WTA Finals, 12:30 – S Williams v Ivanovic
Serena leads the head to heads 7-1 and she is 4-1 in 2014.
These Finals could come down to the player who manages their injury the best. All four of today’s players withdrew from their last match with injury.
Williams is unbeaten on indoor hard courts in the last 12 months which doesn’t make Ivanovic’s task any easier.
Williams has won the Finals for the past 2 seasons and is trying to become the first to win them three times in a row since Seles did it in 1992.
An excellent stat from Paul Murphy on Tennis insight is that Williams is 49-4 against the other seven players.
Ivanovic has had her best season for a while but will need to find some real inspiration to get the win. The fact that it is a round robin format rather than straight knockout can mean that player don’t start with the same intensity but these are the types of events and situations that get William’s juices flowing. She wants her name against as many records as possible.
Williams starts at 1.27 but given that 3 of their 4 matches in 2014 went to 3 sets I think we have a good chance of a stronger price on her. Ivanovic won the first set in 2 of the 4 matches. Another 3 setter today would be great!
ATP Basel, 17:30 – Bolelli v Nadal
Nadal starts at 1.34 which tells us a great deal about his physical condition. He has been taking antibiotics which he has had adverse reactions to in the past. He had contracts to appear in this tournament so really has to play regardless of his condition. He has been training since Tuesday but as he said himself training and match play are very different as the adrenalin kicks in. He wasn’t healthy in Shanghai but was still able to keep the match with Lopez close.
Bolleli has won through two qualifying rounds but beating Pouille and Haider Maurer in 3 sets is nothing to write home about.
Bolelli is not at the same level as Lopez and Nadal has said his condition is improved. If Nadal is playing purely because of his contract then Bolleli could get the win. Bolelli has won just one set in their three previous meetings and that was in 2009 when he was ranked 37th as opposed to today’s 77th.
The market will panic if Nadal starts slowly but unless he has decided to tank (which I doubt) he should be able to at least take the opening set without too much trouble. Don’t get carried away with the stakes though until we see how he looks.
ATP Basel, 19:30 – Goffin v Thiem
All three of their previous matches were in 2014 and Goffin won them all and was underdog each time. He won on clay, grass and hard courts.
This time Goffin is 1.43 pre match. Their most recent match was in Thiem’s back yard and on his best surface clay. It went to three sets as did their hard court meeting. I have to go with Goffin for the win but Thiem did reach the 4th round of the US Open so if he can find some inspiration today he can push that price up.
Goffin has a stronger record on indoor hard courts.