Yaroslava Shvedova v Serena Williams
As soon as I saw the number of games being given to Yaroslava Shvedova I couldn’t help feel it was too many. Going against Serena Williams isn’t always easy because everyone knows the current World Number 1 is able to breeze through any opponent when at the top of her game, but I like what Shvedova will be able to bring to the court.
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While she can’t match the power that Serena will bring to the court, Shvedova is a player that can fill up the confidence tank in these Grand Slam events and that allows her to play a little freer. Shvedova has a decent first serve, is not a bad returner and can shorten points by getting to the net and putting pressure on her opponent to pass her consistently.
I can understand why the layers are still asking Serena to cover this big number because she has been serving incredibly well through the first three Rounds. None of her opponents have broken her serve, but even more impressive is the fact that Serena Williams has faced just ONE break point all week.
If she is serving as effectively again then Serena Williams will win this one convincingly enough. However I think the Shvedova style of play means she will have better luck than the previous three opponents have had against Serena this week and she can make enough plays to get within this number.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Yaroslava Shvedova +6.5 Games @ 1.85 with Unibet
Carla Suarez Navarro v Simona Halep
This is the eleventh time Carla Suarez Navarro and Simona Halep are playing one another on the main Tour and the previous ten matches have been split five apiece. The last of those came almost eighteen months ago and the form of recent weeks means Halep is considered a big favourite.
She has definitely been producing more consistent results than Suarez Navarro on the hard courts. However this has been a really strong week for the Spaniard so far and I expect that will have given her the belief she can win a match of this magnitude. That won’t be easy for Suarez Navarro who will have to work hard to look after her own serve in this match, but I also think she is playing well enough to pressure the Halep serve.
You do have to give Halep the edge when it comes to being a little better moving around the court and consistent enough with her groundstrokes to break down the Suarez Navarro defences. The forehand battle will likely be dominated by Halep, but it is the Suarez Navarro backhand that can be very penetrative through the court and put her opponent under the cosh.
I do think Halep will win the match, but I feel this might be a lot of games for her to cover. My only concern is that she has been able to pull away against Suarez Navarro in their most recent hard court matches, but this time I will look for the Spaniard to keep it competitive for long enough to make these games count.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Carla Suarez Navarro +4.5 Games @ 1.92 with 888
Agnieszka Radwanska v Ana Konjuh
On first glance this might look an awful lot of games for Agnieszka Radwanska to cover, but I think she has the defensive skills to frustrate Ana Konjuh. They did play at Wimbledon and it turned out to be a really competitive match, but I am looking for Radwanska to keep the pressure on through the match this time.
Both players have won a lot of matches in the last couple of weeks, but I do wonder if Konjuh is going to be able to deal with the occasion with a Quarter Final spot on the line. Players with similar styles to Radwanska have proven too good for Konjuh this summer and more often than not she has struggled to stay with them and thus failed to cover even if she was given numbers as big as this.
Personally I find it hard to trust Radwanska fully because she is capable of throwing in an awful performance from time to time. That happens when players have the power to hit through her, while the serve can be erratic and if either of those things occur in this one it will be difficult for Radwanska to cover.
However I do think Konjuh has had a good draw which she has taken advantage of and I expect Radwanska learned a lot about her when they met two months ago at Wimbledon. That should mean a better idea as to how to deal with Konjuh and I think Radwanska wins this one 75, 62 to move into the Quarter Final.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Agnieszka Radwanska -5.5 Games @ 2.03 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.