Wednesday, September 05, 2012


 I also have three solid ( 1.5 unit and above) selections for tonight's Brazil/ MLS football and might post one of these up later.

Serena Williams - Ana Ivanovic

Serena has dropped only 12 games here in winning eight sets, none in the last three !

However, her quality of opponent is much higher today, Ivanovic is set to break back into the top ten after a couple of years when her motivation has been questioned. Now that she has split with long term boyfriend golfer Adam Scott, she seems re-committed to the sport and the results are coming.The Serbian was ranked number one in 2008 after her win at Roland Garros and despite that triumph on clay, it is on hard courts that she is probably happiest.

She has had a few runs at Wimbledon, but is not a big fan of grass and I doubt that she really wanted to hang around and play the Olympic tournament and when she did eventually make the switch back to hard courts, she had a disaster a 0&0 loss to Roberta Vinci in Montreal, that was a nightmare and one she will not want to repeat and I expect her to be very motivated from the off today. She had a foot injury of some sort in Montreal, took the next week off, so was fresh for NY and has clearly not been troubled by it since.

The pair have met three times before all on this surface, twice here at the US Open, including last year when Serena won 3&4, pretty much like the other two, which were all won by Williams, with Ivanovic winning an average of seven games per match. I think it will be fairly similar today.

Serena has never really played a lot of tennis and has already played the same number of matches this year as in 2010 and 11 combined, not too many signs of wear and tear so far and she is serving better than at any time in her career. But she will give you chances if you can just hang in there for a few games, this is something we discussed a lot at Wimbledon and did well out of in the matches against Radwanska, Shevdova and Zheng. When she cannot ride roughshod over someone she makes errors, secure in the knowledge that her awesome serve will usually bail her out of trouble and that she always finds a way to win the really big points, in the big events.

She did not return a lot of Ivanovic's first serves here last year, with the Serb winning 23 of 29 points when she got it in and if she can get into that sort of groove and keep the DF's to a minimum, she might get a few easy service games of her own.

In her post R4 interview, she spoke of this match up ...

Q.  It looks like you'll likely play Serena.  In the past you have lost three matches, but do you think you had your chances in any of those sets?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Well, in the last year when I played her here, I thought I had some chances in the second set from the memory.  But, you know, it's always tough.  She's obviously great player and she's been I think playing the best out of all the girls on tour at the moment.  She's been, you know, having so many victories lately.  Her serve is definitely her strength.  You know, I really have to be sharp from the first moment on and stay aggressive and stay in the moment.  You know, try to enjoy it as well and enjoy the challenge.  It would be great opportunity for me.
Q.  What do you have to do different on her serve as opposed to any other?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Well, I think the goal will be just to try to make as many returns as possible and try to look for opportunities, you know, and little windows you might get.  Because, yeah, that's basically the only way, you know, try to put pressure on her second serves.

I like these quotes, as she knows exactly what she has to do, come out firing, be aggressive and make some returns, if she does and I know it is easier said than done,  this could be closer than everyone expects.

I favour Ivanovic +6.5 games Pinnacle Sports 2.0 for 1.25 units and also think the 6.50 + for Serena to win 2-1 in sets is huge, if you can find that, I would also suggest a small ( 0.5 unit) interest.

Good Luck.

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