AFTER a solid Wednesday, Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) is back with a bet on a Roland Garros semi-final.
Ana Ivanovic v Lucie Safarova | Thursday 14:00
Ana Ivanovic cruised past Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-2 hitting 37 winners to set up a semi-final with Lucie Safarova. I haven’t mentioned her during Roland Garros yet but she’s been arguably the player of the tournament reaching this stage without dropping a set, knocking out defending champion Maria Sharapova along the way.
Their head-to-head record is fairly close with Safarova leading 5-3, however she has won five of the last six meetings between the two and I think she’ll extend that record tomorrow.
Ana has had a fairly comfortable journey to the semi’s in terms of the match-ups, having been no bigger than 1/2 to win any of her matches, yet has still managed to drop a set in three of them, including the opener twice.
Lucie’s passage has been a lot trickier, as well as the aforementioned Sharapova, she’s taken care of Garbine Muguruza, who put out Serena Williams last year, and big hitters in Sabine Lisicki and Anastasia Pavyluchenkova, again all in straight sets. Impressive.
Both players like to get the ball on their forehands but I think it’s Safarova’s cross-court forehand that will do the damage to Ana’s weaker backhand side. And the key to the match will be whether Ivanovic can defend that side and keep on top of the unforced errors, which I don’t think she’ll be able too.
There’s not much in the winners department, she’s hit 153 to Safarova’s 151, but 129 unforced errors to Lucie’s 100 and let’s remember Safarova has had the much the tougher of opponents in comparison.
Lucie has also out aced Ana 28-22 and served less double faults 19-25. With Safarova winning five of their last six meetings, including 6-3 6-3 here last year, I think she’s the value at 4/5 with Paddy Power.
Ana Ivanovic v Lucie Safarova – Safarova to win (4/5 Paddy Power)
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