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the Australian Open finals


Maria Sharapova has been in dominant form this fortnight, flogging Henin in straight sets and then taking care of a broken-down Jankovic in the semi-final. She needed to be on her game early on, facing former no.1 Davenport in R2, so to maintain that form for a fortnight is an excellent effort. Her shoulder injury worries of last year seem to be gone and her serve is now a major threat again.

Ana Ivanovic hasn't looked in quite as dominant form, but she has reached another Grand Slam final. A 0-6 start against Hantuchova wasn't promising, but she turned that around to progress to the final. Melbourne is like a second home to her, she has family there and the locals have really taken to her.

The slate currently stands at 2-2, with no match going the distance (one injury retirement in 2nd set). The odds are heavily favouring Sharapova, a little too far in my opinion. Odds of 1.25 (1/4) on Betfair, represent an 80% likelihood of her winning - it can't possibly be that one-sided. Ivanovic looks great value at the other side of that (5 or 4/1).


Not exactly the final we were expecting! Novak Djokovic expelled those demons from his US Open final loss by thumping Roger Federer in straight sets and is a short price to claim his first Grand Slam title. Having been to a Grand Slam final once before, and with several tournament wins last year, you'd expect him to be a strong favourite. His record is 7-3 in tour finals and he is yet to drop a set in this tournament. Impressive.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has turned into a phenomenon. The most dangerous player in the draw outside the seedings surprised a few by taking out Andy Murray in the first round, but the momentum hasn't slowed down, taking down Gasquet, Youzhny and Nadal en route to his first, not just Slam final, but his first ATP Tour final! His record in finals along the way is extremely impressive, 15-2, including challengers and satellites. I must admit I thought his game was a bit one-dimensional before this tournament but that has been blown out of the water.

I hope this is a great match. There hasn't been a five-set final in Melbourne since 1988, it's about time we had another. But I think Tsonga's dream run has to end somewhere. Djokovic deserves to win a Grand Slam, he improved massively last year and now has the belief that he can compete with Federer and Nadal. Djokovic to win and a Serbian double for the weekend, but I don't think either are good things.


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