It’s semi-finals day in the WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia on Saturday, with two tight-looking encounters on the schedule for today.
Garbiñe Muguruza faces Andrea Petkovic first up before Carla Suarez Navarro and Flavia Pennetta contest the second semi final.
My best bet on Friday was a winner when Muguruza eased past Alizé Cornet and covered the handicap in the process in a 6-3, 7-5 victory for the Spaniard.
Garbiñe Muguruza vs Andrea Petkovic
This second career meeting between this pair sees Muguruza start as a 1.52 favourite and probably rightly so based on the respective form of the two over the closing stages of the season.
She certainly seems to have found conditions here in Sofia to her liking and save for one set against Pennetta when her radar went off she’s been the best player in this tournament so far.
Petkovic has happily returned to form herself in the last couple of matches after enduring a wretched time prior to coming here and also in the opening match of the tournament when she was beaten by Suarez Navarro.
Her wins over Domi Cibulkova and Tsvetana Pironkova will have given her some of her lost confidence back, but I take Muguruza to edge this one – quite possibly in three sets.
Petko emerged successful in three when they met indoors in Luxembourg, but that was two years ago and Muguruza can hit enough winners on this surface with her power to turn that result around.
Flavia Pennetta vs Carla Suarez Navarro
The 17:00 clash between Pennetta and CSN looks a classic 50/50 call and even the layers can’t separate the pair with both players priced up at 1.88.
That gives a fairly substantial clue as to how tough this one is to call and generally in these situations it pays to side with your choice heavily, so the 2-0 win to either player appeals the most here.
Pennetta had won three straight against CSN from 2010 to 2012, but the Spaniard was a three set winner in their only meeting this season, which was at the China Open in Beijing on outdoor hard a month ago.
The Italian won a dead rubber against alternate Karolina Pliskova last night, while CSN got the 2-0 win she needed against Pironkova that sent her into the semis, so they both have momentum coming into this.
If forced I’d probably side with the 2-0 to Pennetta at 2.95, but with Suarez Navarro the same price for a 2-0 win to her I’d side with whoever you choose in two here for the value rather than the 1.88 outright.
Back Muguruza to beat Petkovic 2-1 at 4.10