With all due respect to Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova remains the only major draw left in the Wimbledon final and the SW19 PR team can relax in the knowledge Sharapova will be in the final.
Sabine Lisicki has been a revelation at Wimbledon this year having earned a wildcard to the event, but the 21-year-old German with a big future will meet her match in the Russian on Thursday.
Sharapova is the 4/11 favourite to reach Saturday’s women’s Wimbledon final and, barring her second round match with Laura Robson, has dominated every tie she’s played at Wimbledon this year.
Both Sharapova and Azarenka have been the stars of the WTA Tour events this year and it would be fitting to see them both in the Wimbledon final, but while Azarenka has a tough tie against Petra Kvitova, Sharapova should cruise past Lisicki.
Lisicki showed her class in a three set win over former Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli by winning the third set 6-1 and remains unbeaten on grass this season, but the big-serving German will be matched for power in this semi-final.
The two players met in Miami in March and Sharapova ran out a very comfortable 6-2, 6-0 winner and the world number six is absolutely brimming with confidence at the moment.
Lisicki is full of confidence too but her decision to carry on playing doubles could backfire against a rejuvenated Sharapova and the Russian looks incredible value to win 2-0 at 1/1.
Only Robson has managed to take more than six games off Sharapova at Wimbledon and punters can back Sharapova at 13/8 in the handicap betting with a -5.5 game start.
The confidence Sharapova will take from that demolition job on Lisicki earlier in the year should be factored into the equation and after dominating Dominkia Cibulkova, an opponent who had won her last two matches against Sharapova, in the quarters, the Russian can be expected to ease through to the final