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Li Na to profit as Sharapova and Williams drawn together at French

| 23.05.2014

In Victoria Azarenka’s absence through injury, Maria Sharapova would have been hoping all she had to do to make a third successive French Open final was to avoid getting thrown into the same side of the draw as reigning champ Serena Williams.

Unfortunately for the Russian, her worst fears have been confirmed as the woman that beat her in last year’s Roland Garros showpiece, will now in all likelihood be waiting for her in the quarters.

Seventh seed Sharapova has now drifted to 6/1 to repeat her 2012 triumph in the year’s second Grand Slam, while Serena retains her favourite’s status at 5/4, despite being thrown in with one of her biggest rivals.

All this means others in the bottom-half of the draw can rub their hands at the prospect of one of Williams and Sharapova falling before the semi-final stage, and namely Li Na whose price has shrunk from 6/1 to 5/1.

China’s finest wielder of a tennis racket is already a champion at Roland Garros and having talked her up already in the build-up, her chances have clearly received a massive boon given the draw.

Li’s greatest stumbling blocks in reaching the final will come in the form of potential quarter-final opponent Jelina Jankovic (50/1) or fifth-seed Petra Kvitova at 50s also.

Jankovic has enjoyed great form on clay this season, making a final and two semi-finals in 2014, even defeating Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarters in Rome just a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the fact that Li has managed to avoid third-seed Radwanska as well in her half, only adds to what is a fantastic draw for the Australian Open champion.

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

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.