The final of the WTA AEGON Classic is all set for Sunday at the Edgbaston Priory Club, with Ana Ivanovic looking for her first career grass court title.
Saturday’s best bet was looking all the way a winner when Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Casey Dellaqua dodged several rain delays and ended up in a first set tie break, but the overs wager was scuppered when the Aussie fell away tamely in set two.
We start our final at around 13:00 UK time on Sunday after the doubles final, weather permitting.
Ana Ivanovic vs Barbora Zahlavova Strycova
After the rain of Saturday the forecast suggests that we should be OK on Sunday, with only a 10% chance of rain to spoil proceedings today.
Zahlavova Strycova would probably secretly be hoping for a couple of rain delays to put Ivanovic off her stride after the Czech handled Saturday’s delays the better of her and Dellaqua, but she may have to rely solely on her tennis if the forecast is to be believed.
And she’s been playing some very good all-court stuff this week, but whether it will be enough to get the better of a champion like Ivanovic is another question.
It hasn’t been in the two prior meetings between the pair, both on hard courts, and each was an easy win for Ivanovic, who lost just four and five games in total in those 2010 and 2011 encounters.
That isn’t overly relevant in today’s grass meeting though and one would think that if BZS was ever to have half a chance of beating Ana it would be on grass – the Serb’s weakest surface.
But Ana has produced arguably her best grass court tennis this week and it’s very difficult to see how Babs can beat her without a major weapon to speak of, unless she can coax Ivanovic into a multitude of errors.
There is a significant gap in class between this pair and the Czech’s record against top-20 ranked opponents shows this, with one win in her last 21 matches against such opponents.
That sole win came against a slumping Roberta Vinci in Miami this spring and I can’t make a case for the Czech winning this.
She could well push Ana with a 6.5 game start, but it’s a little on the short side at 1.65 and I’m leaning towards the over 8.5 total games in set one being the better bet at the same price.
BZS has made three finals on the tour prior to this one and emerged victorious once, while Ivanovic is into her 20th tour final and she has a very good 13-6 at the moment.
Of course, this is her first such final on grass and she’ll be very determined to win it on that basis and although I fully expect her to do just that she can’t really be backed at 1.11.
Any repeat of the slow start she made against Zhang in Saturday’s semi final will make the first set overs looks very decent and for me, that’s the most appealing bet in a match that should become Ana’s first grass court title win.
Back over 8.5 games in set one at 1.66