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Sharapova can upset the odds to see off Kvitova in Australia

| 25.01.2012

Maria Sharapova may be the outsider in her semi-final against Petra Kvitova but the Russian has more than enough to make it to her third Australian Open final.

Sharapova – who won the title back in 2008 – has been in excellent form so far in the tournament and looks well worth a bet at 6/5.

She saw off the conqueror of both Serena Williams and Vera Zvonareva, Ekaterina Makarova, with consummate ease in their quarter final, winning in straight sets.

Sharapova has dropped just one set so far in the competition and looks in excellent shape.

However, Kvitova isn’t the favourite for no reason and the World No.2 heads into this match on the back of two consecutive wins against Sharapova.

She defeated the Russian in the final of Wimbledon last season and claimed a victory on the hard courts of Tokyo later in the year. Sharapova was forced to retire in Japan through injury though and is determined to get revenge for her defeat at SW19.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sharapova said: “I think she’s the one to beat right now, playing the best tennis in her career, coming off of so many wins last year.

“I’m looking forward to the match-up. I don’t like losing so many times in a row so I’ll certainly be going out there and trying to play my best.”

There’s no denying that Kvitova is in excellent form but the slower hard courts should suit Sharapova better than the slick grass of the All-England Club and backing her to win 2-1 at 10/3 looks well worth consideration.

If you can’t see an upset however, then the Czech is currently a very decent 4/6 to make her first Australian Open final.



Richard Anderson