Monday, 1 April 2013
Weekly Overview (8)
This week's breakdown below;
The Overrule placed maximum confidence in Serena Williams for Miami and she delivered the title despite twice having to come from a set and a break down in the tournament. Serena's cumulative match-betting price ended up at a touch under EVS as she saw off Flavia Pennetta 1/50, Ayumi Morita 1/33, Dominika Cibulkova 1/25, Li Na 1/4, Agnieszka Radwanska 1/6 and Maria Sharapova 1/4.
Serena's rhythm and timing was nowhere to be found for much of the first set and a half against Cibulkova before she was able to rally from 4-1 down in the second set to win the match in three. I expected Li to present the biggest challenge to Serena during the event and this year's Australian Open runner-up had her chances to take the match to a decider but fell short.
After a quite devastating display against Radwanska it looked highly likely that another routine win over Sharapova in the final was on the cards. I certainly didn't see Maria's performance coming. There had been little to suggest it was on the cards, particularly after a mighty struggle against Sara Errani in the last eight. Maria played very well against Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals but the Serbian had such a short turnaround from her quarter-final that it was difficult to read anything meaningful into it.
The first two sets of the final was women's tennis at its best. The quality and intensity from both players was exceptional. Sharapova refused to back down against Serena for the first time since she was a teenager. Eventually Serena was able to break Sharapova down, whose defence had been surprisingly excellent, which is often an area which Serena exploits well against Maria.
Despite the loss for Sharapova the match was a huge positive for her going forward. After so many meetings over a number of years where she has looked incapable of beating Serena, she was finally able to hurt the world number one and threaten her. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out the next time they meet on whichever surface. Sharapova isn't someone who lacks self-belief or will to win but she has been devoid of self-belief in important moments against Serena for many years.
I'm not convinced future matches will be more like this one as opposed to their other encounters last season, but it's certainly something we will have to consider more seriously when they next face each other.
Here's our weekly breakdown and season numbers thus far;
Weekly performance - Stake: 5.00 Profit/Loss: +5.50 ROI: 110.00%
Season performance - Stake: 116.00 Profit/Loss: +54.41 ROI: 46.91%