The final of the 2014 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is all set for Sunday between Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic.
It’s the perfect championship match for this tournament, with the brand ambassador and two-time defending champion Sharapova facing the always popular Ivanovic at around 13.00 UK time at the Porsche Arena.
Maria Sharapova 1.32 vs Ana Ivanovic 3.20 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 13.05
Both of my best bets were winners yesterday, as the semi-finals went the way I expected, with Sharapova crushing poor old Sara Errani for the loss of just three games and bringing in the unders, while Ana was a straight sets winner over Jelena Jankovic.
It was all too easy for Maria on Saturday, with the expected thrashing of the feeble Errani, who simply has no answer to any kind of power and accuracy and the Italian was broken six times, holding serve just the once.
Clearly it will be much tougher for the Russian today, as she faces an opponent who has been improving her own often wretched serve to good effect and today will be a repeat of last year’s quarter-final here, which was won by Sharapova in three.
There was just six points difference between the two last year and I would expect the Serb to give the Russian another very good test today after coming through against JJ.
The Ivanovic forehand was her most potent weapon against Jankovic and that will be vital again today, along with the serve, which will need to be rock solid against the powerful returns of Sharapova.
Fatigue is a bit of a concern for Ivanovic backers, with this being her seventh match since April 19, and she may well fade in the latter stages and that allied with Sharapova’s very good final set record will tempt 2-1 backers of the Russian at 3.90.
Maria has dominated the career series with today’s opponent to the tune of 7-2, with the last five going the way of Sharapova and Ivanovic hasn’t beaten her rival since the French Open back in 2007 in the days when Maria was nowhere near as effective on clay as she is today.
But Ana comes here in good form, having won Monterrey before Fed Cup duty and in all she’s won 11 of her last 12 matches.
Sharapova has won the last two finals here in straight sets, but I expect this one to be a little tougher and although I fancy her to defend the title again it may take three sets and that 3.90 is well worth an interest, with the 1.32 holding no appeal for the outright Sharapova win.
Back Sharapova to beat Ivanovic 2-1 at 3.90