zakopalova and Estrella Cabeza-Candela were also winners.
Tsvetana Pironkova vs Angelique Kerber (BET and STREAM LIVE on Unibet TV from 08.35 GMT)
This is not the Sydney final that many people would have predicted before the tournament began, with 150-1 shot Pironkova making her first tour level championship match in a field that including many of the world’s top players.
The week before a major can sometimes bring up shock results, but the quick conditions here in Sydney have certainly aided the Bulgarian, who enjoyed a fine win over Petra Kvitova last night in straight sets.
Kvitova’s defeat was surprising given her form this week, but she may well have underestimated Pironkova and paid the price.
Kerber continued her impressive form with a comfortable victory over Madison Keys and she comes into this final as a warm order at 1.22, but the German’s record in finals isn’t great and she is yet to win a title on outdoor hard – all of her three WTA Tour crowns have been won on indoor hard.
Angelique has adopted a more attacking style this campaign after linking up with Benjamin Ebrahimzadeh at the end of last season and it’s worked well for her at this very early stage, however the world number nine was beaten comfortably by tonight’s opponent in their last meeting in Doha on outdoor hard two years ago.
Nerves may play a part here with Pironkova, but if she overcomes them she has a shot here and Kerber has lost four of her last five finals, so she’ll be edgy too. The 1.22 looks very short to me and siding with the underdog looks a better option here. Pironkova +1.5 sets at 2.16 looks a good option in this one.
Over in Hobart Stosur is a 1.38 shot against Zakopalova, who continued her run with a nice win over Alison Riske last night and if the Czech can keep her emotions under control she has a shot at 2.95 against what will be a nervy opponent.
The pair have met on four previous occasions, with Stosur leading 3-1, but I can’t be backing her at a price like 1.38 in these circumstances.
Garbine Muguruza vs Estrella Cabeza-Candela (BET and STREAM LIVE on Unibet TV from 06.35 GMT)
Muguruza faces Cabeza-Candela for the fourth time in their careers, with the former in fine touch at the moment and the 20-year-old is consequently 1.26 to prevail.
Cabeza-Candela is into her only her second WTA Tour level semi and she’ll surely be the more fatigued of the two after a long battle with Monica Niculsecu last night. She isn’t playing in Melbourne though, so she can leave it all out on the court in this one.
Muguruza has impressed again after sorting out her ankle problem and the feeling is that she’ll have too much power for her opponent today, as she has done all week here in not dropping a set in six matches.
The 20-year-old has a good shot at landing this title and I fancy her to ease through this one in straight sets at 1.62.
Back Pironkova +1.5 sets to beat Kerber at 2.16
Back Muguruza to beat Cabeza-Cabdela at 1.62
Read more from Unibet columnist Sean Calvert.