The final of the 2014 Generali Ladies Linz is all set for Sunday at the TipsArena in Austria between Camila Giorgi and Karolina Pliskova.
The Italian landed a comfortable winner for this column yesterday when she overpowered Karin Knapp and covered the minus 3.5 game handicap in the process.
My second bet was thwarted by Anna-Lena Friedsam for the umpteenth time this week, as the German took a set from Pliskova, who I had expected to win in straight sets.
Camila Giorgi vs Karolina Pliskova
We start at around 12:30 UK time on Sunday with a championship match that the organisers were probably praying for yesterday, after all of the big draws went out early.
It should be a very entertaining affair, with both of these players utilising a very attacking approach and first strike tennis should be the order of the day today.
The crowd will see plenty of stunning winners and a few in the back fence, but it should be a good contest and it’s not an easy one to call as the prices suggest.
This pair have met only once previously and that was in Dubai on quickish outdoor hard back in week eight of this season in qualies and Pliskova won that one in straight sets.
Pliskova served much the better of the two that day, with Giorgi coughing up eight double faults in 10 service games and much will depend on the serve again on Sunday.
The Czech’s delivery helped her out of a few tight situations against Friedsam on Saturday and she’ll need that to be firing on Sunday if she wants to land her second title of the season.
Our two finalists don’t tend to play close sets, with only one set of the 17 they’ve played this week in Linz going over 10 games and only one of their eight combined matches going over 22.5 total games.
I get the impression with the way that these two play that it will be over in fewer than 22.5 total games again and that looks a safer option than trying to pick a winner in what is essentially a 50/50 match.
Giorgi is yet to win a title on the WTA Tour and after playing four very good matches in Linz this week I’m not sure I trust her at 1.75 to produce another against a very dangerous opponent.
Pliskova is into her third tour level final since the US Open and she’s very much match tough right now if perhaps a little jaded after a lot of tennis lately and I prefer one of these two winning quickly rather than taking a punt on one or the other in what looks a bit of a coin toss.
History is on our side with that bet too, as there hasn’t been a three set final in Linz since Nadia Petrova beat Patty Schnyder in three back in 2005.
Back under 22.5 total games in Giorgi/Pliskova at 1.76