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Sharapova should beware the crushing Azarenka in Miami final

| 02.04.2011

An incredible week in Miami will come to a close on Saturday when Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka will take to the court to compete for the Sony Ericsson Open title.

Azarenka added Vera Zvonareva to her list of scalps on Thursday and the world number three joins Kim Clijsters and Caroline Wozniacki on the sidelines as the world’s top three exited early in Miami.

Sharapova rallied from a set down to beat German Andrea Petkovic in her semi-final, and after two tough matches over the course of three days, it remains to be seen just how much those matches have affected the Russian.

Maria Sharapova vs Victoria Azarenka

Fans of tennis are in for a treat when these two meet in the final, the head-to-head record between the two reads two wins apiece, and with little separating them in the betting, we’re in for a tight match.

There are 5 places separating Azarenka (8) and Sharapova (13) in the rankings, and Azarenka just edges the favouritism at 4/6 to win with Sharapova available at 11/10.

The last time the two met Azarenka emerged victorious with a straight sets win, but Sharapova’s two wins over Azarenka came in the two matches before that.

Both of Azarenka’s victories have come in straight sets and she is 7/4 to win 2-0, while both of Sharapova’s wins have been in three sets and the Russian is 12/5 to win 2-1.

But the bet of the day could be the 6/1 for Sharapova to lose the first set but win the match considering she did it in the quarter-final against Petkovic and has done it previously against Azarenka.

Azarenka rightly deserves favouritism but the fact the majority of the crowd will be behind Sharapova could hand the Russian the edge needed in this tense battle.

A £20 stake on Sharapova winning from a set down would return £140. New customers can sign up here to get £60 in free bets.

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Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.