The 2014 WTA Sony Open has reached the quarter final stage, with the opening two last eight clashes on the schedule at Crandon Park on Tuesday.
Monday was another of those days of WTA betting that couldn’t possibly have been predicted as Ana Ivanovic was blown off the court after winning the opening set of her encounter with Petra Kvitova.
After winning 100 percent of her first serve points and not facing a break point in set one Ivanovic didn’t win another game in the match, as the rarely spotted peak Kvitova arrived from nowhere and hit the Serb off the court.
A shell shocked Ana contributed to her own downfall by throwing in nine double faults in sets two and three in which her game collapsed amidst an onslaught from the unpredictable Czech.
To make things even more galling the other bet I had on my shortlist of Domi Cibulkova ended up winning, as the Slovak took down Venus Williams.
Both Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are in action today, as they both look to improve their excellent records in this tournament, with play starting at 17.00 UK time on Tuesday.
Maria Sharapova 1.68, Petra Kvitova 2.12 (BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 17.05 GMT)
The first quarter final on Stadium Court is one of those clashes that I should be getting paid danger money to try and predict.
Both players have fluctuated somewhere between a one or two out of 10 and in Kvitova’s case not far off 10 out of 10 within individual matches this week, so quite frankly it’s anyone’s guess as to the kind of level we can expect from either today.
Consequently the layers have offered Sharapova as a 1.60 shot, with the Russian perhaps the more likely of the two to perform at a more consistent level throughout the course of what has the making of an up and down three set encounter.
The Russian at least can offer up the reasoning of coming back from injury and being in her own words “a work in progress” at the moment and she was poor at the start of her 2-1 win over Kirsten Flipkens yesterday.
Any repeat of that sort of start would lead to a pretty heavy loss if we see the Kvotova from the last two sets of the Ivanovic match.
The key word there being ‘if’ of course, as Petra began that match in error mode and for me these two are just too inconsistent right now to bet with any real confidence.
I could make a case for a whole host of bets in this one, but essentially it boils down to who turns up and for how long. The over 2.5 sets looks about the best option at 2.33 in an impossible to predict encounter.
Serena Williams 1.13, Angelique Kerber 6.00 12 (BET and WATCH live on Unibet TV from 17.05 GMT)
This is a match that should be a little more straightforward in the sense that we generally know what to expect from this pair and can prepare accordingly.
That said, this is WTA, and Kerber went from having to fight and battle and scrap to overturn a big deficit and what looked to be certain defeat against Shuai Peng in round one to almost delivering a double bagel in the very next round over Tsvetana Pironkova.
I have good memories of tipping Kerber to beat Williams in these very pages back in August 2012 in Cincy when the German landed a very nice priced straight sets win over the American, but it seems unlikely that will be repeated when they meet at 23.30 UK time tonight.
Williams was struggling at that point in time and after a slow start here in Miami this week she looks to be edging closer to her best form and she says she “loves playing here in Miami”.
That can be backed up by her 55-5 record at Crandon Park, while it hasn’t been such a good tournament for Kerber, whose record here is currently 6-6.
Serena has beaten Kerber twice on indoor hard since that Cincy clash and for me that’s Angelique’s best surface and where the vast majority of her titles at all levels have been achieved.
The German’s record against players ranked higher than her over the last two and a third seasons reads 10-21 and in her most recent 16 against such opposition she has just three wins – two over Aga Radwanska and one over Jelena Jankovic.
On this slow surface she’ll have to spend too much time defending the barrage from Serena and a tight three set win over Kate Makarova may also have sapped her energy in hot and humid conditions.
I like the under 19.5 games in this one, with a comfortable Serena success likely.
Best Bet: Back under 19.5 total games in Williams/Kerber at 1.75