2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championships
All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club – Wimbledon, England
Thursday, July 5, 2012, 8:00 am Eastern, TV: ESPN
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Six different women have won the last 6 grand slam titles. That trend has a 75% chance of continuing. Number 2 seed Victoria Azarenka won the Australian Open earlier this year and will take on #6 seed Serena Williams in the semifinals. Williams hasn’t won a grand slam title since Wimbledon in 2010. The other semifinal features #8 Angelique Kerber against #3 Agnieszka Radwanska. Neither Kerber nor Radwanska has ever advanced past the semifinals of a major.
Here is a look at both match-ups with odds courtesy of Bookmaker.
#8 Angelique Kerber (-140) vs #3 Agnieszka Radwanska (+110)
Kerber, 24 from Germany, is 45-12 this season with titles at Paris and Copenhagen. She lost in the third round at the Australian Open and in the quarters at the French.
Kerber made it to the semifinals of the US Open last year, but had never made it past the third round at Wimbledon until this year.
Kerber beat Lucie Hradecka, Ekaterina Makarova, #28 Christina McHale, Kim Clijsters, and #15 Sabine Lisicki to get to the semifinals. Kerber didn’t drop a set until her quarterfinal match-up against fellow German and doubles partner Lisicki. Kerber won 6-3, 6-7 (9-7), 7-5. She had three match points in the second set tiebreaker, but was unable to close it out. Lisicki, who upset #1 Maria Sharapova in the fourth round, came back to force the third set. Kerber was able to hold Lisicki off in the third set.
Radwanska is 23 from Poland. She is 43-9 this year with wins at Dubai, Miami, and Brussels. She made it to the quarters at the Australian where she lost to Azarenka, and lost in the third round at the French Open. If Radwanska wins Wimbledon, she will be the #1 ranked player in the world.
Before this year, Radwanska had never made ti past the quarters of any grand slam event. She had made to the quarterfinals twice before at Wimbledon. Radwanska beat Magdalena Rybarikova, Elena Vesnina, Heather Watson, Camila Giorgi, and #17 Maria Kirilenko to get to the semifinals. Until her quarterfinal match-up against Kirilenko, Radwanska hadn’t faced a seeded player or dropped a set. Radwanska won 7-5, 4-6, 7-5.
Kerber and Radwanska have only played 4 times against each other, with each winning twice. They have never met on grass. The last three have been on hard courts and have gone 3 sets. Kerber beat Radwanska in the second round of the US Open last year, their only previous meeting in a grand slam event.
I think these two are evenly matched. Both breezed to the quarterfinals thanks to some upsets in their sections of the draw. They both had tough quarterfinal match-ups. I like Radwanska to win a close hard fought contest that should go the full sets.
#6 Serena Williams (-165) vs #2 Victoria Azarenka (+135)
Serena suffered a humiliating first round loss at the French Open this year. The 30 year old is 32-3 with titles at Charleston and Madrid. She hasn’t played since the loss the French. Williams lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open this year.
Williams missed almost a year from late 2010 to early 2011 with a severe cut in her foot. It also let to serious health problems like a blood clot that almost killed her. Despite that, she is playing tennis at a very high level. Williams has 13 major titles in her career including 4 Wimbledon titles. Last season she lost in the fourth round in her first tournament back after the injury.
Serena has wins over Barbora Zahalova-Strycova, Melinda Czink, #25 Jie Zhing, Yaroslava Shvedova, and #4 Petra Kvitova to get back to the semifinals. Serena dropped sets to Zhing and Shvedova, but beat the defending champion Kvitova in straight sets in the quarterfinals 6-3, 7-5.
Azarenka is 43-4 this season with 4 titles at the Australian Open, Sydney, Doha, and Indian Wells, and lost in the finals at Stuttgart and Madrid. The 22 year old from Belarus lost in the fourth round at the French Open, and hasn’t played since then. With the early exit of Sharapova, Azarenka can regain the #1 ranking she held earlier this year by winning Wimbledon.
Azarenka won her first major title this year at the Australian Open. She made it to the semifinals at Wimbledon last year. Her win at the Australian was the first time she had advanced to the finals of a grand slam event.
Azarenka has wins over Irina Falconi, Romina Oprandi, Jana Cepelova, #14 Ana Ivanovic, and Tamira Paszek to get to the semifinals. She hasn’t dropped a set, and until Paszek took her to a tiebreaker, Azarenka hadn’t lost more than 4 games in any set.
Williams has dominated the series against Azarenka winning 7 of 8, including 5 in a row. Azarenka’s only win came in 2009. They haven’t played at Wimbledon since Williams won in the 2009 quarterfinals. They have played once this year, with Williams winning in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 in the final at Madrid on clay.
Azarenka is playing much better, as she matures as a player. She is only 22, but it seems like Serena is in her head. She certainly has the talent to beat Serena, but I don’t know if it will happen this year. I think Williams holds her off and wins a close three setter.
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