The remaining two quarter-finals at the 2014 BNP Paribas Open take place today at Indian Wells, as the ladies’ tournament nears its climax.
Wednesday’s best bets were both winners as Simona Halep had few problems dispatching Casey Dellaqua in straight sets and the unders was comfortable in a 6-2, 6-2 win for the Romanian.
My second bet also proved successful when Aga Radwanska and Jelena Jankovic slugged out a two-and-a-half hour battle that saw the overs home with few concerns.
Play begins at 18.00 UK time on Thursday with a repeat of this year’s Australian Open final.
Na Li 1.43 vs Dominika Cibulkova 2.75 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 18.05
I said earlier in the week that the smaller players are, in my view, at a disadvantage here at Indian Wells, with the high bounce of the ball likely to cause them more problems than the taller players and so I’m surprised that Domi has made it this far.
The diminutive Slovak had a 5-6 record here coming into this event, with a best finish of a last-16 showing in 2011, but she’s carried the confidence gained from making the final in Melbourne through to here via Acapulco and she has a chance for revenge today over her Australian Open conqueror Li.
It’s a tough ask for Domi though, as she has a 0-5 head-to-head record to overcome against Li and she’s won just the one set of the 11 the pair have contested in a series that goes back to 2008.
Li was injured this time last year, but she has a decent record at Indian Wells of 16-6, however she is yet to better the semi-finals and she’ll see this year’s event as a real opportunity being the highest ranked player in the draw.
The Chinese star likes the hot conditions here and I expect her to continue her sequence over Cibulkova, but it could be tight, as there have been three tie breaks in their last three meetings – all of which have been won by Li.
Domi comes into this at a career best ranking and with a point to prove and she’s pushed Li to a breaker in the opening set of their last two meetings, which makes the over 9.5 games in set one at 2.30 of interest.
I also like the 2-1 Li win at 3.90 and both are worthy of consideration, as the 1.43 on Li holds little appeal.
Flavia Pennetta 1.61 vs Sloane Stephens 2.28 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 22.05
Flavia has been playing some superb tennis this week, but should she be as short as 1.61 against Stephens in a big quarter-final match?
I’m not too sure that she should given her problems with nerves and a record of 3-7 in Premier level quarter finals and 1-4 in major quarter-finals, which leaves a lot to be desired and she’s not a solid 1.61 chance in view of that in my opinion.
Stephens has been much overhyped by American media desperate for someone other than Serena Williams to rely on to be competitive in the latter stages of big tournaments, and so far she has failed to deliver.
At just 20-years-old she has plenty of time on her side though and her main problem this season has been a wrist injury, which are tough to shake off and hard to get over mentally.
It could certainly be levelled at Stephens that she has shown a poor attitude at times, but this week, at home, under the spotlight she’s displayed good mental strength and determination and I can’t side with Pennetta at what I see as a poor value price in this one.
I don’t believe that Flavia can play her best when the pressure is on in big events and her record shows that, but I don’t entirely trust Sloane either and this one has the feel of a swingy sort of affair to me.
Their three previous meetings have all been quick wins for one or the other and this could be the exception.
The over 21.5 games at 1.90 holds the most appeal to me in this match, with a three set encounter looking likely.
Back Li to beat Cibulkova 2-1 at 3.90