Many would have anticipated a Serena Williams US Open final showdown with Victoria Azarenka before the start of the action at Flushing Meadows and nothing seen so far has suggested this expectancy is worth changing.
Therefore, Azarenka and Williams are both predicted to win their respective matches on day nine of the women’s action, with a bet also put forward for the quarter-final clash between Ekaterina Makarova and Na Li.
This is a delayed fourth-round tussle with Daniela Hantuchova awaiting the winner in the quarters and it is hard not to side with the favourite.
Ivanovic has the game to challenge the best, especially when her forehand is in full working order, but the problem is that one of her two main ground strokes always seems to be misfiring slightly.
Azarenka may have had some slight difficulty when dropping the first set to Alice Cornet in her last match, but normal business should be resumed here.
Both players have progressed to the quarter finals without dropping a set, with Makarova’s run especially noteworthy given her prior successes over talented trio Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Sabine Lisicki and world number four Agnieszka Radwanska.
Makarova may have lost all of her three career meetings with Li too, but it could be significant that two of those defeats were taken to a deciding set.
The match could come down to who gets the better of the battle at the net, with both happy to come forward from the baseline and Li slightly favoured at 3/1 to come through in a decider.
The one notable part of Williams’ run to the quarter finals is that she has dropped no more than one game in the second set of each of her four victories.
Meanwhile, she has dropped no more than three games in the entire match of both of her career triumphs over Suarez Navarro, who potentially lacks the real size to compete with the American’s powerful game.
Should Williams steam out of the blocks again, there is a strong possibility that the second set will be over in no time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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