WTA Internazionali BNL d'Italia Betting: Sharapova withdrawal to benefit Azarenka

18May 2013

WTA új

 

The semi-final line-up is complete in Rome as Abelson Info preview Saturday's action with two huge matches to look forward to...

 

There are few superlatives left to describe Serena Williams' march through the draw in Rome this week, as she eased through to the last four without much trouble.

 

The American world number one dispatched of Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro with consummate ease on Friday, dropping just two games in a match that didn't even make it past the hour mark.

 

Williams has now won 22 matches in a row, the longest winning streak of her career thus far, but will come up against an opponent that has continued to provide shock after shock over the last five days.

 

Jelena Jankovic, a two-time champion in Rome, was the latest victim of Romanian qualifier Simona Halep who has come through two qualifying matches as well as two top seeds to reach this point.

 

Despite looking like falling to the brink of defeat in her quarter-finals clash on several occasions, she continued to find a way to battle back and reach what will undoubtedly be the biggest game of her career to date.

 

Unfortunately though, this may well be where the long, tiring road ends for the world No. 64. Having come through an exhausting schedule at the Foro Italico, even if Halep still has more to give it is difficult to envisage her finding a way of handling the dominant tennis that Williams is currently playing.

 

The pair met at Wimbledon in 2011, and while Halep was able to take her to three sets in that meeting, it came at a time Serena was working her way back to full fitness after a year-long absence from the game.

 

Williams has no concerns this time round, and will ultimately have too much for her Romanian opponent.

 

The other side of the draw isn't as clear cut following the withdrawal of world number two Maria Sharapova.

 

The Russian cited illness as the reason for her exit, which rules out her chances of making it a hat-trick of titles in the Italian capital.

 

Her absence sees home favourite Sara Errani advance to the last four with a walkover, and she will undoubtedly be raring to go given her additional time off the court.

 

The Italian livewire will however have to achieve something she has failed to repeat since 2008, and that is defeat world number three Victoria Azarenka.

 

The Belarusian was taken the distance by Sam Stosur on Friday night, and will arguably be feeling the effects when she returns to the court.

 

However, she has won four of her last meetings with Errani, including at this venue two years ago. As a result, it all points toward a mouth-watering clash between Williams and Azarenka in the showpiece event on Sunday.

 

Williams has yet to drop more than two games in a set so far, while Errani will be buoyed by the home crowd and will cause Azarenka a few problems.

 

Recommended Bets:

Back Serena Williams to win the first set 6-2 @ 3.35

Back Azarenka to beat Errani 2-1 @ 3.85

 

Bet HERE

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Keywords: WTA Internazionali BNL Italia, Sharapova, Azarenka

Source: Betfair

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