Azarenka v Li:
Li Na came up with the performance of the tournament to take her place in this final and dump Sharapova out. Where she found that level of play from I just don’t know. She has had a great season so far. She won a tournament and reached a semi final where she was guilty of a performance as bad as her match with Sharapova was good.
Azarenka was a set and a break down against Hampton and Kuznetsova gave her some real problems in their first set. In the semi final she easily took the opening set against Stephens but in the second set suffered from some sort of injury, later claimed to involve a rib being out of place, that was affecting her breathing. She scraped through the second set helped in no small part by the inexperience in big matches of Stephens.
Azarenka leads the head to heads 5-4. She has won their last 4 matches including all 3 played in 2012. However she appears to have an issue or two in 2013 and will need to play a bigger match than she has managed so far. I think if Li is to win it she will have to repeat her big hitting from the semi final. If she can repeat it then I don’t think it matters what Aza does. In truth I feel that Li will not be able to reach that level for a second time but I do expect a very close match and for Li to come through in 3 sets.
Over 22.5 games at 2.06 is another option.