Day 5 Womens – Robson takes centre stage with Sharapova
Laura Robson came from a set down to defeat German Angelique Kerber last night and her reward is a second round match with the Wimbledon favourite Maria Sharapova.
It was an historic moment for British tennis with three British women reaching the second round of Wimbledon for the first time since 2004, and had Heather Watson not succumbed to injury in her tie with Stephanie Johansson, it may have been four.
Anne Keothavong was dealt a destructive defeat by Andrea Petkovic, many people’s dark horse to win Wimbledon, but Robson and Baltacha continue the British march today.
Both face incredibly tough ties but Robson should revel in her tie with world number six Sharapova, and it should be a great atmosphere, reminiscent of Tim Henman clashes, on court number one later this evening.
Sharapova is the extremely short favourite to progress at 1/25 but the Russian has previously suffered a second round exit at Wimbledon back in 2008 to Alla Kudryavtseva despite being the 1/100 favourite to progress.
We may be clutching at straws here but Robson will have the 11,500 capacity crowd that fill court one on her side today, and that support will only spur the 17-year-old.
Robson’s win yesterday was her first in three attempts at Wimbledon and every match at this early stage of her career is a learning curve and while she may be the 8/1 underdog, there will be plenty of money on Robson at 11/10 in the handicap betting with +6.5 games.
Elena Baltacha vs Shuai Peng
Baltacha may be the 13/8 underdog but she has a real chance based on the only previous meeting between these two players in Thailand earlier this year.
The British world number 68 took the first set off Peng before losing the following two sets, and while Peng is the 4/9 favourite, there is more than just patriotic money on Baltacha today.
The two both lost to Victoria Azarenka in Eastbourne last week but Peng fared better taking 10 games off Azarenka to Baltacha’s seven, but that leaves the 5/6 for Baltacha to win + 3.5 games looking the value of the market.