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Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Wimbledon Tennis Day 11 Picks 2016 (July 7th)

The Ladies Semi Finals are played back to back on Centre Court on Thursday and I think everyone will be hoping that we get a chance to see the Williams Sisters play for the title one more time.

Well I think a lot of the media and fans would love to see it for the easy narrative it produces, although I remain unconvinced that Venus and Serena are as loved by the Centre Court attendees which is very easily dominated by white, middle to upper class people.

The BBC had a very interesting article which mentioned that subject, much to my surprise, despite it being something that I have suggested many times in the past. Tennis remains a sport that is played by a majority of caucasian performers and so seeing someone like Serena Williams and Venus Williams dominate to the extent they have at SW19 is not something that the fans attending can truly relate to.

I've been to Wimbledon and I can tell you first hand that you don't see too many non-white fans at the event so it isn't a surprise to me that Serena Williams doesn't have the same love that Roger Federer gets at the event. There are other factors than purely the racial element, but it definitely plays a part.

I do think Venus Williams will receive her support because of the underdog story and her recovery from a serious illness to get back to this Round at Wimbledon and she faces a tough opponent in Australian Open Champion Angelique Kerber. For Serena Williams it will likely be another day where her opponent, in this case Elena Vesnina, will receive the majority of loud applause whenever she wins a point in their Semi Final although I don't think Serena cares too much either way.

Angelique Kerber-Venus Williams over 21.5 games: There were a few ways I looked to get involved in this Semi Final and I considered the match going at least three sets as well as Venus Williams on the game handicap before settling for this pick. The last two matches between Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber have both lasted at least three sets, while Kerber has only covered this number of games in two of their previous five matches despite being favourite in the last four matches.

These two players have met once before on the grass back in 2012 during the Olympic Games and it was Kerber who won that match 76, 76, although Venus Williams will feel hard done by. Things have changed since that last match on grass with Kerber the Australian Open Champion and playing some of her best tennis of 2016 since beating Venus' sister Serena in that Final in Melbourne.

In saying that, she is playing an opponent in Venus Williams who is very good on the grass and reached the Fourth Round here last year before finding Serena Williams too good. Venus has a serve that can pressurise opponents on this surface, but Kerber's defences have to be admired and she will extract mistakes out of someone who has been broken more than expected on this surface during the course of the tournament.

On the other hand I think Kerber's serve can be attacked and I am expecting Venus Williams to have her successes on the return game and it has to be remembered that it has taken the last two eventual winners to beat Williams here at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015. Venus Williams might have to overcome some physical issues having played a lot of tennis over the last few days, but I would be surprised if this is a straight-forward win for either player.

Competitive games and potential tie-breakers are in play here as is the chance of seeing at least three sets. Therefore backing this Semi Final to go over the total games set in that market looks the play.

Serena Williams - 5.5 games v Elena Vesnina: The big question for Serena Williams is can she break her run of three Grand Slams in a row without a title win and then equal Steffi Graf's 22 Single Slam titles this week? She can't have too many complaints with her opponents in the Quarter Final and now the Semi Final and I expect most will look for Serena Williams to be playing in the Final on Saturday.

So how quickly will she beat Elena Vesnina in this Semi Final? That might sound disrespectful to the Russian who is playing in her first Grand Slam Semi Final, but Vesnina has to be feeling the amount of tennis she has played over the two weeks at Wimbledon.

Vesnina is still involved in both Doubles and Mixed Doubles tournaments and she has been on court in the Singles for considerably more time than Serena Williams and that all adds up. The serving has been very strong but Vesnina is going to be tested on that aspect of her game more than at any other time this week as she will be facing an opponent with significant power and who will look to aggressively hit the ball back especially on any second serves that she will see.

Matches between them in the past have been one-sided towards Serena Williams, but Vesnina might be the most confident she has ever been before facing the World Number 1. If she serves well and hangs in early this could be an awkward match for Serena Williams, but the latter has been in very strong form and her own serve has been working very effectively under the recent conditions.

The key for this is Serena taking advantage of the Vesnina nerves, which there will be despite her success as a Doubles player. If she can make a fast start, Serena Williams should be able to dictate this match and I like her to come through with a 62, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Angelique Kerber-Venus Williams Over 21.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Sky Bet (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 41-34, + 12.70 Units (148 Units Staked, + 8.58% Yield)

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