It’s not often you come across grudge matches in tennis but last weekends WTA Cincinnati final between Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic was one of them.
Sharapova and Jankovic have been taking on each other ever since they were juniors, but the two players fell out following a retirement from Jankovic in a WTA Tour event in Tokyo back in 2009.
Sunday’s final was the first time the two had met since that meeting in Tokyo and there was no love lost between the two.
Sharapova justified her favouritism but it took her three sets to do so thanks to an erratic performance from the world number four.
However it was Sharapova’s second WTA Tour title of the year and the Russian is certainly finding the form that saw her demolish women’s draws in her teenage years.
The Russian will head to next week’s US Open as the 6/1 second favourite to win the tournament and Sharapova has attracted plenty of support following last week’s win.
However it’s Serena Williams who currently dominates the US Open betting, despite withdrawing from the event in Cincinnati last week.
There is no doubt that when Eilliams is at her best, her fellow professionals find it very difficult to stop her.
Following her fourth round defeat at Wimbledon to Marion Bartoli, Williams went on a 12-match unbeaten run which landed her two WTA Tour titles and this is the form that has led to Williams being installed as the 11/8 favourite.
Ranked 29 in the world, it’s not going to be easy for Serena as she will have to face a number of high seeded players if she is to go far in the tournament, but the American dominates the betting and looks the likely winner at this moment in time.