Clijsters faces Li again as women’s Australian Open begins to hot up
It is set to be a big day on court at the Rod Laver Arena, with three crunch games from the women’s fourth round of the Australian Open.
The highlight is the repeat of last year’s final between Kim Clijsters and Na Li, while world number one Caroline Wozniacki faces her toughest test of the tournament to date against Jelena Jankovic.
Rising star Victoria Azarenka should have lesser difficulty with Iveta Benesova, with the other game possibility set to provide the day’s biggest shock as Julia Goerges looks to beat Agnieszka Radwanska.
Victoria Azarenka to beat Iveta Benesova 2-0 @ 1/6
Azarenka is in a rich vein of form at present and her improving serve and confidence can see her beyond Benesova, who may have to quickly find a plan B from simply trading blows from the baseline if her attacking shots are not coming off.
The Belarussian has won all three previous games between the pair and should have little trouble doing so again.
Julia Goerges to beat Agnieszka Radwanska @ 4/1
Radwanska has been fairly impressive to this point but did give away a handful of break opportunities to Galina Voskoboeva in the third round.
Goerges showed some abnormal grit in battling back to beat Romina Opriandi in three sets and is capable of causing a small surprise if taking confidence from this success.
Na Li to beat Kim Clijsters @ 11/8
A flick of a coin could arguably be used to pick a winner because the pair are so evenly matched and so there is certainly some value going for the underdog.
Li has also played more competitive tennis in recent months and so should be better prepared, while the obvious desire of revenge may make her simply want the victory more than Clijsters
Jelena Jankovic to beat Caroline Wozniacki @ 7/4
Wozniacki lost her first four encounters with Jankovic before going on a roll with victories in all of their three clashes last year.
However, two if these wins were on clay and her recent form has arguably not been as strong as that displayed by Jankovic.
Throw in that the world number one has lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open in two of the last four years and she may be on the brink of another relatively early exit.