French Open semis: Safarova to book glory shot in straight sets
Having carved a path of destruction to the last four which has already accounted for defending champion Maria Sharapova, 13th seed Lucie Safarova is expected to take the last step towards Saturday’s final when she faces Ana Ivanovic.
In the second semi-final, it’s very difficult to predict any other outcome than tournament favourite Serena Williams ending the plucky run of Timea Bacsinszky, although the Swiss player could be value to win a set off the American.
The pedigree of her opponent – Ivanovic followed a 2007 final appearance with the championship in ’08 – cannot be discounted, though this is the first time in four years the Serb has made it past the third round at Roland Garros.
Safarova has simply been performing on a higher plateau than the former champ and arguably the rest of the field this year, progressing to this point without dropping a set, while Ivanovic has been taken the distance in three of her five matches in contrast.
The icing on this wager’s cake is the five victories in the last six meetings in the Czech’s favour, with the last of those, tellingly, arriving at Roland Garros 12 months ago, 6-3, 6-3.
If Serena does go on to lift a 20th Grand Slam title and a third in Paris, then it won’t have been her most imperious victory that’s for sure.
Although the American powerhouse was back to something like her best against a far physically inferior Sara Irrani in the quarters, winning 6-1, 6-3, her route has been pockmarked with dropped sets.
Three of Serena’s five matches came with concession, while her expectation-defying opponent Bacsinszky has only handed over one of 11 sets contested in the French capital.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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