We have three more round matches at the WTA Championships in Singapore on Thursday, with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova among the stars in action.
Williams will be hoping for a little better than her dismal display against Simona Halep on Wednesday that cost me my only wager of the day.
The world number one lost the first eight games to the Romanian and it took well over half an hour for Williams to rouse herself against what was a fine display from Halep.
By then it was too little, too late and the only crumb of comfort in that one was that surely no-one would have called a 6-0, 6-2 win for Halep – the biggest of her career.
And therein lies the problem with these end of season knockabout events. Few if any of the players are anywhere near full fitness and it’s a little bit of guesswork as to who is actually able to produce their best at this stage of the year.
Agnieszka Radwanska vs Caroline Wozniacki
It doesn’t get any easier on Thursday, as the opening match at 06:30 UK time features two players who are fairly evenly matched on their best form.
Radwanska defeated Petra Kvitova surprisingly comfortably in her opening match in Singapore, while Wozniacki emerged victorious from a tough three setter against Maria Sharapova.
Both were decent underdogs in those wins and Wozniacki is the uneasy 1.62 favourite in what will be their 11th career meeting.
The Dane holds a 6-4 lead in that series and if she’s recovered sufficiently from that tough match with Sharapova I would expect her to edge this one.
Wozniacki’s improved serve, forehand and fitness has made her a difficult opponent for most in recent months and Aga is highly unlikely to get as many points from errors as she received from Kvitova.
Indeed, the stats for this tournament don’t make good reading in terms of the amount of points won from errors so far and Kvitova made 42 unforced in two pretty short sets.
This one could be a grind, but history suggests that it probably won’t go three, with only two of 12 round robin matches going to a third last year in Istanbul and only one of six so far in Singapore.
The 2-0 to Wozniacki appeals at 2.33, as does the 1.84 about Caro winning this one minus 2.5 games on the handicap.
Petra Kvitova vs Maria Sharapova
At around 08:00 UK time Sharapova and Kvitova go head-to-head for the ninth time, with the Russian having an edge in this career series so far with a 6-2 lead.
That, combined with Kvitova’s performance against Radwanska the other day, has seen the odds favour Sharapova in this one at around the 1.50 mark.
Several of the players have said that the court here plays both fast and slow at different times, which is very strange, and Kvitova cited that as one reason why her timing was off against Radwanska.
It could well be an improved Kvitova that we see in this clash with Sharapova and the latter looks a little short for me at the prices and I would lean towards the over 2.5 sets here at 2.32.
Not many matches go long in this event, as I mentioned earlier, but this looks like it could well be one, with much at stake for both players having lost their openers.
It’s another very tough one to call and having started at 1.62 and 1.69 in her last two against Kvitova Sharapova is a little short and if I was betting in this I’d go with a three set match at odds-against.
Finally, Williams has a chance to redeem herself quickly on Thursday, as she takes on Genie Bouchard, who has had a bit of a nightmare here so far this week.
Williams, after saying following her win over Ana Ivanovic that she, “felt pretty good,” then proceeded to say after the Halep loss that, “I'm definitely not 100% okay...I'm nowhere near 100%.”
Combined with Bouchard’s issues relating to lack of practice due to injury it looks a bit of a minefield to bet on, with the layers assuming that Williams will be in the mood to give someone a thrashing after the Halep shambles.
That seems likely and Bouchard has shown nothing so far this week to suggest that she’ll be overly competitive here and Williams surely won’t play as poorly two matches running.
Back Wozniacki –2.5 games to beat Radwanska at 1.84