TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) brings us his best bet from Saturday’s Women’s singles final.
Angelique Kerber v Serena Williams | Saturday 14th July 2018, 14:00 | BBC
Serena Williams is odds on to win a 24th Grand Slam title when she meets Angelique Kerber in a rematch of the 2016 tournament finale. On that occasion Kerber pushed Williams close on the scoreboard, but never looked close to actually winning.
Serena started this event as a 6/1 second favourite in the outright market and despite her pedigree there was a hesitation for many to back her as a potential winner this year – she is double the price for this final than she was two years ago.
Serena had struggled for form prior to this tournament and she hadn’t been seen on court since withdrawing from her Round of 16 clash with Maria Sharapova in Paris. Her early round matches further emphasised Serena as lacking in form as she struggled past Arantxa Rus and Kristina Mladenovic. As the tournament has progressed the American has lifted her game impressively easing past Julia Goerges in the semifinal, with her serve and groundstrokes in that match reminiscent of the all conquering Williams of the past.
Kerber was priced as the fourth favourite to win at 11/1 outright. The German had a tough looking draw and was scheduled to face past Wimbledon champions Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza en route to the final – but both players fell early before they could run into Kerber.
As ever, Kerber has played steady tennis, capably counterpunching her way through the draw whilst getting the best of every mental battle along the way.
In terms of the important performance data, Serena’s level is similar to that of her previous title runs at Wimbledon, and Kerber is playing just as well as she was in her 2016 run to the final.
In my Day 10 preview I suggested backing Jelena Ostapenko to defeat Angelique Kerber because the match will be almost entirely determined by what Ostapenko does with her racket. Unfortunately, the Ostapenko racket had programmed its radar for shots to land in the net or long of the court. The same arguments from that match apply to this except the player that has the power to control the match is named Serena Williams rather than Jelena Ostapenko.
Side with Serena
Serena is justifiably favoured to win this match at around the 8/15 mark. However, suggesting backing that makes for a very boring betting preview.
Serena has such a strong advantage on her serve that I think will Kerber find service breaks hard to come by. When Williams beat Kerber in the 2016 final, Serena was not broken once, even firing an Ace on the only break point that she faced. The performance data shows Serena and Kerber to be performing at very similar levels to back then.
A lot may have changed in their careers but the facts remain the same. Serena can get this done in two sets. Back Serena Williams to win 2/0 at 5/4 with Betfair Sportsbook
Angelique Kerber v Serena Williams – Serena Williams to win 2-0 (5/4)