The contrast between Sabine Lisicki and Marion Bartoli’s route to the decider couldn’t be greater and the German looks to have the higher quality form as the pair face off for the Venus Rosewater Dish.
Lisicki has endured three tumultuous three-setters in the last four rounds, knocking out three players seeded inside the top 15 – including red-hot pre-tournament jolly Serena Williams – in the process.
Bartoli’s route has been far more serene, with Sloane Stephens (17) the highest seeded opposition she’s faced on a surge to the final which has denied any of her six adversaries the chance to get a set on the scoreboard.
The German has beaten rivals of a superior quality to her foe en route to the final and she has also had the better of the finalists’ career head-to-head, winning three matchups to her opponent’s one, including a quarter final victory at the All England Club in 2011.
That three set win – her third successive triumph over Bartoli – showed all the see-saw qualities that we have come to expect from the German, who this year followed up dominant first set victories with tame second set surrenders against Agnieszka Radwanska and Serena Williams.
Her opponent – regardless of the relative quality of the opposition she has faced – is in some serious form on the green stuff, winning all seven matches she’s played in this segment of the season in straight sets.
The 4/6 about her taking at least a set off the capricious Lisicki looks like the standout bet of a final which has the potential to go either way.
Should she triumph Bartoli would become the first women in the Open era to win a Grand Slam without having faced an opponent seeded amongst the top 10 and given Lisicki has shown great character to overcome top class rivals en route to the decider, she must be backed to win as the 4/9 favourite.
This is the German’s first final at the tournament she has dreamed of winning since she was a girl so nerves are sure to come into play, but her formidable serve and redoubtable forehand have been there to bail her out all the way through the tournament and can see her through once more on centre court.
With her own frailties and Bartoli’s class likely to see the Frenchwomen take a set, the 2-1 Lisicki correct score looks the one to be on from that market at 11/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.