Stosur success looks a banker in women’s French Open semi finals
It is semi-final time at the French Open and with only one of the four remaining women in the draw having previously reached the final at Roland Garros, unknown territory beckons for at least one of the players.
Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova clash in one encounter, while 2006 champion Sam Stosur will have to beat Sara Errani to move one step closer to a second title.
Maria Sharapova v Petra Kvitova – Over 19.5 games @ 8/13
Despite the pair being seeding two and four respectively, neither have previously made the French Open final.
Sharapova is marginally favoured at 2/5 to make it beyond the semi finals in France at the third attempt and she has triumphed in her last two meetings with Kvitota.
Meanwhile, both of his successes came this year, with the first in a Grand Slam semi final and the other coming recently on the clay of Stuttgart.
However, both of these showdowns would have covered the total games market and there is every chance that the pair will cancel each other out for lengthy periods.
For Kvitova, much will depend on the success of her usually deadly serve, but her weakness in terms of movement can be exploited by Sharapova, especially in the latter stages of the match.
Sam Stosur to beat Sara Errani 2-0 @ 1/1
Stosur certainly seems the better bet at 2/5 to win her semi final than Sharapova is at the same price to beat Kvitova.
The Australian has failed to drop a set in reaching the last four and has the most proven track record of the remaining players in the women’s draw.
Errani has done remarkably well in reaching this stage, with three successive upsets over Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Angelique Kerber.
But she is also in the doubles final at Roland Garros and this vast number of matches must eventually take its toll.
Furthermore, Stosur has won all five career meetings between the pair, including one in straight sets on the clay of Rome earlier this season.
The key will probably be Stosur’s kick serve, which is particularly useful on clay and will be tougher for Errani to return given her relatively short stature.