Sony Ericsson Open, Miami – Thursday

18:00 – Petkovic v Sharapova

Rankings are 23 and 13. Head to heads are 1-1. Petkovic won their last match in the Australian Open this year and won in straight sets.

Petkovic beat Wozniacki  and then backed that up with a 3 sets win over Jankovic. It has to be said that the rain delay in the Jankovic match probably helped her as Jankovic was on a roll and looking as though she was in total control of the match. The delay broke JJ’s momentum and Petkovic took full advantage.

Sharapova was very impressive in her demolition of Stosur in the 4th round but had a battle to get past Dulgheru in the quarter final. She lost the opening set and then needed 2 tie break sets to book her place in the semis. There seems to be concerns over her left ankle which she also had issues with last season.

Petkovic doesn’t have a great record in big matches and has only won half the semi finals she has played. Having said that she had never beaten a world number 1 before this week! She has improved her game over the last few months and she is my pick to reach the final.

Sharapova has ofcourse been in many semi finals. If she can play at the level she did against Stosur she will be hard to beat but I think her ankle injury will be playing on her mind and will be translated into double faults and unforced errors if Petkovic gets ahead ( injuries hurt more when you’re losing! ).

They start very even on Betfair with Perkovic at 1.80 . As the match is very likely to be close I can see no benefit in taking a position from the start as both players are capable of starting quickly. Better to wait for one of them to break and then lay them with half stake. If the leader goes on to win the first set then lay with the other half.

There should be a lot of swings in this match so don’t get too greedy. If you have a decent profit available  take it as its really difficult to pick a winner with any certainty.

Update: Petkovic took the opening set fairly easily. Then everything went wrong for her and Sharapova took the  following 2 sets for the loss of just 2 games.

Sharapova won 3-6, 6-0, 6-2.

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