The last four ladies in contention for the Qatar Total Open 2014 title are in action on semi-final Saturday at the International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha.
Two of the four quarter-finals on Friday went the way I had predicted, but unfortunately the one I chose to bet on didn’t, as Jelena Jankovic recorded a comfortable win over a disappointing Petra Kvitova.
Indeed, all four quarter-finals were very one-sided, with each victor prevailing by at least a nine-game margin, which made for a very quick day of tennis in Doha.
Today’s play begins at 14.35 UK time with Jankovic facing Angelique Kerber.
Angelique Kerber 2.16 vs Jelena Jankovic 1.67 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 14.35
Opening singles proceedings on Centre Court are Kerber and JJ, who will face each other over the net for only the third time in their careers.
Kerber had an even more comfortable day than I had expected on Friday when facing a fatigued Petra Cetkovska, who offered very little after a tough week and the German showed no mercy in a 6-1, 6-0 victory in only 50 minutes.
So, she’ll be in decent shape for this semi-final having not dropped a set this week, but she did play Fed Cup last week, which may have taken a little out of her.
This pair met recently on outdoor hard in Brisbane, where JJ ran out a 2-1 winner in the quarters, and the Serb has been playing so well this week after having several weeks away from competition after the Australian Open.
Jelena no longer plays Fed Cup, so she should have a little more in the tank than her opponent and she can be very tough to beat when her confidence is up, as it is right now.
Kerber’s record in semi finals is 9-13, winning four of her last five, while JJ has a 30-33 record in last four matches of which she’s lost four of her last five.
It may well be Jelena’s turn today though and she looks the call at 1.67 in what could be a tough clash.
Simona Halep 2.22 vs Agnieszka Radwanska 1.64 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 15.35
The vastly experienced Pole takes on 22-year-old Romanian in the second match of the day and I have to go with the big match knowhow of Aga in this one.
Radwanska has played 30 Premier level semi-finals in her career (12-18 record), while Halep is into just her sixth, but she has won four of her first five.
Another factor in this one could be physical conditioning, and Halep has complained of an Achilles problem that she says is painful when she runs, which is surely not a great sign ahead of a clash with a player who makes as many balls as Aga.
The injury makes this a tough match to really analyse in any great detail and their past encounters don’t hold a great deal of relevance today, with Halep having improved out of sight in the last season, but likely to struggle this afternoon.
That said, if Simona is unable to run without suffering discomfort she will surely retire rather than risking months on the sidelines with an Achilles problem, so the 1.64 on Aga looks good to me.
Back Jankovic to beat Kerber at 1.67
Back Radwanska to beat Halep at 1.64