Miami 2013 – week 2, Thursday

The last time Sharapova and Jankovic met was in 2011. Sharapova won that tight match in 3 sets.

Sharapova struggled with her game against Errani and had to save set points in set 2.

Jankovic is in the best form we have seen from her in some time. Her first serve percentage wasn’t great against Vinci and if she repeats that today she can expect to be punished.

1.13 is a crazy price and has to be a lay. I feel Jankovic will be able to create chances and perhaps her greater experience will enable her to take them where Errani couldn’t.

I expect Sharapova to come through but may well need 3 sets.

Update: The scheduling wasn’t kind to Jankovic as she had very little time between her quarter final and semi final matches. Maybe her energy levels were low.

Sharapova took a 3-0 lead but Jankovic pulled back to 2-3 and seemed to be getting back into the match. Howver she didn’t win another game in the opening set.

In set 2 it was more of the same with Jankovic manging just 1 game.

Sharapova won 6-2, 6-1.

 

Murray leads the head to heads with Cilic 8-1.

Cilic was impressive against Tsonga but he will need to work a lot harder if he is to get anything from this match. Something to give him hope is the fact that Murray hasn’t been at his best in the last few weeks. Maybe defending his US Open title is playing on his mind.

Murray will feel he is favourite to take the title but he has some potentially tough matches to come. I think he will struggle with Cilic’s serve IF it is firing on all cylinders. Tie breaks are Cilic’s best hope.

1.20 has to be another lay from the start for me.

Update: Cilic broke serve in the second game having held his own service game from 0-40 down. The next 3 games were all breaks and another late break from Murray gave him the chance at 5-4 to serve for the set which his did.

In set 2 Cilic was broken 3 times and whilst he managed a single break himself it was Murray who took the win,.

Murray won 6-4, 6-3.

 

Gasquet / Berdych is probably the match of the night.

Gasquet gets a nose bleed in the 4th round of big events but managed to staunch it this time with a 3 sets win over Almagro. His head to heads with Berdych stand at 4-4 with Berdych winning just 2 weeks ago in Indian Wells. Gasquet had a sprained ankle in Indian Wells and feels he will be in better shape for today’s match.

Berdych destroyed Querrey in the last round although it has to be said Querry’s form has been below par. Even so, Berdych gave him nothing and served superbly well.

Berdych has had a couple of dodgy matches and needed 3 sets against Falla and Gimeno Traver. He saved match point against Falla in the second set.

Gasquet’s frailty when going deep into the big tournaments and Berdych’s superior serve will be the difference today. I think we will get higher than Berdych’s Sp of 1.50 and anything above 1.70 is a good entry IMO.

Update: Berych’s “superior serve ” was broken 3 times. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to take either of the 2 brak points he managed to create on the Gasquet serve.

Gasquet won 6-3, 6-3.

 

Neither Serena Williams nor Radwanska have had easy rides to the semi finals.

Williams was in real trouble against Cibulkova at a set and 1-4 down. We have seen her make some great comebacks in the past but this one was as much down to Cibulkova choking than it was to the American’s increased intensity. She also needed a second set tie break to take the match against Li Na.

Radwanska lost the opening set to Flipkens. It was a high quality match and Flipkens really deserved to take that set but Radwanska did what she does best and stayed calm. Flipkens wasn’t able to maintain that high standard and once Radwanska took the second set the match was all but over.

Williams leads the head to heads 4-0 and has lost just 1 set to Radwanska which was in the Wimbledon Final in 2012. She usually over powers her.

I don’t expect Williams to dominate quite as much as usual but I feel that even a mis-firing Serena will have enough to get the job done today.

Update: Easiest “trade” of the season.

Radwanska just couldn’t cope with the Williams power strokes and failed to win a single game in the opening set. The second set was a little more competitive but was never in doubt.

Williams won 6-0, 6-3.

 

 

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