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Hantuchova to make life difficult for Azarenka early at US Open

| 04.09.2013

The final two places in the semi finals of the women’s singles are up for grabs at the US Open, with both matches close to call based on previous meetings.

Italian pair Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta have equally divided their eight career meetings, while Victoria Azarenka and Daniela Hantuchova have done the same from their four.

Roberta Vinci to beat Flavia Pennetta @ 10/11

Given the head-to-head record between this pair is split at 4-4, it is no surprise that they are also inseparable in the match odds betting, with both priced at 10/11 to progress to the semi finals.

What is particularly interesting from their previous eight meetings is that neither Italian has ever beaten the other twice in succession and with Pennetta taking the most recent at the 2010 French Open, history suggests that Vinci is the one to side with here.

She also dropped only three games when beating Pennetta in their only previous hard-court meeting.

Pennetta has flopped at the quarter finals here before when beaten by a then little-known Angelique Kerber, while Vinci will be keen to avoid exiting at the quarter finals here for the second year in succession.

Daniela Hantuchova v Victoria Azarenka: Hantuchova to break serve first @ 12/5

Ladbrokes are the only high-street bookmaker offering this market and there could be some value on Hantuchova, who has been serving especially well in the tournament.

She conceded only two break points in three sets against Alison Riske in the last round and only Na Li, who has played an extra match, has served more aces in the tournament among the women.

Azarenka has dropped the first set in each of her last two matches too, which suggests she has been a lethargic starter and taken a while to adapt to conditions.

This could make 6/1 a tempting price that Azarenka recovers from dropping the first set to win the match for the third US Open contest in succession.

The 8/13 on offer for over 8.5 games in the first set is another generous price and this bet would have landed in all four career meetings between this pair, alongside three of the four matches that each have been involved in at the US Open so far.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.