Thursday, March 29, 2007


Women's semi finals tonight, obviously I am very firmly with Serena Williams to win the event and nothing is going to sway me from that belief.

However, there does seem to be a little value in Shahar Peer to take a set from the majestic American. Not going to get overly involved, as Williams is very close to the peak of her powers, or at least the best we have seen so far, no telling how good a 100% committed Serena could be.

Peer is in good shape and in the Australian Open, was the only player to push Williams during the latter stages of the tournament, taking her to 8-6 in the deciding set of their quarter final. They had met only once previously, here in 2005, with the American winning 3 & 3, Peer has come a long way since then.

If Williams comes out strong, this could be quick, but the value looks to be in 3 sets and if something looks too big, we have to bet.

My main bet of the evening comes in the first semi and it is a strong selection. At times Anna Chakvetadze can look like a startled deer and absolutely terrified on court, however, underneath, she is a pretty fierce competitor.

Having said that, my bet has little to do with her and is more of an anti Justine Henin wager, do not misunderstand, I am a fan of the Belgian, but do not feel she is at her best just yet. The break up of her marriage has taken it's toll and I am not convinced that all is well in Camp Henin.

Early in the tournament she complained of some breathing problems, especially in her match with Razzano, where she trailed 5-1 in the 3rd set. All credit to her for turning that around, but she should never have got herself into that position, in the first place.

That is a worry, but my biggest concern is regarding her serve, barely breaking 50% of first serves in her matches to date and recording just 42% against Vania King. When also taking into account the double faults, which are now regularly around the 6-7 level, even in straight forward wins, you can see that she has a problem.

Under the circumstances, I just do not see why Henin is odds on to win in straight sets. The Russian is a fighter, her 4 losses this season have all been very close matches and against top ranked players. This should be no different.

2 points Williams to beat Peer 2-1 sets 4.70 Pinnacle Sports. lost -2 pts
5 points Henin NOT to win 2-0 sets 2.21 Pinnacle Sports. lost -5 pts

Good Luck.

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