Polish tennis fans will be out in force to support their favourite Aga Radwanska on Saturday as she headlines the semi finals of the BNP Paribas Katowice Open.
Radwanska is scheduled first on Centre Court on Saturday at 13.00 UK time after Friday’s wager in Poland disappointed, when Magda Rybarikova, after a very bright start, allowed Carla Suarez Navarro to dictate play and move her around, which was not going to get it done against what was a much-improved CSN from the previous round.
Rybarikova does have the perfect game for quickish indoor courts and to allow someone like Suarez Navarro to gain the upper hand in these circumstances was poor from the Slovak.
Suarez Navarro is in action against Camila Giorgi tonight, but first up it’s Radwanska.
Alizé Cornet 5.40, Agnieszka Radwanska 1.15
Aga didn’t play in her home event last year, but she has been well supported at the Spodek Arena this time around and she brings a 4-0 head-to-head record into today’s clash with Cornet.
I said yesterday in my preview of the Cornet/Koukalova match that we should expect an up and down affair, with the overs the best bet and both assertions proved correct, as we saw a 6-2, 0-6, 6-2 win for Alizé that only just landed the overs, but was certainly swingy.
It’s not often that Aga gets to play in front of her home crowd – this week is the first time since Fed Cup back in 2010 and she lost to Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez that previous time on carpet – and she did show some signs of nerves yesterday, as perhaps could be expected
That being the case again on Saturday would lead me to believe that this fifth career meeting between the pair could well be closer than the 1.15 about Aga would suggest.
There’s also this year’s form that nudges me in the direction of a tightish battle here, with Alizé having chalked up a decent 16-8 record on the season so far, while Radwanska’s is 21-6, but the Pole is also without a title so far in 2014.
She’s produced some quite poor stuff at times this year when expected to win – most notably against Flavia Pennetta on a couple of occasions – and she’s lost three times as 1.25 favourite or shorter already this season.
That hadn’t happened at all at this stage of the campaign 12 months ago and it only occurred twice in the whole of that 2013 season, so she’s not been a short-priced jolly to trust of late.
Aga seems far too short for me here and the +5.5 games at 1.80 on Cornet and the +1.5 sets on the French player at 2.45 both hold appeal in this one.
Carla Suarez Navarro 1.94, Camila Giorgi 1.82
At 17.00 UK time Suarez Navarro meets Giorgi for the first time and this one will be a real clash of styles, with the Italian going for everything with her aggressive style, while CSN will try and rally and break Camila’s game down.
In these conditions it should lead to a win for the Italian, who has arguably been the most impressive player here this week so far, and you just don’t know what you’ll get from the unpredictable Spaniard across the net.
She was very good last night, but she can be hit off the court in these kinds of conditions and when she does lose she often loses heavily, as she’s not the toughest of competitors at times.
If Camila carries on the way she has been playing all week then I would expect her to take this one and continue Suarez Navarro’s run of never having made a final on indoor hard.
Back Cornet +5.5 games to beat Radwanska at 1.80
Back Giorgi to beat Suarez Navarro at 1.80