The final round robin matches in the WTA Championships take place on Friday in Istanbul, with semi-final places up for grabs.
Yesterday was another profitable day at this year’s championships for this column, with Li Na landing a 3.85 winner by defeating Jelena Jankovic by two sets to one, while Serena Williams was in a class above in the late match and Petra Kvitova was unable to push the match past the overs mark.
The semi-final qualifying scenarios in the Red Group are simple – Williams has already qualified, while the winner of today’s clash between Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber will join her.
In the White Group it’s far more complicated, with Vika Azarenka, Li and Jankovic all able to qualify today, although for Li it’s simple – beat Azarenka and she’s through.
And that is the first match on the card today at 3pm UK time, with Azarenka a shaky-looking favourite at around 1.82 based on the way she’s been playing.
This looks a horrible match to bet on, with Azarenka very much out of form and Li probably tired mentally and physically after that battle with Jankovic. I’ll leave that one alone.
Petra Kvitova vs Angelique Kerber
The second match at the Sinan Erdem today at around 5pm or later UK time features the two best lefties in the world going head-to-head for a place in the semi-final.
It looks a tight call, but have the layers placed too much emphasis on Kerber’s easy win over a jaded and demoralised Aga Radwanska last night?
I would suggest that they have, with Kvitova able to do nothing against a top form Williams last night. Petra did play well when she had the chance, which wasn’t often and the Czech was good against a more committed Radwanska first up here.
Kvitova has a better record of 7-1 against fellow lefties this season, while Kerber is 2-3 and Petra has an outstanding record of 34-4 in all competitions on indoor hard since the start of 2011. This slow surface doesn’t affect her game at all, as she can hit right through it.
The head-to-head between the pair reads 2-2, with their only meeting this season coming recently in the Tokyo final on quick outdoor hard, which Petra won in three sets.
Interestingly, this will be their first meeting on indoor hard and as underdog I think there’s a touch of value on Kvitova here. I also like the 2-1 Kvitova at 4.30 for bigger priced punters, as she rarely does things the easy way.
The final match on the card is Jankovic facing Sara Errani, who is presumably still struggling with the calf injury. It seems logical that she won’t risk it too much, with doubles and Fed Cup offering likely success.
There may be some value on Errani on the handicap, as she does fight, but there are too many doubts in that match to make it betting material.
Back Kvitova to beat Kerber at 1.98
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