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Saturday, 8 June 2013

French Open Women's Final 2013- Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova (June 8th)

The second Saturday of the French Open is the day reserved for the Women's Final and I do wonder if the fans will have been able to recover from the emotional rollercoaster they were taken on during the Men's Semi Finals on Friday night.

The first of those Semi Finals was between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal- it wasn't the best Semi Final for the first three sets, with Djokovic's form particularly fluctuating too much to make it a real contest and an early break for Nadal in the fourth looked to have ended the match.

However, from that moment on, the match took a number of turns as momentum shifted both ways and it was a couple of moments that eventually cost Djokovic the match. The first was his constant frustration with the dried out court not being watered and the second was the moment he ran into the net when the point was almost certainly won at 4-3, 40-40 in the final set... The World Number 1 himself admitted that the match was decided at that moment and I would go a step further and say it was that moment that prevented him holding serve and putting himself just a game away from winning the match, something which I believe he would have done.

One question Djokovic has to have is what happened to him in set three- he almost broke Nadal in the first game, but then proceeded to lose the set 6-1 as he struggled with his form and it did seem that Djokovic had some sort of physical problem. While he hasn't discussed that moment yet, it is something to keep in mind with the third Grand Slam of the year just three weeks away.

The crowd were a little flat for the second Semi Final on Friday, even with home hope Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in action and that did lead to a limp performance from the charismatic Frenchman. Playing David Ferrer was always going to be a much bigger challenge than most in the media made out, especially as Ferrer is very comfortable on the clay courts and Tsonga is certainly better on other surfaces.

Ferrer dominated the match for the most part and didn't make the errors that Roger Federer made in the Quarter Final against Tsonga and it was a very straightforward straight sets win.

Serena Williams - 5.5 games v Maria Sharapova: If you listened to some of the commentary during the last couple of weeks on both ITV and Eurosport, you would be forgiven for thinking that Maria Sharapova is the dominate player on the WTA Tour in this generation.

However, if you follow tennis for more than just the Grand Slam events, you would be very aware that the Alpha Female is Serena Williams, a player that is very likely to go down as one of the true legends of the Tour.

Serena has dominated Sharapova ever since losing back to back matches against her back in 2004 at Wimbledon and Los Angeles and even the Russian is the first to admit that she has to do something different to change the outcome in this one. Their recent matches have been fairly comfortable wins for Williams when it is all said and done and Sharapova has won just 1 of the last 18 sets they have competed against one another.

It says a lot that she has got to 6-4 or better in 5 of the last 18 sets as Williams has totally outplayed her- Williams hits the ball better than Sharapova, has more power and has the more consistent serve and all of this points to a win for the American, her second in Roland Garros. Sharapova isn't likely to get forward and attack the net and I can't see what she is capable of doing different to change the outcome of this match.

The problem for Sharapova is that she won't feel comfortable doing what she needs to change this match and I think Serena has had her one slip in this tournament that she seems to have in Grand Slams when coming through against Svetlana Kuznetsova. While I think the Russian will have some success at times in this one, it is hard to see how she can do enough consistently to hurt Serena and I like Williams to come through fairly comfortably.

6 of the last 7 matches between these players has seen Serena Williams win very easily and she can add to that with a 62 64 win in this one.

MY PICKS: Serena Williams - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

French Open Update: 19-14, + 8.68 Units (64 Units Staked, + 13.56% Yield)

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