Skip to main content

the Australian Open finals

Women

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).

Men

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

It's not just about the Tingle Creek tomorrow at Sandown, there's a Grade 1 Novice Chase amongst the rather decent supporting card. Lining up for the preview is astute NH enthusiast Sam Tribe, @samtribe87.

---------------------

Racing Post Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
Grade 1 Chase, 2 Miles
Sandown 13:50
Likely going Soft, Good to Soft in places


With doubts concerning the fitness of last year’s Queen Mother Chase winner Sire De Grugy and of the two mile chase king Sprinter Sacre (despite bullish remarks from Henderson) there is a chance for another to step into the limelight. Both have won the feature race of the day, The Tingle Creek Chase and that will more than likely throw a few into the hat. However, I have chosen to take a look at the Henry VIII chase, which was changed to a grade 1 in 2011 and has been won by some nice prospects in the past (Somersby and Al Ferof to name but a few). Let’s hope that a potential Champion Chase contender of the future will feature in this …

Kentucky Derby preview

It's America's big day of racing, where 90% of them will be there to be seen and most won't have a clue what difference Churchill Downs Inc's latest takeout hike does to shaft them on every bet placed. Throw in the standard arguments about race-day medication in the US and the recent New York Times/PETA expose on yesterday's Oaks-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, and racing in North America could be in better health.

Still, it's one of the elite races and great occasions of the world, and stepping up to the plate is Jon da Silva again, @creamontop, with his preview in a very American style. (No I don't understand Brisnet figures either...)

------------------------------

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands

They say you should avoid food additive E-numbers which you can’t with Yum Brands…

Yum! Brands, Inc. or Yum! is a United States-based Fortune 500 corporation. Yum! operates or licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwid…