On this page you find articles on Kim Clijsters and sports betting in general.
Kim Clijsters (1st seed - World 2nd)13/8 at Paddy Power Simply head and shoulders above the rest of the field. Has won here before, back in 2004. Has played two tournaments this year and has gotten to the final of both (both against Na Li coincidentally), after losing in the Sydney final to the Chinese player, she came from one set down to rally and take the final of the Australian Open. That was the first set which she had dropped in the entire tournament. This is four time Grand Slam winner, who has picked up a mammoth 41 career titles in the WTA. Has an incredibly 491-115 match record throughout her career, and is 11-1 in the win/loss stats for this year alone. With a place in the semi finals in Paris, Clijsters would return to World Number One and you really have to fancy that happening. She is probably in the strongest form of her career at the moment, and there is a lot of extra incentive for her to go well here. She’ll be helped along by a first round bye too.
Maria Sharapova (2nd seed - World 13th)17/2 at Paddy Power Is there a better battler on the WTA Tour than Russian Sharapova? She again showed how to dig deep when she had her back to the wall at the recent Australian Open. She eventually fell to German Andrea Petkovic in the last 16. Truthfully she doesn’t look as if she has the magic to go on and pick up a Grand Slam title any time soon in her career, but she is moving and playing well, nonetheless. If she breaks into the top ten of the world rankings this year, it will be a great achievement for her. This is the first time that she has played at Coubertin during her career, and this is the type of tournament when she will really show well. With not having a full complement of the world’s top ten to contend with, she can pick up titles like this. Will be hanging around second favourite in the tennis betting odds and no reason not to back against her winning really, if Clijsters wasn’t there. Just can’t see her overcoming Clijsters if they meet.
Kaia Kanepi (3rd seed - World 17th)25/1 at Paddy Power Improving a lot all the time, and is making a great name for herself at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see what she does for herself this year, and should add to her one career title at some point during the year. She is currently at her highest rank in the world standings, finishing 2010 in 22nd place. She was 27th in 2008 but then fell away down to 61st at the end of 2009. The Estonian though has many good aspects to her game, and although she has been around for a long time, it is just over the last six months or so when she really seems as if she is getting stronger. That having been said, she hasn’t started with a bang this year, falling in the round of 32 in Sydney, and then in the second round at the Australian Open. The thing about Kanepi, is that she has clear potential, but it doesn’t show up quite often enough. Decent level of competition here for her to show up here a little bit more here.
Petra Kvitova (4th seed - World 18th)7/1 at Paddy Power Would seriously take a good, long hard look at her as an outside chance on this one. Played some fantastic tennis at the Australian Open, causing upsets along the way. Kvitova was a great tip in her matches going through the Grand Slam, knocking out fifth seed Sam Stosur, 22nd seed Flavia Pennetta before losing to Vera Zvonareva in the quarter finals. In the warm up tournament in Brisbane prior to that, Kvitova won the event, beating Cibulkova, Pavlyuchenkova and Petkovic along the way. In fact, Kvitova destroyed Petkovic in the final. That was the second career title for the 6 foot tall, left handed player. She should get a lot better and this has been a promising start to the season for Kvitova. Should be a big presence at the Open GDF Suez event. Believe that she should be well worth having a dabble in, and that will be because she is just in good form. Would possibly meet Sharapova in the semi’s, with only wild card entrant Yanina Wickmayer looking a threat in her quarter.
Nadia Petrova (5th Seed - World 20th)18/1 at Paddy Power A former winner back in 2007, beating Lucie Safarova (who is also in the tournament) . Petrova hasn’t got into the swing of things this season at all. She lost in the first round of Brisbane and Sydney, and then crashed in the round of 32 at the Australian Open to Ekaterina Makarova. Another Russian on the tour, she has slipped backwards from her promising peaks back around 2005 and 2006, where she reached 6th in the world rankings, but ended 2010 down in 15th. She has nine career titles to her name, and a whole host of doubles titles. Really can turn things on the day, but we don’t see enough of her top game to make her a genuine threat very often. Outside chance at best, depending on the level of draw she gets in Paris, unfortunately it’s not been kind as she’d meet Clijsters in the quarter finals. Wouldn’t expect her to win that.
Andrea Petkovic (Seed 6 - World 24th)10/1 at Paddy Power German Petkovic had a really mixed Australian Open Grand Slam. She beat Maria Sharapova along the way in the round of 16, before being outclassed by eventual runner up Na Li. She really should have been knocked out prior to that by Britain’s Anne Keothavong, who had her on the ropes but couldn’t finish her off. Petkovic isn’t your typical tennis player, as she has ambitions of being Germany’s Chancellor one day, and is quite forthright in her views. She is quite gutsy and her energy sometimes surpasses her natural talent. Had a good run in Brisbane while warming up for the Australian Open, beating Marion Bartoli along the way, before losing heavily to Petra Kvitova in the final. Petkovic has one career title to her name since turning pro in 2004, but has steadily made her way up the world rankings. Needs to find another gear here, but does make a strong candidate for an outside punt here. Could be the clash against Sharapova, a rematch of the Australian Open match, which makes or breaks her.
Dominika Cibulkova (Seed 8 - World 27th)18/1 at Paddy Power The young Slovakian is a huge potential star for the future. She is still maturing at the age of 22, and is clearly working hard on her game. It is almost like the tennis world is just waiting for her to step up and claim her position amongst the top players in the world, and is showing steady, if not spectacular form this season. She reached the quarter finals at both Brisbane and Sydney (losing to Petra Kvitova and Alisa Kleybanova respectively), but in Sydney, Cibulkova beat world number one Caroline Wozniacki and world number 20 Maria Kirilenko along the way. That is the true potential of her, but she couldn’t grind out a three setter against Kleybanova. Wozniacki got her revenge over Cibulkova in the third round at the Australian Open, but Cibulkova still battled well and pushed hard. She, in ways, makes for the romantic bet, the one that you want to see break through and win her first title. It should come at some point, hopefully this year. In same half of draw as Clijsters though. Potential semi finalist.
The women’s final of the Australian Open is all about Chinese star Li Na, who has managed to go one better than her semi final appearance in Melbourne last year. In her defeat of world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the semi finals, she became the first Asian player to reach a Grand Slam tennis final. Even on the back of her strong performance here last year, she was always an outsider in the betting, and going up against Wozniacki, everyone expected the young Danish starlet to be heading to the Australian Open final. It is not to be though, as Li Na out punched her. It was a fascinating match between the two, with Wozniacki looking the calmer and more assured through the first set. Li Na had to fend of a match point for Wozniacki in the second set as well, but it was the Chinese player who really started gaining momentum as the match went on. As Wozniacki tired, looking a bit heavy in the legs, and her incredible anticipation deserting her, Li Na pounced. Li Na plays a very simple game, and it is not one with a lot of style and finesse, but it certainly packs a lot of power. In the first set, Na could not finish opportunities at all, with forehand smash after forehand smash going long or wide. She looked as if she was really feeling the pressure of the moment in the first set, and just couldn’t get herself going.
However, and this is one of the big pluses about Li Na, is that she digs in and really knows how to stage a comeback. She did the same against Kim Clijsters in the final of Sydney just a fortnight ago, when Clijsters was in cruise control, but Na fought back from the brink of defeat to steal the title. She has an incredible fortitude, can cause a lot of damage with her backhand shots, and when she pairs up the accuracy of her forehand with her power, then she is a big threat. Li Na punches hard with her shots and her game is about power, trying to bully her opponent off the court, and it leads to a very brave game from her. She has one of the highest winning shot counts in the women’s tournament, along with the highest break point conversion rate at the Australian Open. The downfall though, is that because she has an incredibly low clearance over the net through playing very hard, low, flat shots that she really shoots for the baseline, and while her winners are up, her unforced error count is really high also. It is finding that balance in between, but it works for Na, and now she proudly steps out in to her first Grand Slam final, and should be in good spirits. Na has dropped just one set in the tournament so far, beating Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka on the road to the final, where she will meet Kim Clijsters.
Kim Clijsters from Belgium has been guilty of being a streaky player in her career. While she is undoubtedly one of the class acts on the WTA, she also goes through patches where her game really lets her down. There have been small glimpses of it during the Australian Open, particularly in her match against, Alize Cornet in the second round. Still, Clijsters continues to punch her way through, and her strengths are in her footwork and beautiful control. She just never looks like she is going to hit a bad shot, and this is where the match could be won. She took firm control of the early exchanges against Li Na in the final of Sydney, but then couldn’t withstand the power of Li Na’s comeback, once the Chinese player had relaxed after looking down and out. Clijsters will have learned from that, she is too good of a player not too, and the three time US Open Champion is firm favourite to add the Australian Open title to her collection, a title which she has never won before. There will be a new name on the women’s trophy this year. Truthfully, Clijsters hasn’t been tested too much in the tournament so far, getting past Agnieszka Radwanska, Ekaterina Makarova and helped by Jelena Jankovic exiting early. Her biggest test came in the semi final where she met world number two Vera Zvonareva.
Despite exchanging breaks at the start of the match, Clijsters wasn’t long in exerting her control in the match, and ran out 6-3 6-3 winner over the Russian. A straight sets victory, just as she had done against Zvonareva at Flushing Meadows last year in the US Open final. If you are looking for experience to hedge your bet with, then Clijsters will win hands down. This is a Grand Slam final, and nerves do play their part. Ask Zvonareva at the US Open and Wimbledon finals. This is the eighth major final which Clijsters has been in, and hasn’t dropped a set through her progress to the final. Looking at the stats between the two players, there are some big factors at play. Clijsters has won 70% of points on her first serve, while Na has won just 64%. Perhaps more telling, is the 58% success on points that Clijsters has on her second serve, where Li Na’s second serve has yielded just a point win just 49% of the time during the tournament. Clijsters has spent a lot less time on court during the Australian Open than Li Na, the Belgium making rapid progress. Can Li Na punch above her ranking one more time, to make another piece of history? Li Na is something of an important figure in Chinese sport. She rebelled against the state, refusing to pay the 40% of her earnings that the state trained players were required to. She left the regime and went solo, paying her own way to tournaments around the world and making a name for herself. Both are very affable players, with Clijsters the cool, collected, consummate polite, respectful professional, while Na is the spunky passionate one with her heart on her sleeve.
The Head to Head record between the two stands in favour of Clijsters, winning 4 to Na’s 2. Clijsters is ranked 3rd in the world (will be up to number two after this tournament), while Na is ranked 11th. Clijsters has 40 career titles, to Na’s 4. This should be a great match, with plenty of big shots going to the wire, you have to look at the much better control that Clijsters has though, along with the big match experience. When Na beat Clijsters in Sydney, it was Clijster’s failure to put the first set to bed on the tie break after being up in the set. It handed all the momentum and power to Na to stage a comeback. She did, but can she do it on the big stage, under the heat and pressure of a Grand Slam final? Even with that victory, it is tough to back against Clijsters, she is probably going to be too much of a class act on the day, and looks for her fourteenth straight Grand Slam match victory in a row.
Kim Clijsters to win: 4/11 at Bet365
Na Li to win: 5/2 at SkyBet
Check out Bet365 for their incredible coverage of the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis. Bet365 have been broadcasting live streams from the tennis action in Melbourne, and now that the two draws are coming to their climax, it is time to squeeze out as much tennis betting as you can! Bet365 have a brilliant live in play betting service, one which is new and improved to make your live betting even more efficient. The same quality of service and leading odds are there, and when you pair it up with the live streaming service which the highly popular bookmaker provides, then they really do make a sound bet for all of your sports wagers. If you are not a customer with the online bookmaker yet, then upon sign up, you will be welcomed to Bet365 with up to £100 worth of free bets, so you could have plenty of free cash to enjoy betting with on the final days of the Australian Open 2011.
Day Eight of the Australian Open, and the action really is begging to wind up. We’ve lost Sharapova and Azarenka, while Francesca Schiavone fought out and epic with Svetlana Kuznetsova yesterday. That was all for places in the quarter finals, and the second half of the draw battles it out today to try and join the likes of Schiavone and Wozniacki there. This means that we have some interesting battles about to resume in Melbourne, starting with tournament favourite Kim Clijsters. She is going so strongly, even though she found her third round match a bit trying, as she had to dig a little deeper to get past Alize Cornet, in match which was a bit tighter than expected. That’s nothing much to worry about really, because players are going to have their off days, and no-one is perfect all of the time, unless your name is Rafael Nadal. Next up for Clijsters on her quest to win her first Australian Open, is Ekaterina Makarova. Makarova is a player who will run down every point and make Clijsters work hard, but she will be a strong underdog. Makarova knocked out 13th seed Nadia Petrova in the third round, and after winning her first tour tournament last year, is on the rise. However, was watching her against Petrova, and really doesn’t look as if she has the all round game to out punch Clijsters over the course of a match. Clijsters is just to quick and powerful around the court, and as long as she has that bounce in her step, then the Belgian star will win through to the quarter finals as expected .
Petra Kvitova v Flavia Pennetta makes for an interesting match. Ever since her arrival in the semi finals of Wimbledon last year, there has been a rising interest in Kvitova. The 28th ranked left hander from the Czech Republic, who has only been a pro for just over four years, is really coming along nicely. As hinted, previously on these pages, was the likely player to cause a big upset in the third round, and she did, silencing the home fans by knocking out Aussie star Sam Stosur in straight sets. Is she going to win the tournament? No, but she has every chance of making it to the quarter finals here against Pennetta. The Italian is a bit of surprise contestant in the fourth round, and that is because she looked down and out in the third round against the future potential star of Israel’s Shahar Peer. Pennetta looked to be fighting a lost cause in the first set, losing it 6-3 with Peer looking to be motoring. She held on through a tie break in the second and then ran out 6-4 winner in the third set. It really was a commendable effort from the Italian, which wasn’t watched here as Peer looked so much in control after the first set, that the doubles pairing of Azarenka & Kirilenko looked much more interesting.
Agnieszka Radwanska v Shuai Peng is a bit of an unpredictable one to call. Radwanska looks a mixed bag of talent and poor shot selection at times, but is an enjoyable player to watch. With the demise of Jelena Jankovic and Victoria Azarenka, the dark horse label must fall on the shoulders of Radwanska. She is progressing really without any fuss or bother or hype surrounding her, that’s because no-one is expecting her to win the tournament. Here’s the thing with her, she has looked as if she has lacked a bit of belief in her game, especially in the two opening rounds, but she really looked to have grown in stature in the third when she thumped Simona Halep (in a match which was presumed to be going to play out as a close one), dropping only three games along the way. What of her opponent Shuai Peng? Don’t know a great deal about her to be honest, but the Asian players seeming to be getting a stronger foothold in the game, with the likes of Na Li and Jie Zheng reaching the semi’s here last year. Peng did knock out Jelena Jankovic (7th seed) in a previous round and that is why she is here. If Radwanska is on top her game and on top of herself, then the Polish star will win. Peng looks like one of those dogged players who will just not give up, but Radwanska (ranked 12th) should win here and set up a tasty quarter final against Kim Clijsters.
In the fourth women’s singles of the day, we get to see number two seed Vera Zvonareva take on Iveta Benesova. After starting the draw strongly, Zvonareva had a bit of struggle in the second round when she dropped the first set against promising youngster Bojana Jovanovski. She looked stronger in her first set against Lucie Safarova in the third round, but was made to work very hard in the third, taking it on a tie break in the end. Zvonareva is still hit and miss really as far as the title goes, and because of the fact that she would meet Kim Clijsters in the semi finals of her half of the draw, the player who thumped her in the final of the US Open late last year, you would back Clijsters over the Russian. But Zvonareva is improving and is looking a little more mature in her tactical approach to the game. Good mover around the court, and drives her shots well to the baseline, however, may just be lacking that world class edge to take her all the way. She has to be behind Wozniacki and Clijsters in the front running. Zvonareva takes on Benesova, who has knocked out two seeds along the way. Firstly she deposed Maria Kirilenko in the second round ,before taking out dark horse Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in an enduring match. Benesova has never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam, so this is new territory for her. Really shouldn’t be beating Zvonareva here, don’t fully see an upset happening, so would look for Clijsters, Zvonareva, Radwanska and perhaps Kvitova to move through today.
Check out live in play betting opportunities at your online bookmaker. One stand out service to use is Unibet, who have one of the best live betting consoles around. Not only that, the highly recommended bookie is providing live streams of the tennis from the Australian Open, and that is for funded account holders. So if you are looking to bet on and watch the action from Melbourne, then check out Unibet, who really do deliver an incredible service. If you are not a customer there yet, when you sign up, you get a £20 no risk first bet, and you could use that on your Grand Slam tennis betting to further increase your chances of picking up some profit!