Women's French Open Betting: Sharapova to keep her title defence dream alive

6Jun 2013

Roland Garros

The prize is very much now in sight for the remaining quartet in Paris, Abelson Info return to preview the semi-final clashes at Roland Garros...

Four of the world's top five have successfully made it through to the semi-finals at the French Open, and so it promises to be an enthralling day's action on Thursday.

First up on the Philippe Chatrier court is defending champion Maria Sharapova, who produced a career-first in the last round as Jelena Jankovic gave her quite the scare in continuing what has been an impressive fortnight for the Serb.

The Russian ace dropped an error-strewn first set without recording a single game, but managed to recover to win the next two to book her place in the last four and re-instil some confidence back into her game.

It is a timely reminder of how quickly she can let slip of her crown in Paris, and it doesn't get any easier as she prepares to take on world number three Victoria Azarenka.

The Belarusian is through to her first French Open semi-final after defeating 12th seed Maria Kirilenko in straight sets, and admitted in her post-match press conference that she's "moving forward in her relationship with the clay" but knows that a real battle lies ahead.

Azarenka is 7-5 in her head-to-head record with Sharapova, including their two previous meetings at majors. However, the defending champion has won both clashes on clay, the last in Stuttgart last year, and still appears to be more comfortable on this surface.

It promises to be a closely fought encounter, but back Sharapova to prevail as she attempts to reach consecutive finals in the French capital.

Immediately after that match is concluded, world number one Serena Williams takes centre stage, after similarly being shaken in the last round.

The American looked on course for a comfortable victory after the first set of her quarterfinal match, but Svetlana Kuznetsova had other ideas as she levelled before going a break up.

Unfortunately for the Russian she was unable to keep up the pace as Williams seemingly stepped it up another gear, demonstrating a real determination that will take a special effort to overcome.

Williams eventually clinched her place in the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the first time in 10 years, and in doing so extended her winning streak to a staggering 29 games. Standing in her way of an appearance in the final is world number five Sara Errani.

The Italian has picked up from where she left off last year following her run to the final, and importantly ended a 0-28 run against top five players with her win over Agnieszka Radwanska.

However, she has lost all five previous meetings against Serena, but admitted that if she is to break her duck against the American top seed, it will most likely come on a surface she has excelled on over the past few years.

The pair met in Madrid last month, with Williams sealing a straight sets win. The odds suggest this is almost "Mission Impossible" for Errani, but back the Italian to go out fighting.

Recommended Bets:
Back Sharapova to beat Azarenka @ 1.9
Back over 19.5 games in Williams-Errani @ 2.92


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Keywords: French Open, Sharapova, Azarenka

Source: Betfair

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