02:00 – Wozniacki v Li
Rankings are 1 and 11. Head to heads are 2-1 to Li who knocked Wozniacki out of last season’s Oz Open in straight set.
Li beat Woz twice in Australia last year. She played a great match in the quarter final and will hope to replicate that form tonight.
World number 1 Wozniacki who has never won a Major started slowly against Schiavone and seemed to be worrying about a leg injury. Schiavone faded towards the end and her unforced errors increased towards the end of the deciding set.
Li is a slight favourite on Betfair at 1.81 .
Against top players Woz often makes a slow start. Li has won all 10 matches she has played in 2011 which included a final win over Clijsters in the Medibank International. She has lost just 2 sets in those 10 matches.
On current form and because of the h2h I am going with Li to win and I think it will be in straight sets. Wozniacki will lose serve early and go a set down but Li won’t let her back into the match.
I will be backing backing Li from the start but with reduced stakes incase I have it wrong. WTA matches can be unpredictable at the best of times and I am opposing the world number 1. I will increase stake when Woz is serving her first service game in the hope that she makes that slow start.
If all goes to plan I may hedge at the end of the first set or if Li seems to be in control I could lay off part of the back bet to protect myself a little if Woz starts the second set strongly.
Update: A poor quality start to the match. Fortunately I fell asleep and missed the first 5 games. Woz managed to get on top and took the set. In he second it looked like she was going to run away with it and won an early break. She served for the match and reached match point.
Li broke serve and suddenly started to play better. She took the set and then won the decider.
Li won 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
04:00 – Clijsters v Zvonareva
Rankings are 3 and 2. Head to heads are 6-3 to Clijsters. Zvonareva has won 3 of their 4 matches since Kim returned to the tour last year.
Clijsters started well in the quarter final with an early break but then lost her own serve straight away. She looked tired and in the second set she didn’t look a class above Radwanska and needed a tie break to take the set and the match.
Zvonareva has taken out 2 form players in Kvitova and Benesova in straight sets hitting the ball very well with some aggressive tennis.
Zvonareva will be the sharper of the two women and she will try to rush Clijsters to force early errors. She is my pick to reach the final.
Clijsters starts at 1.69 and I recommend laying her from the start.
Update: Laying Clijsters from the start worked well as she was immediately broken. Unfortuately that was the last time that Zvonareva lead the match. Clijsters broke back straight away.
Zvonareva let the importance of th match get to her and was never really in contention.
Clijsters won 6-3, 6-3.
08:30 – Djokovic v Federer
Rankings are 3 and 2. Head to heads are 13-6 to Federer who won 4 of the 5 matches played on 2010. The match that Djokovic won was their only meeting in a major last year and saw him win in 5 sets to knock Fed out of the US Open.
At the start of this tournament I tipped Djokovic to win the title. He is in the form of his life and has become more reliable. He is in my opinion now on a par with Nadal and Federer.
Federer has been playing fantastic tennis at times but has also had lapses. He has lost 3 sets this week ( none of them in tie breaks ). The only set Djokovic has lost was a tie break set against Robredo.
Federer starts at 1.48 on betfair which is just plain wrong. This will not be settled in 3 sets and Fed will trade higher. In fact I think its Djokovic who will come through a classic match.
Options for trading revolve around at what point to lay Federer. You can either lay him from the start or wait in the hope that Fed breaks early to get the lay at a much lower price.
Update: A hard fought match with some amazing tennis.
Djokovic thoroughly deserved a straight sets win. 7-6, 7-5, 6-4.