The final of the Premier 5 Qatar Total Open is all set for Sunday afternoon at the International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
It certainly wasn’t a vintage day of betting in the semi-finals yesterday, with Simona Halep bluffing everyone by claiming an Achilles injury that was conspicuous by its absence in a fine win over Aga Radwanska, while Jelena Jankovic took a set to get going against Angelique Kerber and paid the price.
Angelique Kerber 2.02 vs Simona Halep 1.75 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 15.05
Halep produced a breathtaking spell of tennis from 2-5 down in the opening set against Radwanska yesterday to win eight games in a row, and 11 of the last 13, to send the Pole packing and move into her fourth Premier final.
This will be the biggest match of the 22-year-old’s career thus far having landed three smaller Premier titles, and she faces an opponent who doesn’t have a great record in finals and has won fewer Premier crowns, with just the one to Kerber’s name so far.
Indeed, Kerber’s record in all finals is only 3-6 and she’s been defeated in five of her last six finals on the tour.
The German played very well in that opening set against Jankovic on Saturday, but she wasn’t far away from allowing JJ into a deciding set that the Serbian barely deserved before pinching the 2-0 win in a tight tie break.
For me, Halep has the better temperament of the two, but thoughts to drift back to Melbourne when Simona choked the quarter-final against Domi Cibulkova and was defeated heavily as a result of nerves.
There’s also the question of the phantom Achilles issue, which must have been somewhat exaggerated by Halep and she didn’t mention it at all after her win over Radwanska during which she was running around the like the proverbial spring chicken.
As the prices suggest, this is a tricky one to call and it would take a brave punter to confidently go all in on the pre-match outright odds in these circumstances.
The pair have no recent head-to-head to go on, as the only time they met previously was in a non-tour level final back in 2009, which is irrelevant today and the match will surely hinge on Kerber’s ability to defend, which in turn depends on her fitness.
This nervy pair look hard to separate and I much prefer the chances of a swingy clash here and the over 21.5 total games at 1.80.
Back over 21.5 total games at 1.80