Sunday, 30 June 2013

Middle Sunday Wimbledon Overview

It's middle Sunday of Wimbledon which is also known as the most boring and depressing day of the tennis season. We'll take this opportunity to assess how our pending selections stand as we enter the business end of the tournament.

0.5* Tomas Berdych win Wimbledon 50/1 (each-way) - Berdych is in to 33/1 for the title and while the bottom half of the draw lost big names in Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer the top half has remained intact. The Czech is 2/5 to see off Bernard Tomic in the fourth round before a likely make or break encounter with world number one and tournament favorite Novak Djokovic. The Serbian seems to be clicking through the gears as the tournament progresses so Berdych will have a mighty task in front of him but he's beaten Djokovic at Wimbledon before so it's not crazy to suggest he could do so again.

1* Petra Kvitova win Wimbledon 14/1 (each-way) - Much like Kvitova's consistency levels her Wimbledon price has been up and down over the year like a yo-yo. 6/1 at the start of the year, 14/1 two weeks before Wimbledon, 28/1 on the eve of Wimbledon and now as short as 8/1 and as big as 12/1. Everything has gone perfectly for the 2011 champion. Victoria Azarenka out with injury and Maria Sharapova shocked in the second round has opened the door for Kvitova to reach a second Wimbledon final. On paper Kvitova should make the final from here but we know tennis isn't played on paper.

2* Li Na win Wimbledon second quarter 7/2 - Li is as short as 5/4 and as big as 2/1 to reach the semi-finals from her quarter of the draw. Agnieszka Radwanska remains in the quarter as the highest seed but faces a tricky encounter with Tsvetana Pironkova in the last sixteen. Li faces Roberta Vinci in the fourth round whom she hasn't lost to in three meetings although one of those encounters was as long as twelve years ago! Li survived a real scare in the last round and was two points away from going out to Klara Zakopalova but managed to survive. She's 8/15 to see off Vinci and providing she makes the last eight you'd have room to be able to hedge the selection if you so wished.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Wimbledon - Fourth Round (I)

Fourth round action begins on Monday and an opening price has to be taken advantage of before it inevitably drops. Petra Kvitova found form earlier today to recover from a break down in the third set to see off Ekaterina Makarova and she is a surprisingly big 5/6 with Coral to beat Carla Suarez-Navarro in straight sets on Monday.

The Spaniard isn't at home on the grass to say the least although she has done well to reach the second week of Wimbledon for the first time in her career. Kvitova has all the weapons required to dismantle her opponent on grass and it's hard to see how the former Wimbledon champion will be troubled unless she self-destructs. Kvitova has played many three set matches this season but this is unlikely to be one of them.

The Overrule advises a maximum five point selection at 5/6.

5* Petra Kvitova beat Carla Suarez-Navarro 2-0 at 5/6 (Coral)

Friday, 28 June 2013

A Step Ahead: US Open

Just before Wimbledon I wrote in my column on Todd's Take about fluctuations in outright Grand Slam markets and the importance of attempting to strike at a player's highest point for maximum value. The time to move in on these markets is rarely on the eve of the tournament once the market has settled, but weeks and even months beforehand.

The Overrule believes we have identified one such instance for the US Open starting in late August. Juan Martin del Potro won the US Open in 2009 - beating Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer back to back - before injury took a year away from his career.

Although del Potro hasn't hit the heights he had before his injury he is still to be considered a major threat on his favorite surface. In fact so much so in my opinion that my book would have del Potro as a third favorite for the US Open behind only Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

It's well documented that Nadal may find some difficulty in readjusting back to hard court surfaces full time - despite his outstanding tournament success at Indian Wells this year - and the Argentine can be a match-up problem for him on the surface. At the start of the year I considered Federer as only a serious contender for Wimbledon of the four Grand Slams and nothing I've seen this season would sway me from that thinking as the US Open approaches.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is priced ahead of del Potro in the betting and there is little justification for that. David Ferrer's consistency means he is always liable to make good on his seeding and reach the latter stages but he doesn't have del Potro's ceiling on a hard court.

Del Potro's biggest price all year for the US Open has been 20/1, which I'd argue is a touch over priced to begin with, never mind the fact that 888 Sport have pushed him out recently to 33/1. Although no each-way terms are offered, which would have been preferable, we can at least set ourselves up with a great win position on del Potro and adjust our positions in the market nearer the time and during the tournament if needs be.

Providing del Potro stays healthy between now and late August there is little reason to suggest that 33/1 will last as the price starts to make its way down rather than up. With the potential for del Potro to make the last eight or better at Wimbledon over the next week, the time to strike on this price is now.

It's highly likely the top four seeds for the US Open will be Djokovic, Murray, Ferrer and Nadal. Meaning there will be a 50/50 chance that del Potro lands in a quarter that we would welcome (Ferrer/Nadal). Even if Federer maintained a top four seeding it wouldn't change the equation for us as we'll happily back del Potro to take him on if such a quarter was drawn.

2* Juan Martin del Potro win US Open at 33/1 (888 Sport)

Wimbledon - Third Round (I)

On what is expected to be a frustrating day of rain delays The Overrule likes two prices for scheduled action on the fifth day of Wimbledon. Fernando Verdasco at odds-against appeals against Ernests Gulbis in the third round. Verdasco has already notched two decent wins over Xavier Malisse and Julien Benneteau while Gulbis benefited from a Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retirement in the last round.

Gulbis's longer wind-up isn't conducive to grass courts and it's no surprise he hadn't gone beyond the second round at Wimbledon until this year. Verdasco leads the head to head 2-1 with all of those meetings taking place on clay.

The Overrule is already invested in Petra Kvitova at 14/1 each-way in the outright market and another opportunity presents itself to back the 2011 Wimbledon champion. The draw has opened up for Kvitova like the parting of the red sea and on paper she has the best chance of reaching the final from the bottom half now that Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova are no longer factors.

Kvitova faces Ekaterina Makarova in the match of the day on the women's side which has the makings of a competitive encounter but 5/6 on Kvitova is generous. That price has moved out from an opening of 8/13 and is now too tempting to resist.

Makarova is a consistently underrated player on tour who has achieved some notable scalps in her career, against Kvitova (Eastbourne 2012) for a start, as well as Serena Williams (Australian Open 2012) and Azarenka (Eastbourne final 2010). However, Kvitova does deserve to be favored by more than the 5/6 suggests and the opening of 8/13 was closer to the mark. The market has pushed Kvitova out and we can now go in at the right time.

3* Fernando Verdasco beat Ernests Gulbis at 11/10 (Paddy Power)

3* Petra Kvitova beat Ekaterina Makarova at 5/6 (Boylesports)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wimbledon - Second Round (II)

Annika Beck and Karolina Pliskova are both young players starting to make a name for themselves on the WTA Tour and both are overpriced for their second round encounters. Beck is a player I've loved watching ever since a former work colleague turned me onto her during the middle of last year. She has a fantastic attitude on court and has the potential to be one of the best defenders on the tour. Klara Zakopalova pulled off a good win against Daniela Hantuchova in the first round but Zakopalova isn't a player who is going to put Beck away easily and it's far closer to 50/50 than the prices suggest.

Pliskova produced one of the performances of the first round in a stunning display of clean tennis. 32 winners and 6 unforced errors tells you exactly what you need to know about just how well she played. Although Nadia Petrova wasn't physically at 100% there aren't many young players on tour who would have executed a well thought out game plan in the way she was able to. Against Petra Martic this is another case of a 50/50 match that will be decided on a few key points and we'll be backing Beck and Pliskova with three point selections.

3* Annika Beck beat Klara Zakopalova at 6/4 (Paddy Power)

3* Karolina Pliskova beat Petra Martic at 5/4 (Paddy Power)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Wimbledon - Second Round (I)

Victoria Azarenka's season, never mind tournament, looked like it might be in danger on Monday when she slipped during her first round match. If you haven't seen the footage and a very distressed Azarenka you can do so in the video below.

Fortunately, despite clearly not being at full strength, Azarenka was able to recover from the sudden fall and the shock to complete a straight sets victory. Before the slip occurred Azarenka was not playing to the standard we've come to expect from her. Despite the lop-sided scoreline the match was far from routine for much of the encounter. Double faults were common, particularly early on and it wasn't until the injury came that the world number two started to think more clearly about her game plan.

How will Azarenka recover for tomorrow? That's hard to say. She was visibly in pain during the latter stages of the match and her movement clearly impeded. It's unlikely she will be at the height of her powers on Wednesday even if she is healthy enough to compete and ultimately win.

Flavia Pennetta came through her first round encounter with Elena Baltacha and looked good doing so. Pennetta has plenty of experience against top ranked opponents and is a former top 10 player. Her current ranking is a distortion of her true ability having been injured for over 6 months before returning to the tour early this year. The Italian has enough nous to take advantage of a generous +6.5 handicap given the circumstances surrounding Azarenka's health.

4* Flavia Pennetta +6.5 beat Victoria Azarenka at 10/11 (Ladbrokes)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Wimbledon - First Round (I)

Eugenie Bouchard won junior Wimbledon last year as she enters the main draw at SW19 for the first time in her career against Galina Voskoboeva on Monday. The Canadian - who The Overrule backed to finish inside the world's top 106 this season - is at a career high of 66 and she is likely to continue her rise over the course of the year. The Overrule would price Genie at 8/11 favorite for her first round match and so we're quite happy to back her with a three point selection. 

Bouchard leads the head to head 1-0 after a victory on hard court in the latter half of last season. Voskoboeva is 1-3 at Wimbledon in her career. Having failed to come through qualifying on six occasions. 

3* Eugenie Bouchard beat Galina Voskoboeva at 11/10 (Paddy Power)

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Wimbledon - Men & Women

The third Grand Slam of the season is upon us and The Overrule has already locked in three outright each-way selections for the tournament. In all three cases prices have gone out on us Petra Kvitova 14/1 (now 25/1), Tomas Berdych 50/1 (now 66/1) and Milos Raonic 100/1 (now 350/1). Kvitova lost earlier than expected in Eastbourne, Berdych reached the last eight at Queen's while Raonic has been woeful during the grass court season going 0-2 and looking very poor in the process.

Two selections appeal to us in the quarter betting market with one each from the men's and women's draws.

All the talk before the draw was about which quarter Rafael Nadal would land in and the answer is bad news for defending champion Roger Federer. Nadal and Federer are set to meet in the last eight and given the path ahead of him it seems unlikely anyone will be able to stop that encounter becoming a reality. There have been clear signs this year that Federer is a notch or two below the level required to win a Grand Slam and he can't be relishing the prospect of the Spaniard in the last eight.

Nadal's form since he returned to the tour has been well documented. He's only been beaten twice and he hasn't failed to reach at least the final of every event he has played. Nadal really appeals to The Overrule at 10/11 to reach the last four by winning his quarter. So much so that we will back him with a maximum five point selection.

5* Rafael Nadal win the third quarter at 10/11 (Stan James)

Li Na has had a disappointing time at Wimbledon in the past couple of years losing in the second round on each occasion. However, the former French Open champion is worth a two point selection at 7/2 to beat her previous best at SW19 when she reached the last eight in 2006 and 2010. Li could face a very tricky second round battle with Simona Halep who has been in great form in recent weeks on clay and grass but if she can clear that hurdle there is no reason why she can't have a deep run at Wimbledon this year.

Agnieszka Radwanska is the top seed in the quarter with Li holding a 6-4 head to head over the Pole. They have met three times on grass with one completed match win each. The other encounter ended in a retirement victory after only four games for Radwanska.

2* Li Na win second quarter at 7/2 (Coral)

The Overrule will have selections for the first round at Wimbledon later this weekend.

Weekly Overview (13)

Kristina Mladenovic fell at the first hurdle in Holland losing to Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets. Petra Kvitova had plenty of chances to overcome Yanina Wickmayer in her second round match in Eastbourne but ultimately lost out late in the deciding set. Maria Kirilenko extended her perfect record over Elena Baltacha to 3-0 but couldn't do it in straight sets. On the men's side Milos Raonic was outplayed in his second round encounter with Ivan Dodig and looked decidedly poor in the process.

Weekly performance - Stake: 8.00 Profit/Loss: -8.00 ROI: -100%

Season performance - Stake: 179.50 Profit/Loss: +45.86 ROI: 25.55%

The Overrule will have selections for Wimbledon this weekend including first round match betting selections.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

WTA Eastbourne (II)

Elena Baltacha is in a rich vein of form having won an ITF event in Nottingham last week without dropping a set and reaching the second round in Eastbourne after a straight sets win over Kristyna Pliskova. However, her progress this week is likely to be halted by the newest member to the WTA's top ten - Maria Kirilenko.

The Russian has really been getting the best out of her game over the past year or so and it's no surprise that she eventually broke in to the top ten. It's going to be difficult for Baltacha to break Kirilenko down, certainly not without having to take greater risks herself that will likely result in more errors on her part. This will be the first time the pair have met on grass with Kirilenko having beaten Baltacha on clay last year and on hard court as far back as 2004. Both times she won without the loss of a set and the Overrule will back her to do just that tomorrow.

Three points on Kirilenko to win in straight sets at 8/11.

3* Maria Kirilenko beat Elena Baltacha 2-0 at 8/11 (Bet 365)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

WTA Eastbourne

The best field of the week is clearly on show at WTA Eastbourne where a host of former champions, Grand Slam winners/finalists and former number one's take their place in the draw. Two years ago Petra Kvitova reached the final of Eastbourne and went on to win Wimbledon two weeks later. The Overrule will be hoping Kvitova can go one better than 2011 in Eastbourne this year and continue that form into Wimbledon where we have already backed her each-way at 14/1.

Kvitova's first real test could come in the form of Maria Kirilenko - who beat Kvitova at the 2012 Olympics on grass at Wimbledon - in the last eight before a potential meeting with Li Na in the last four. Agnieszka Radwanska heads the betting at the top of the draw and could face a Wimbledon semi-final rematch with Angelique Kerber in the last four this coming week. Kerber reached the final of Eastbourne in 2012 and had multiple match points against eventual champion Tamira Paszek.

This should be a really good event to watch as the week progresses and Kvitova is a decent price to win a first title at this tournament and head on to Wimbledon in good spirits.

The Overrule will back Kvitova with two points at 11/2 to win outright.

2* Petra Kvitova win Eastbourne at 11/2 (Bet 365)

ATP Eastbourne

The Overrule backed Milos Raonic outright each-way for Wimbledon (100/1) before his campaign in Halle began and the Canadian got promptly beaten down by Gael Monfils in his opening round match. That result pushed Raonic's price out for Wimbledon and he requested a wildcard to play in Eastbourne and gain some much needed on-court time before proceedings get underway at SW19.

Raonic takes his place at the top of the draw and this has the makings of a week where he should be able to justify favoritism at 5/2. The Canadian won as a pre-event favorite this year in San Jose and we may as well throw our each-way selection on him for Wimbledon out of the window if he can't reach at least the last four in Eastbourne.

The Overrule will place two points on Raonic outright at 5/2.

2* Milos Raonic win Eastbourne at 5/2 (Bet 365)

WTA s-Hertogenbosch

The Overrule backed Kristina Mladenovic last week in Birmingham and we are inclined to do so again this week in Holland. Not least because Mladenovic has been highlighted by Pippa Middleton as a player to look out for. That's a joke. We don't really care what Pippa thinks about tennis but The Overrule does recommend following @Pippatips on Twitter - it's hilarious. 

I was tempted to back both Mladenovic and Tsvetana Pironkova who she plays in the first round and who we also backed last week. The draw looks negotiable for whoever comes through their first round match but The Overrule has decided to stick solely with Mladenovic. 

Daniela Hantuchova will have her backers given she comes into the event off the back of picking up the title in Birmingham and there is definitely scope to believe this draw can produce another double digit priced winner as was the case with Hantuchova in Birmingham. 

The Overrule will back Mladenovic with half a point each-way. Which means 0.5 points on her winning the event at 16/1 and 0.5 points on her reaching the final at 8/1.

0.5* Kristina Mladenovic win s-Hertogenbosch (each-way) at 16/1 (Coral) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

Weekly Overview (12)

You know the drill.

The Overrule didn't get any kind of run for our money due to Kevin Anderson's withdrawal from Queen's before his second round match. Most bookmakers have an "all in, compete or not" rule where it concerns outrights although there are a few exceptions. Over the course of a season it's inevitable that luck may go against us once or twice in instances such as this and that's what happened here.

On the women's side Tsvetana Pironkova lost in two tight sets to Sorana Cirstea in the second round while Kristina Mladenovic lost in the third round to eventual champion Daniela Hantuchova (16/1). Mladenovic served for the match in the second set against the Slovak but couldn't close the deal.

In the Nurnberg final Simona Halep made a mockery of the excessive market move on her price - based almost entirely on an ankle injury she had picked up in the second set of her semi-final with Lucie Safarova - by comfortably beating home favorite Andrea Petkovic to claim the first title of her career. The Romanian was outstanding under pressure saving all eight break points she faced in the match with consummate ease.

Weekly performance - Stake: 6.00 Profit/Loss: +1.50 ROI: 25.00%

Season performance - Stake: 171.50 Profit/Loss: +53.86 ROI: 31.41%

Saturday, 15 June 2013

WTA Nurnberg

Jelena Jankovic and Simona Halep were priced up as favorites to meet in the clay court final in Nurnberg at the start of the week but Andrea Petkovic tore up half of that script with a very impressive performance against Jankovic in the last four. Petkovic came in to that match off the back of a very demanding three set win over the promising Annika Beck and produced her best display of the week in ousting the number one seed in straight sets.

Simona Halep was originally priced up as a 4/5 favorite to beat Petkovic but her price has drifted massively to 6/4. Why? Halep rolled her ankle in the second set against Lucie Safarova but regrouped to win in the third set 6-2. The market move is far too big an overreaction and we are protected against a retirement since The Overrule only advises match betting selections with retirement void books.

There is the possibility of Halep's ankle roll swelling up overnight causing her to withdraw from the final beforehand. However, if that proves not to be the case, judging by how she looked in the third set against Safarova she would be overpriced at 6/4 if she can play to the same level. Without any fear of injury Halep would have been a shorter favorite than an original 4/5 and the market move has swung too far the other way. Fortunately for us the best price available is with a void book so we'll be more than happy to place three points on a Halep victory and her maiden WTA title.

3* Simona Halep beat Andrea Petkovic at 6/4 (Bet 365)

Monday, 10 June 2013

A Step Ahead: Wimbledon

With the grass court season so short there is little time to waste making early moves particularly as two of the three players The Overrule is about to identify are in action this week. Over the past three years only one woman has been able to beat Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon and she just happens to be the greatest women's player of all-time - Serena Williams.

Williams is odds-on to defend the crown she won last year and it's almost impossible to make a case against her at Wimbledon other than to look for value elsewhere in the each-way market. Kvitova lost to Williams in the last eight last year and the last four in 2010.

In 2011 she was unstoppable on her way to her maiden Grand Slam title and the evidence of why is exhibited in this wonderfully edited video that is a must watch for any tennis fan.

At 14/1 Kvitova is worthy value as an each-way selection. Even when not playing at her best she will still be a very difficult proposition for anyone other than Williams and if the draw works out where she might avoid Williams until the final it's hard to see her being priced as highly as she currently is.

The Overrule will back Kvitova with one point each-way.

1* Petra Kvitova win Wimbledon (each-way) at 14/1 (Boylesports) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

Tomas Berdych faced an early exit at the French Open and will hope for a kinder early round draw than he received in Paris at Wimbledon. Berdych is a former Wimbledon finalist and with various concerns surrounding Novak Djokovic (one title in his last six tournaments - below expectations given his lofty standards), Andy Murray (injury) and Roger Federer (father-time) there might be an opportunity for Berdych to have a similar run to the one which saw him defeat Federer and Djokovic on his way to the 2010 final.

50/1 is big on a player who has the capabilities Berdych has and he has the experience and confidence of knowing he's done well at Wimbledon before to not be overawed by the prospect of doing so again. The Overrule will back Berdych with half a point each-way.

0.5* Tomas Berdych win Wimbledon (each-way) at 50/1 (Boylesports) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

Milos Raonic has never been beyond the second round in his two visits to SW19 but that will surely change sooner rather than later. The Canadian has a massive serve but that can often be offset by a pretty limited return game. However, Raonic has taken at least a few baby steps in his return game since this time last year, although you might need a magnifying glass to spot them at times.

At 100/1 he's one of the outsiders that should at least have his sights set on reaching the second week. And if the draw opened up or he was able to put together a first really big win at Grand Slam level against an elite opponent then we'd have plenty of room to adjust our positions. As with Berdych, The Overrule will back Raonic with half a point each-way. 

0.5* Milos Raonic win Wimbledon (each-way) at 100/1 (Boylesports) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

WTA Birmingham

This is some field in Birmingham for the first WTA grass court event of the season. Not in that it is star studded but in that it was quite a challenge to tissue price and there were inevitably going to be discrepancies involved across all of the books. That proved to be the case and there has been plenty of odds slashing since the prices came out on Sunday afternoon.

It's not often that a favorite for a WTA event is priced as high as 8/1 (which you can find to back Sabine Lisicki) but that's what we have in Birmingham which further illustrates how open this event could prove to be. The opportunity for some big prices to have deep runs in Birmingham is vast and with plenty of rain expected over the week the schedule could be thrown into some chaos.

The Overrule likes Tsvetana Pironkova 50/1 and Kristina Mladenovic 20/1 who are in opposite halves of the draw. Pironkova masquerades as a tennis player for most of the year and it's during the grass court season where she really exhibits her qualities. Her record this year is not worth touching on, that was non-grass, and she's massively overpriced at 50/1.

Mladenovic doesn't have much main tour level grass court experience to speak of but she has a game that could and should be productive on it. Her serve is very smooth and damaging when on and at only 20 years of age she will develop consistency in time - she will hope.

The Overrule will back both players with half a point each-way and if one or both can reach the last four we will be well set to reassess our positions.

0.5* Tsvetana Pironkova win Birmingham (each-way) at 50/1 (Coral) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

0.5* Kristina Mladenovic win Birmingham (each-way) at 20/1 (Paddy Power) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

ATP Queen's

The grass court season has arrived - don't tell WTA Nurnberg they are still playing on clay - and it's that time of year where the British press inundate us with "can/will Andy Murray win Wimbledon?". The answer is he can. Whether he will we'll find out in a month. Before then we have action at Queen's where Murray is to return from injury and is priced up as the pre-tournament favorite at 2/1.

The Overrule likes the look of Kevin Anderson 33/1 positioned in the second quarter of the draw with a possible last eight meeting with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and a semi-final clash with Murray on the horizon. The South African reached the last eight last year but doesn't have the greatest history on grass which might come as a surprise with a good serve.

Anderson is over priced due to being drawn in Murray's half with the Scot far too short considering we haven't had a chance to see him play since the lay off. The Overrule will back Anderson with half a point each-way which means half a point on Anderson to win the tournament at 33/1 with another half point on half of those odds to reach the final. If Anderson can reach the last four we'll have scope to further assess our position later in the week.

0.5* Kevin Anderson win Queen's (each-way) at 33/1 (Betfred) (each-way terms 1/2 odds 1-2 places)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

French Open Overview

The second Grand Slam of the year is in the books and you know what we do next;

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams both made good on their pre-tournament favoritism by leaving Paris with the biggest smiles on their faces. In fact it was two outright selections advised on The Overrule that caused them to sweat most. Novak Djokovic was our only men's outright selection at 5/2 and it took 9-7 in a deciding set for the now eight time French Open champion to see him off.

On the women's side it was Svetlana Kuznetsova - who The Overrule advised at 150/1 each-way back in January - who gave Williams her biggest test. The Russian was one point away from a double break lead in the third set but Williams was able to reverse her fortunes by winning six of the last seven games. The Overrule's other women's outright selections - Nadia Petrova (500/1), Sam Stosur (20/1) and Li Na (14/1) - all fell far earlier than we would have hoped with none of them going beyond the third round.

French Open performance - Stake: 45.50 Profit/Loss: +1.95 ROI: 4.29%

Season performance - Stake: 165.50 Profit/Loss: +52.36 ROI: 31.64%

Thursday, 6 June 2013

French Open - Women's Final

Eleven years have passed since Serena Williams first won the French Open but that extended wait for a second title now appears just a couple of days away. Entering the tournament at EVS to leave with the trophy, Williams has obliterated all before her apart from one significant test against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the last eight. The Russian was one point away from a double break in the deciding set but eventually that challenge was overcome.

Another Russian awaits Williams in the final in the form of defending champion Maria Sharapova and there is little to suggest the form book can or will be reversed. Sharapova hasn't beaten Williams since 2004 and despite a spirited effort for a set and a half in Miami this year she has been put to the sword with relative ease.

Seven of their past eight meetings have ended in straight sets and it's hard to see how that number doesn't become eight of the past nine after Saturday. Their meetings on clay in Madrid this year and last saw Williams cover the -5.5 game handicap she is tasked with on Saturday and with her game firing on all cylinders she is odds-on in The Overrule's estimation to do so again.

The Overrule recommends a max selection of five points on a straight sets win and three points on the handicap. Both prices will surely be gone by Saturday lunchtime.

5* Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova 2-0 at 4/7 (Paddy Power)

3* Serena Williams (-5.5 games) beat Maria Sharapova at 11/10 (Paddy Power)