The semi-finals of the 2014 Sony Open are in play at the Crandon Park Tennis Centre on Thursday, with play starting from 17.00 UK time today.
My best bet from Wednesday survived three match points and also a 5-2 deficit in the final set as Domi Cibulkova entered the top-10 in the WTA rankings by beating Aga Radwanska.
Those on the 2-0 to Na Li to beat Caro Wozniacki would also have profited in the other quarter final, as the Chinese emerged a 7-5, 7-5 winner over the Dane.
Serena Williams 1.17, Maria Sharapova 4.90 – BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 17.05 GMT
This looks a match-up that is likely to strike the fear of God into Sharapova, who has been put to the sword by Williams on the vast majority of occasions that they’ve faced each other across the net.
And coming into the match not at her best after an injury lay off is hardly likely to make her relish taking on her nemesis again and particularly given the way that Williams has improved match-by-match in Miami this week.
Both players have superb records here at the Sony Open, with Serena a six-time champion and reigning title holder, while Sharapova has been a beaten finalist on five occasions, the most recent being last year’s loss to today’s opponent.
The match-up centres around two similarly aggressive players with the same sort of ideas and desire to really get on top of their opponent with thunderous hitting – it’s just that Williams is better at it and can defend better than Sharapova.
This leads invariably to Williams getting the first strike of the rally in ahead of Maria and unless the American misses rather a lot, which is unlikely, it generally ends up in a comfortable win for the world number one, who also has the advantage of a considerably better serve.
Serena has now won the last 14 matches between these two and she’s never lost to Sharapova on a hard court with only two sets dropped in the 18 they’ve contested on this surface.
The Williams minus 5.5 games on the handicap and the under 19.5 games appeal here, as does the 2-0 to Williams at 1.50.
Dominika Cibulkova 2.67, Na Li 1.45 - BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 01.05 GMT
At around 01.00 UK time on Friday there’s a repeat of this year’s Australian Open final and of their Indian Wells clash of three weeks ago, so there’s plenty of form to go on in this match-up too.
Li was a little fortunate to get over the line in that Indian Wells meeting and although the Slovak has lost all six of their career meetings she can cause problems for the erratic Chinese player tonight.
Boosted by a first ever foray into the top-10 of women’s tennis and by that fine comeback win over Radwanska Domi will certainly be on hand to take advantage of any dips in the level of Li.
If the world number two comes out and plays her best tennis from the word go and maintains it she’ll win in straight sets, but she rarely lasts a match without some sort of loss of concentration and form.
The over 21.5 games looks good here at 1.88, with their two meetings this season both being close apart from the second set in Melbourne and that looks a better value choice than the 1.45 on Li to win outright.
Back under 19.5 games in Williams/Sharapova at 2.00
Back over 21.5 games in Li/Cibulkova at 1.88