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Azarenka storms into third round but remains a huge price to win

| 03.05.2011

Victoria Azarenka marched into the third round of the Madrid Open with a 6-1, 6-1, victory over Sofia Arvidsson, but the Belorussian remains 4/1 to win this week.

If you excuse her Porsche Tennis Grand Prix appearance in which she retired hurt after winning the first set of her first round match against eventual winner Julia Goerges, Azarenka has won her last two tournaments.

The Sony Ericsson Open win at the end of March was a huge victory for Azarenka in such a competitive field but it was her Andalucia Tennis Experience victory on the clay courts of Marbella at the start of April which is a huge form boost.

Caroline Wozniacki currently heads the Madrid Open betting at 11/4 and is 1/20 to defeat Bolana Jovanovski and advance to the third round today, but Azarenka has been dominating the women’s game in recent weeks and looks the pick.

The two will meet in the semi-final should they play to their seeding which would be a colossal match-up, which leaves the other side of the draw wide open.

Vera Zvonareva (11/2 to win this week) and Maria Sharapova (8/1) are on course to meet in the quarter-final, but it’s the other quarter of the draw that could provide a surprise semi-finalist with Francesca Schiavone (10/1) and Na Li (16/1) the top seeds.

Having upset Ana Ivanovic in the opening round despite losing the first set 6-0, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands could be the surprise semi-finalist leaving her current Madrid Open odds of 100/1 looking very big.

Mattek-Sands is likely to face Schiavone should she defeat Vania King in the second round, and having beaten Schiavone in the Hopman Cup earlier this year the American will be confident of progressing to the quarter-final.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.