Sunday’s play at the WTA Sony Open features the remaining eight third round matches, with the likes of Na Li, Aga Radwanska and Venus Williams in action today.
Saturday’s WTA wagers began nicely, with what became a tough win for Kate Makarova over the ever-battling Sara Errani in a match that involved a dozen breaks of serve.
The second bet was void when Sabine Lisicki withdrew from the tournament with the flu, before Lucie Safarova failed by one game to make the handicap against Maria Sharapova when the Czech lost 6-2 in the decider.
Madison Keys 4.70 vs Na Li 1.18 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet Tv from 15.05
World number two Li looks the best of the short priced favourites to take on today, with a couple of negative factors against the Chinese in this 15.00 UK time match.
Firstly, the withdrawal of her opening round opponent Alisa Kleybanova with a virus leaves Li rather unfamiliar with match conditions here at Crandon Park, while another worry for favourite backers is the tinkering she’s doing to her service action.
The slew of double faults that Li produced at Indian Wells – 35 in her last four matches in that tournament – are an obvious by-product of this technical change and she faces an opponent today with a big game that can beat the best.
Li knows this latter fact all too well, having lost to the American at altitude on the clay of Madrid in their most recent meeting and Keys also made Li work hard a few months prior to that on outdoor hard in Sydney.
Keys was impressive in her second round win here over Dani Hantuchova and she served particularly well, winning 80% of the points behind her first ball and it could be that conditions suit Madison here with the courts being slow and therefore not exposing her very average movement too much.
As for Li, if we see the sort of wild shanks and back fence-worrying swipes that featured so heavily at times in her Indian Wells campaign there’s a very good chance that Keys can at least make a match of this.
The 2.30 on Keys +1.5 sets catches my eye here and the 3.65 on the underdog winning the opening set is tempting too.
I’m in two minds about whether to take on another short priced favourite in Aga Radwanska today too, as the Pole is struggling with a knee problem and may not be able to give her best, but she’s so dominated the match-up with opponent Elena Vesnina that I’m not sure it’s worth it.
Carla Suarez Navarro 1.82 vs Kaia Kanepi 1.94
The conditions here in Key Biscayne should in theory suit CSN, who handles the wind well and is suited by the slow hard courts at Crandon Park, but she’s yet to really show that in her results.
The Spaniard has won half of her eight matches in the main draw at this tournament and never been past the last-32, but she stands a good chance today against an opponent who admitted she’s been struggling in the heat and humidity this week.
Kanepi just sneaked past Christina McHale in two tie breaks in her second round match and stated afterwards that she would have struggled if it had gone to a decider given her recent health problems with food poisoning and a virus in the last fortnight.
Suarez Navarro can win this one by making it a grind on a slow court and drawing the power out of the tall Estonian, as she has does before in slow conditions.
Kanepi won their last two meetings on fast hard in Australia and at altitude in Madrid, but on the slow clay of Portugal CSN won one and choked away the other of their two meetings and I favour the Spaniard in the conditions today at 1.82.
Back Keys +1.5 sets to beat Li at 2.30
Back Suarez Navarro to beat Kanepi at 1.82