Jankovic v Kerber (indoor hard):
Both players came into this week in below par form.
Jankovic crept past Robson in the first round. In round 2 she started really badly against a 17 year old Russian but in the end won the match easily. Against Kanepi she took an early lead but was pulled back and lost the first set. Again she finished the match the stronger player ( although helped to some degree by another Kanepi meltdown ).
Kerber has needed 3 sets in each of her matches. In rounds 1 and 2 she lost the first set. She scraped through in the first round against Forez Gacon 7-5 in the 3rd set. In the second match Keothavong played a decent match but made mistakes at key moments. In the quarter final Barthel was hitting the ball with controlled aggression in the opening few games. However Barthel started making far too many errors and Kerber won the set. Barthel cut out the errors in the second set and gave Kerber no chances. The set went to Barthel 6-0. The third set swung from one player to the other and Kerber made fewer errors.
So they have both perhaps played themselves into something approaching decent form and this should be a great match. If both were in top form I would side with Jankovic and as she is starting as a slight underdog the value is certainly with her.
Surprisingly they haven’t played before but I am staying with Jankovic to win. However I don’t expect it to be straight sets and it is likely to be a small number of points that decide the match. It can be a fine margin between winning and losing in tennis and I think this game will demonstrate that well.
Ramos v Andrev (clay):
Ramos leads the head to heads 2-0. Both games were on clay with the most recent one being in February this year.
Both players have played some great tennis this week. Andreev had served well but lost the opening set against Istomin on a tie break. Istomin was injured which certainly helped Andreev.
Ramos started his Quarter final against Chardy is superb form and whilst he made a lot of unforced errors in the middle of the set he came through to take the match in straight sets.
Ramos leads the set count at 4 to 1 in the other matches. Three of the 5 sets were tie breaks. Today’s match is likely to come down to who serves best. If Andreev can get a lot of cheap points on serve he is in with a chance.
Ramos starts as favourite at 1.63 which I feel is a little too low. He is the more talented shot maker and I have always seen Andreev as being one dimensional relying heavily on his serve. For that reason I prefer to wait for a higher price on Ramos rather than lay from the start.
Andreev may nick a set but I am going with Ramos to reach the final.