S. Williams vs Safarova by Rostick
The American has been far from her best during this tournament, but this only comes to show how good she is, reaching a Grand Slam final despite playing well below her optimal level of tennis. On the other hand she had a very easy draw and one can argue that a better opponent would have beaten this version of Serena. Her toughest adversary was probably Azarenka and Serena won only 2 of her 6 matches in straight sets. She was very close to losing the semifinal against Baczinsky, but eventually came back to claim the victory.
Serena said that she felt since the 3rd round, but particularly bad during her semifinal clash – and that she doesn`t know if she will be able to recover. Obviously this can be a tactic, but looking at her level in Paris, it looks very likely that she`s being honest and has some sort of injury / ilness. The American stated that she feels drained, cold and can`t move.
Safarova (who will also play the doubles final tommorow) was nothing short of brilliant these two weeks, meeting all her matches in straight sets despite having a very difficult schedule – including matches against Sharapova, a red hot Muguruza or Ivanovic. Lucie looked to have a lot of pressure at the start of the semifinal with Ivanovic and fell down 2-5 in the first set, but eventually the stress went away and she regained his best level of tennis – not looking back since that 2-5 deficit. Again, excellent shotmaking from the Czech, great serving and good defense as well.
Serena Williams leads the Head 2 Head 8-0 (2-0 on clay) and it seems Safarova is really struggling against her. However, I wouldn`t say Serena has a favorable matchup – she is always vulnerable against big hitters like Lucie and the Head 2 Head is more due to sheer quality difference. With Safarova playing at an unprecedented level, this Head 2 Head could be less relevant than it seems.
Obviously Serena Williams is the favorite here, but she has a lot going against her – she`s not feeling well, she`s not playing well and meets a player in the form of her life. Additionally there`s the fact that despite the Head 2 Head, Serena always struggled against big hitters. Safarova has plenty of reasons to hope for an upset and if she doesn`t get tight, like she did at the start of the match with Ivanovic, I actually think she will win this – especially is Serena will not be fit and it seems that she won’t.
Obviously this is a bit of a long shot, Serena is a different animal in a Grand Slam final and experience will be huge – but that counts for nothing if she has an injury. There`s potential for a solid return of investment here at huge odds so I will invest pretty high stakes on Lucie. My tip is Safarova to win. I`m staying away from any kind of game or set handicaps because if Serena manages to find her best game, it could end quickly and it`s not worth to risk that for odds 1.80 or 1.90. For odds 3.50 however, that`s obviously a massively different thing. Not to mention there could be very solid options for in play trading if Serena starts the match poorly. Prediction: Serena Williams – Lucie Safarova 5-7 6-1 4-6.
|Safarova||William Hill||3.50||8||2-1 LOST (-8 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.