Kim Clijsters

On this page you find articles on Kim Clijsters and sports betting in general.

WTA Hertogenbosch UNICEF Open Tennis Betting Odds and Preview

Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia)
WTA Hertogenbosch Tennis Betting Info Well, at least the Netherlands can enjoy watching some good tennis, as their national football side embarrassingly crashed out of Euro 2012. The build up here is of course for the third Grand Slam of the year, Wimbledon, which is right around the corner. The grass court swing of the season is very short, and players have to adjust quickly. So this tournament, known as the UNICEF Open is a great way for players to get their footing in ahead of the action at the All England Club which starts next week. This is not too deep of a field, as most of the big guns are resting up ahead of Wimbledon, but there are some big names to follow WTA Hertogenbosch Tennis Betting Defending Champion Italian Roberta Vinci took the tile here in Holland last year, and she is up there making decent value in the betting. The gutsy, diminutive players has actually had a pretty good season. She is a clay court expert, making some good runs on the surface this season, but she switched over well enough recently to grass where she hit the quarter finals of Birmingham. She is hard to just breeze past, as she runs tirelessly and is a fantastic competitor. Turning out in levels of tournaments like these are her best shots at glory, but then again she really still doesn't make a particularly strong outright bet, even though there is value in her price of 12/1 with Bet365. An each way on her may be better served. WTA Hertogenbosch Tennis Betting Favourite The class act of Kim Clijsters is actually is as favourite with online bookmaker Bet365. The Belgian star did have to come from a set down to win her first match on the weekend, and this is the first time that she has been out in action since the clay court swing of the started. She had to sit out the entire clay part of the season with an injury and looked strong enough in the opening exchanges, until she blew a 4-1 lead to lose the first set against Romina Oprandi. Still, she picked herself up and showed why she is one of the best in the world, but whether her true level of fitness and match sharpness is there, remains to be seen. On paper, when she is fit and on top of her game, she should breeze through tournaments like this. The question is not over her ability, it is over her fitness. Still, at 5/2 with online bookmaker Bet365 not a bad price. Other Contenders Dominika Cibulkova has slowly been getting and better through the season. The young Slovakian star has the ability to go far, and she reached three quarter finals in a row in her last three outings. Those were all on clay, granted, but it was her fourth round performance at Roland Garros which saw the very best of her true potential. In the round of 16 at the French Open, Cibulkova downed world number one Victoria Azarenka in brilliant performance. If Cibulkova performed to that quality, the best of potential at the moment, then she would be picking up titles. She has a fantastic all round game, and would put her in as favourite ahead of Kim Clijsters here actually. She has looked sharp and is not too far away from stepping up another level in her career. Because of her form, and with Clijsters having been missing in action lately, the Slovakian at 3/1 looks a great bet. Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta is also going to be worth looking at. She is class act, more known for the countless titles she has picked up in doubles, but is a threat in her own right. The thing about Pennetta is that you always expect more from her, but then at times she just fails to deliver. She can be a bit hit and miss, but Pennetta has the quality to at least book herself a semi final place at a tournament like this. Worth a decent look behind the two outright favourites. Best Outside Bet Well, Serbia's Jelena Jankovic has to be worth a shot as an outside bet. The former world number one has looked nowhere near her best over the last eighteen months, largely because of injury problems. However, she went to the final of Birmingham last week, and while she got stunned in the final by rank outsider Melanie Oudin, Jankovic will have done her confidence and game a world of good by putting in a solid week's worth of work. Therefore, out at 14/1, she looks the best outside shot. Latest WTA Hertogenbosch Tennis Betting Prices at Bet365 Kim Clijsters 5/2, Dominika Cibulkova 3/1, Flavia Pennetta 8/1, Nadia Petrova 8/1, Roberta Vinci 12/1, Yanina Wickmayer 12/1, Francesca Schiavone 14/1, Jelena Jankovic 14/1 Online Bookmaker Promotion Online bookmaker Bet Victor run a great tennis betting promotion which is worth dipping into throughout the 2012 season. Place a match bet on any match from the main draw of an ATP or WTA event, and if your selection loses the match in a final set tie break, then you will get your lost stake back as a free bet. So this gives you some nice coverage on your tennis betting throughout the season, should your match selection lose in a cruel way in a final set tie break. Online bookmaker Bet Victor offer a free £25 bet for new customers registering an account. The bookie will match the value of your first stake on a new account, up to the maximum value of £25, with a free bet.


WTA Miami Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Betting Odds, Tips and Preview

Serena Williams (USA)
WTA Miami Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Betting Info Another Premier level WTA event on the cards for this week and next, as the best in the world head to Miami, Florida for the next chapter of the season. Victoria Azarenka kept her unbeaten start to 2012 going with yet another win, taking the Indian Wells title over Maria Sharapova on the weekend. She will be favourite to win in Miami, but the field takes on a bit of a different complex here than last week. That is because there are some comeback stories to pay attention to, as Kim Clijsters and both Serena and Venus Williams step back into action, baking WTA Sony Ericsson Open Tennis betting a real treat for punters and fans alike. WTA Miami Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Betting Defending Champion Victoria Azarenka, if she needed any more backing up as favourite, is also the defending champion in Miami, winner her second career title there last year. Azarenka has rattled off the best start to a WTA season for fifteen years now, as she stands at 23-0 after lifting the title in Indian Wells. Has a comfortably looking quarter of the draw ahead of her, with Mario Bartoli being a probable quarter final opponent. You can look at the draw for potential semi final opponents, such as Petra Kvitova, Venus Williams, Flavia Pennetta and Agnieszka Radwanska and would just back Vika against all of them at the moment. That is how powerful and commanding she is at the moment. She almost stumbled early on at Indian Wells, but after rescuing a dire situation, simply got better and better. She has more chance of going out complacently in the early rounds than another top ten seed taking her out. WTA Miami Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Betting Favourite Belarusian Azarenka also takes the title of ATP Miami Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Betting favourite as well, trading at 13/8 favourite with Bet365. She is the star of the game at the moment, fully deserving of her world number one status and the one to beat at the moment. This draw is going to be harder, with some of the top class names coming back in, but they all have to try and catch up to Azarenka. Yes, her winning streak will end at some point. If she pulls another Miami win off here, the third of her career, then we could be in for a Djokovic like season from Vika. Other Contenders A top quality field, with Serena Williams trading as second favourite at 5/1 with Bet Victor. We haven't seen Williams since the Australian Open, but she has a fantastic record in Miami, having won the title five times. She is coming in cold, last playing competitively at the Fed Cup back at the start of February, ironically against Belarus (Azarenka didn't play). So, a last sixteen exit at the Australian Open didn't point to great thing, so you just don't know. She has the power, has the class. Does she have the fitness and match sharpness? Petra Kvitova comes back into action again as she looks to find her way back from illness. Didn't get too far as expected at Indian Wells last week, and she could play Venus Williams in the second round here. Because of lack of competitive matches, compared to the likes of Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, hard to back her with confidence. We know she has game, whether she is on top of it at the moment is a different thing. Maria Sharapova, losing finalist to Victoria Azarenka at Indian Wells, just as she was at the Australian Open, will be a stronger option really than either Williams or Kvitova. She is in decent form, performing well, and would have big titles under her belt this season were it not for Azarenka. Comfortable draw, nothing really to worry about ahead until the semi finals where the likes of Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams could be lurking. If she got back to the final to face Azarenka, she has taken a set off the Belarusian in five straight defeats now. Still, if Azarenka goes, Sharapova is the strongest bet behind her. Sharapova has been losing finalist three times in Miami, including last year against Azarenka, who she must be sick of. Like Serena Williams and Kvitova, Kim Clijsters is back after injury problems as well. She is class personified, but lack of match sharpness is hard to over look, especially in humid Florida. Caroline Wozniacki sounds confident and is happily working on her game, but she doesn't have the big presence, the big threat any more at the moment. We need to see 20% more from her than we have for a while now for her to take a title. Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska is up there alongside Sharapova and Azarenka as this season's best performers. Like Sharapova, she has been thwarted by Vika this season too often (three semi finals and one quarter final). Enjoy her game a lot, vastly improved and a very dangerous, in form floater on top of her game. Best Outside Bet We keep pumping for France's Marion Bartoli, because she is an awesome performer and we just want to see her grab one of these big titles. Came up a little short at Indian Wells in the quarter finals, but enough to build on to have a good run. There were a lot of good performers last week, like Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber but this is a tougher tournament, so would avoid dipping too far down the seedings. Latest WTA Miami Sony Ericsson Open Tennis Betting Prices Victoria Azarenka: 13/8 at Bet365 Serena Williams: 5/1 at Bet Victor Petra Kvitova: 11/2 at Bet365 Maria Sharapova: 8/1 at Bet Victor Kim Clijsters: 14/1 at Paddy Power Caroline Wozniacki: 22/1 at Bet365 Na Li: 25/1 at Paddy Power Sam Stosur: 28/1 at Stan James Marion Bartoli: 33/1 at Bet Victor Online Bookmaker Promotion Online bookmaker Bet Victor run a great tennis betting promotion which is worth dipping into throughout the 2012 season. Place a match bet on any match from the main draw of an ATP or WTA event, and if your selection loses the match in a final set tie break, then you will get your lost stake back as a free bet. So this gives you some nice coverage on your tennis betting throughout the season, should your match selection lose in a cruel way in a final set tie break. Online bookmaker Bet Victor offer a free ÂŁ25 bet for new customers registering an account. The bookie will match the value of your first stake on a new account, up to the maximum value of ÂŁ25, with a free bet.

Kim Clijsters v Victoria Azarenka Australian Open Semi Finals tennis betting odds & preview

Victoria Azarenka
Kim Clijsters v Victoria Azarenka Australian Open Semi Finals tennis betting is an absolute treat of a match for us to enjoy. Defending Champions Kim Clijsters produced one of the all time classic comebacks in the fourth round against last year’s losing finalist Na Li. Clijsters rolled her ankle in the first set, which she lost and then had to face four match points in the second. Somehow she played through the pain and took the second and third sets to move ahead to face world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter finals. So it hasn’t been an easy or plain sailing campaign for Clijsters, but she is sure proving just what a phenomenal and worthy champion she is. Clijsters plans on retiring at the end of the season and so this will be her last appearance at Melbourne Park if that is going to happen and she booked herself a spot in the last four, upsetting the top seed. There really was no sign of any ankle problem for Clijsters as she took command of the match against Wozniacki easily. Whatever treatment she received on her ankle, sure did the trick and it probably helped mental preparations as well because that was all that she had to focus on. Clijsters is class. The classiest woman on the WTA, without doubt. She plays with such a style, but there is formidable power in her arsenal as well. Against Na Li, when she looked down and out, Clijsters just went for everything, put everything into her shots and she came up trumps. She did it again in the second set against Wozniacki in the tie break (which came after Clijsters had let a 5-2 lead slip) when Clijsters just started hitting out harder and more lethally. That bravery is what she has up her sleeve, and what is so devastating to her opponents. The win against the world number one, which will have left Wozniacki wondering just how to beat heavy hitters, looked effortless for Clijsters, whatever condition her ankle was truly in. Now she sets up herself up for another big task, in Kim Clijsters v Victoria Azarenka Australian Open Semi Finals tennis betting. Victoria Azarenka is red hot at the moment, let’s make no mistake about that. With Wozniacki out of the way thanks to Clijsters, Azarenka still has a shot at becoming the new world number one at the conclusion of the Australian Open. The Belarusian faced her friend Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter finals, and it was the Polish player who edged a very tight first set. The first set went to a tie break, which Radwanska blitzed through in remarkable fashion, taking it 7-0. So a surprise looked on the cards, as Radwanska just never stopped running during that first set, chasing down everything that Azarenka could throw at her. It told after the first set though, as Azarenka came out even more focused and determined. What she did was tighten up her game and cut out the unforced errors, which had gifted her opponent points in the first set. There was big mental change up in her game, and the power kept on coming. Azarenka hits the ball hard. We mean hard. She is one of the biggest hitters in the game and is so aggressive in her work, she leaves little on the court. This is only the second time she has been past the quarter finals of a Grand Slam, but the young Belarusian is growing and growing in stature all of the time. She matured last season and she looks to have matured even more. Azarenka was generally guilty of being her own worst enemy, her emotions and hot temper getting the better or her, as she would lose focus in games and just disappear. The fact that she switched up a mental gear at the start of the second set against Radwanska was a big indicator of how far she has come. So Kim Clijsters v Victoria Azarenka Australian Open Semi Finals tennis betting is going to be a real heavyweight match, with two very powerful hitters. If class at the end of the day is going to be the factor, then Clijsters has much flair and a deft touch around the court. But you can’t ignore Azarenka’s athleticism, something which she has clearly worked on, because she gets from side to side much better than she did a couple of seasons ago. There is so little to chose between these two players as it stands. So better have a look at the head to head. Clijsters leads 4-2 against Azarenka and they met twice last year with both players picking up a win. This is such a tough call splitting these two and would expect the match to go to three sets. Who are the bookies leaning towards? The younger, possibly fitter Azarenka, who is in destructive mode at the moment. Would back that up if her head is in the game. She’s been in great form over the past few months, and picked up a title coming into the Australian Open. Kim Clijsters v Victoria Azarenka Australian Open Semi Finals tennis betting Victoria Azarenka 10/11 at Ladbrokes, Kim Clijsters Evens at BetFred Your Australian Open tennis betting is doubly good at 888Sport because the online bookmaker has two fantastic promotions running, giving you some coverage on your match betting. Back a player in match betting in the men’s draw at the Australian Open, and if your player loses either in five sets, or if there are three or more sets in the match which are decided by tie breaks, then a free bet will be headed your way. If your selection loses under either of those circumstances, then you will get a free bet up to the maximum value of £50 (the free bet will be the equivalent of your initial stake). So the 888Sport tennis betting promotion is a great way to take some insurance on your match betting in the men’s draw at the Australian Open. New customers to 888Sport can get up to £50 in free bets after signing up for a new account. New customers will get a free £10 bet from the bookie when making a £10 bet as their first stake on the new account, and for every four £10 bets, you can get another £10 free bet, until you have accumulated £50 in free bets! To Win Australian Open Azarenka 11/4 at Bet365 Clijsters 4/1 at BetFred

Caroline Wozniacki v Kim Clijsters Australian Open Quarter Finals Tennis Betting Odds & Preview

Defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters put in one of the heroic performances of her career to move ahead to the quarter finals and set up Kim Clijsters v Caroline Wozniacki betting. The Belgian star, who has suggested that she is going to retire (again) at the end of this season hurt her ankle at the end of the first set against Na Li in the fourth round. With Na Li taking the first set and then leading 6-2 in the second tie break, it looked curtains for Clijsters in what could have been her last match at Melbourne Park. However, the true character of a champion pulled through, somehow saving those four match points to take the second set, and took the deciding set 6-4. You could physically see the pain through which Clijsters was playing and she admitted that she wanted to pull out but she just kept on going knowing that this was perhaps, her last ever Australian Open. The four times Grand Slam champion, and it was through digging down to her reserves to just go for broke on everything that rattled her Chinese opponent. It really was a remarkable come back for Clijsters, a stunning come back. Now, while the euphoria of that has be settled down and assessment of what it means for the rest of her tournament. There’s no word yet, just what damage, if any has been done, to the ankle which she rolled. Maybe a day of rest will enable her to come back, and while there were question marks over her fitness before coming into the Australian Open, this latest turn of events will probably detract punters from jumping on her back. Especially with the draw ahead. If we were talking about a fully fit Kim Clijsters, there would be little hesitation in backing her all the way to the final. She is the classiest player on the women’s tour and makes the game look effortless. But with a quarter final match against world number one Caroline Wozniacki up next, it is going to be full test of her fitness. Caroline Wozniacki has been steaming through the rounds at Melbourne Park. Yes, she is the world number one and no, she hasn’t won a Grand Slam yet, but she looks in pretty good shape. She looks far more confident and bubbly than she was towards the latter end of last season, so hopefully she is back to her best. Maybe with the injury to Clijsters, this is finally going to be her moment. This action is taking place in the top half of the draw and the winner of Caroline Wozniacki v Kim Clijsters betting will face the winner of Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi finals. Woznaicki had to survive a little bit of a comeback against former world number one Jelena Jankovic in the fourth round, but still served out for 6-0 7-5 win. The thing is, Jankovic played badly, so it is hard to judge what Wozniacki got out of it. Wozniacki did get broken in the second set, but she did bounce back on the two times that it happened to hold her nerve and get the breaks back. So, all in all, she really hasn’t been tested too hard, but she looks pretty fit and strong. There is still a weakness in her game, that there is no killer shot, but her defence is there all the way, and she is generally tough to break down. The big factor in this could be the Clijsters ankle. Wozniacki is a very smart tennis player, plays the percentages very well and is always in the right place at the right time. If she moves Clijsters around the court, testing her opponents ankle, then she will gain a huge advantage in the match. It will probably be a great tactical match up, will Caroline Wozniacki v Kim Clijsters betting be. A winner is tough to call, a fit Clijsters would edge it most likely, but the bookies know how tight this will be and are protecting themselves. Caroline Wozniacki 10/11 at SkyBet v Kim Clijsters Evens at Ladbrokes There hasn’t been too much history between these two, with only two professional matches played head to head. Both of them were won by Kim Clijsters, once at the final of the US Open in 2009 and then in the final of the Tour Championships in 2010. Fascinating match up, the best tip here will be to look at live in play betting for the match, and assess how the Clijsters ankle injury is holding up. Kim Clijsters is 8/1 at SportingBet to win the Australian Open Caroline Wozniacki is 10/1 at Bet365 to win the Australian Open Online bookmaker Paddy Power have a great tennis betting promotion running for the 2012 Australian Open. Place a match bet with Paddy Power, in either the men’s or women’s side of the draw, and if your selection loses, but the last point of the match happens to be an ace, then the bookie will refund your lost stake as a free bet. So great tennis betting coverage there worth looking at for Kim Clijsters v Caroline Wozniacki betting. Paddy Power offer a free £50 bet for new customers registering an account with them. The highly rated bookie will match the value of your first stake on a new account with a free bet, up to the maximum value of £50, providing you some great free betting cash to enjoy!

WTA 2012 Australian Open Tennis Betting Odds, Tips and Preview

Victoria Azarenka
With Venus Williams already having pulled out of the 2012 Australian Open, a bigger disappointment has been the withdrawal of Germany’s Andrea Petkovic, one of the rising stars of the game, because of a back problem. Still, it is two weeks of wonderful tennis action to enjoy from Melbourne Park, as we dig into the first Grand Slam of the new season. It was Kim Clijsters who rolled out a win here last season, triumphing over Chinese star Na Li in the final. Here we take an in depth preview look at the tournament history, form and Australian Open tennis betting odds for the women’s draw. We saw four different Grand Slam winners last year, will we have another mixed bag in 2012? Will the experience of former champions Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams, who have had injuries worries ahead of the event stand tall? Will it be a Grand Slam breakthrough for the in form Victoria Azarenka, or world number one Caroline Wozniacki, or will Petra Kvitova live up to her billing as favourite? Plenty of tennis betting questions to be answered over the next couple of weeks. Petra Kvitova: 11/4 at SportingBet The number two seed for the Australian Open has a pretty strong shot at going all the way in Melbourne. The draw has been pretty kind to her, avoiding the real big guns in the bottom half of the draw. With the class and form that Kvitova has, it should be plain sailing through to the fourth round, and even at the quarter final stage, the highest ranked player she could meet is Australia’s Samantha Stosur. Stosur won the US Open, but you would still back an in form Kvitova over her nine times out of ten, and the draw makes the Czech star a very appealing prospect in 2012 Australian Open betting. She has the complete game, has the effortless power in her ground strokes and composure to back up her Wimbledon triumph last year with a second Grand Slam title. Fell in Sydney to Na Li in the semi finals after opening up a big lead. She slumped badly after winning Wimbledon but bounced back and looks to have timed her preparations just right for the Slam. Best Finish: Quarter Finals 2011 Tournament Rerecord: 5-3 Current Form: 2-1 Serena Williams: 4/1 at Bet365 Like Kvitova, Williams will be happy with the draw, going off in the bottom half. Williams is seeded only 12th for Melbourne this year, but you cannot deny the presence she brings. She has won the title in Melbourne five times before and has to be counted as a real threat. She has had her fitness problems before easing her way back into the game last year, but she did miss out on a show at the Australian Open last year. She was still good enough to pick up a couple of Tour titles and then reach the final of the US Open, beating Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki along the way. The big advantage of course is the power game. Williams is probably still more beatable at this stage of her career and after dropping out of Brisbane a couple of weeks ago after rolling her ankle there have been question marks, but her presence will be one that other players will still want to avoid. She has admitted that she is being hampered by her ankle problem, and that it will be her will carrying her through. Is that mind games? She has court presence and of course is a proven Grand Slam champion time and time again. Which is more than can be said for other contenders. Best Finish: Winner 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010 Tournament Rerecord: 51-6 Current Form: 2-0 (plus one retire) Victoria Azarenka: 6/1 at Totesport The world number three was the back story of Sydney last week, where the big headline was the world number one showdown between Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova. With both of them failing to make the final, it was the powerful Azarenka who fought off defending champion Na Li in the final to lift her first title of the season. The questions marks over her consistency and temperament have always been there, but she pretty much came into her own towards the back end of last year. She is a much calmer player, and is channelling her fire and passion into her shots. She is one of the heaviest hitters of ground strokes in the game, very brave, but blew seriously big chances in promising Grand Slam positions last year. Will this be the breakthrough year for her? Should really be at the semi final stage because she has a great draw. The top seed she can meet in the quarter finals is Agnieszka Radwanska, so there should be another big opportunity for her here. Belarusian Azarenka starts off against Britain’s Heather Watson in the first round. Best Finish: Quarter Finals 2010 Tournament Rerecord: 14-6 Current Form: 5-0 (won Sydney) Kim Clijsters: 10/1 at Totesport It looks pretty certain that Kim Clijsters will be fit and ready to go in defence of her Australian Open title. The Belgian star pulled out of Brisbane recently with a hip problem. After having her season disrupted last season with injury it wasn’t a great start to the season for Clijsters. The hip problem will, more than likely hamper her progress at some point, because if she is not 100% then the hard toiling of trying to win a Grand Slam is likely to catch up with her at some point. Clijsters had a rescheduled practice during the week, although that was played down as simply being a change of plans and nothing to do with her injury. She really should have more Grand Slam titles under her belt, she is one of the best players to watch for composure, creating time and landing shots of perfection. There is doubts over whether she is 100% although she claims to be ready and willing to take on the challenge. If there were no doubts over her fitness she would be outright favourite. Seeded eleventh for the Australian Open, means that she may likely have to face last year’s defeated finalist Na Li and Caroline Wozniacki along the way to the semi finals. She could meet up with Na in the fourth round, Wozniacki in the quarter finals and then probably Azarenka in the semi finals. A long way to go with carrying an injury. Best Finish: Winner 2011 Tournament Rerecord: 38-8 Current Form: 3-1 (plus one retire) The Chasing Pack Li Na, who lost last year’s final against Kim Clijsters, has a great record on Australian soil. She has won the last 20 out of 23 matches Down Under and she looks to have come out firing. She is such a powerful hitter and such a grinder that she will cause problems throughout the tournament. Biggest threat to Victoria Azarenka’s run at the final. A decent shot, but you are always feeling that she is punching above her weight, but one of the prime suspects when backing an upset of a top player. Caroline Wozniacki picked up a wrist injury in Sydney last week which threatened to exclude her from the tournament altogether. She is entered though and is number one seed. She is not in any great form though, and in fact looked altogether tired physically and mentally at the end of last year. The Grand Slam title eludes her still, and it’s likely still to be after Melbourne. Maria Sharapova we haven’t seen this season yet, but looking a little out of sorts at the season ender at the WTA Championships last year, the Russian may well have missed her best chance at another Grand Slam last year. She was in the best form she has been in for years during 2011 and couldn’t get over the line. With the return of Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters to fitness throughout the year, the Grand Slam titles will be harder to come by. Still, she will go in fresh after picking up her training this week. Could be one of the greatest dark horse bets to back in Australian Open tennis betting. A fighter, has won the Australian Open before, and maybe, just maybe her final appearance at Wimbledon last year will spur on her belief that she has more in her. Not the easiest of draws for her, could have to go through Svetlana Kuznetsova, Sabine Lisicki and Serena Williams to make an impact. We will suggest a look at Marion Bartoli who is playing some of the best tennis of her career. Had a great year last season, and starting the year fresh and even bubblier than she normally is, will carry a threat. The Outside Shots Sam Stosur, the home town favourite really is too unpredictable to back strongly. Svetlana Kuznetsova will be an awkward threat, but seeing her go all the way in a tournament which may be one or two rounds beyond her is not likely. Estonia's Kaia Kanepi pulled out one of the best entire tournament performances in Auckland recently. Full of power, confidence and sheer brilliance. Hopefully this is her bounce back year after failing to push forward much last season. So too Flavia Pennetta who oozes class, but lacks finishing power at the worst times. Sabine Lisicki will thrill the crowds and entertain, and with the solid ability of a top ten player will serve up power and a treat. Not the durability to go all the way, same as Vera Zvonareva who really seems to have lost her way in the game. The British Contingent Britain’s number one Elena Baltacha starts her campaign in 2012 Australian Open betting against Stephanie Foretz Gacon, and the reward of winning that would be a second round match up against none other than Kim Clijsters. Anne Keothavong will have a tough battle against Mona Barthel from Germany in the first round. Youngster Heather Watson has a wonderful first round experience against Victoria Azarenka, while Laura Robson is one step away from qualifying for the main draw. 2012 Australian Open Tennis Betting Odds Petra Kvitova: 11/4 at Stan James Serena Williams: 4/1 at Bet365 Victoria Azarenka: 6/1 at Totesport Kim Clijsters: 10/1 at BetFred Li Na: 12/1 at SportingBet Caroline Wozniacki: 20/1 at VC Bet Sam Stosur: 22/1 at VC Bet Agnieszka Radwanska: 22/1 at Bwin Kaia Kanepi: 25/1 at Bet365 Maria Sharapova: 25/1 at Paddy Power Marion Bartoli and others: 50/1 at Totesport 2012 Australian Open Tennis Betting Tips Would look for the form and power of Victoria Azarenka to break through. It is a tricky call this year with the injury questions over Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, so the sensible betting heads would avoid them to start with. That leaves Petra Kvitova who is the one with all the expectations on her shoulders. Would look for those too therefore, and also good runs for Marion Bartoli and Maria Sharapova. Kaia Kanepi, if she turns up with the form she carried from the early season, and the focus, could cause some damage. Will be worth looking at online bookmaker Victor Chandler for your 2012 Australian Open Tennis betting. The highly popular online bookmaker runs a superb tennis betting promotion for the main draw of all ATP and WTA events. Back a player in match betting, and if your selection loses the match in a final set tie break, then the bookie will refund your lost stake as a free bet. So pretty good coverage there if your selection misses out on match success at the very death. Victor Chandler offer a free £25 bet for new customers registering an account. The bookie will match the value of your first stake on a new account with a free bet, up to the maximum value of £25.

WTA Brisbane International Tennis Betting Odds 2012, Tips & Preview

Serena Williams (USA)
There’s a great, competitive field in ATP Brisbane International tennis betting this week. US Open winner, and Australian native Sam Stosur will be the crowd favourite at least on her home turf, as she builds towards her Australian Open Grand Slam campaign. The first Grand Slam of the season kicks off in just a couple of weeks time and that is why we are seeing the stars come out in the early new season. Stosur, along with seven of the other top eight seeds make it through safely from the first round, the only seed to fall being young Dominika Cibulkova. The top half of the draw is looking a bit special as both Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams are battling it out in there. Last season’s Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters is hoping to have a successful return to the game after most of her 2011 was ruined by a foot injury, which kept her from challenging for more titles. So for Clijsters, it is going to be about getting back some match sharpness and fitness, no doubt and if she is going to get to the final here, she will have to first go through Stosur, and then most likely Serena Williams at the semi final stage. Clijsters, on top form is the most accomplished and complete player on the WTA and of course she has the experience and Grand Slam titles to back it up. There’s nothing quite like seeing her at her effortless best, but there is probably going to be some way back to the top of her game. So does that make Stosur a stronger bet? Not sure, because Stosur really is a grinder, and not someone you look too for a lot of flair. Would still back Clijsters over here. While the return of Clijsters is definitely a big headline grabber, the prospect from the top half of the draw in WTA Brisbane International tennis betting, is the prospective semi final of Stosur v Williams, a repeat of the US Open final, in which the American lost her cool and her temper. Breaking it down, Williams has the easiest quarter here, and the power she still has in her game will make her a threat no matter what. She will be bursting at the seams to get back to the Australian Open for another Grand Slam shot and although she is more beatable now than at any point in her career, would probably back her over the other two to make it to the final. We really need to see how sharp Clijsters is on her return (if they were both fully fit, would back Clijsters all the way), and Stosur, well, she will be living on her reputation as a recent Grand Slam winner, but still, don’t think that she really has the game to consistently beat the top players time and time again. Should see her in the quarter finals though when the challenges will get tougher and tougher. In the bottom half of the draw we have Jelena Jankovic who is looking to rediscover a lot of lost form from 2011, and Francesca Schiavone who lost to Li Na in the final of the French Open last year. We also have young Russian powerhouse Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the mix as well, and am really looking for a big step forward from her this season. She has the qualities to win a lot of tournaments, but her inconsistency just lets her down at the wrong times. Still, she will mature and will get better and could be worth a shot here, simply because of her serving selection and power, as an outside bet. Going as favourite really from the bottom half of the draw, and she is seeded number two for the Brisbane International tennis betting, is German Andrea Petkovic. Petkovic really burst on the scene last year with some phenomenally strong performances, beating some of the best in the world. She is a great character, plays with a lot of enjoyment and passion and wears a smile on her face most of the time. But she has the game to back it up and if she is going to develop on from really her breakthrough season last year, then she is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Hoping for a slightly more mature season from her, but still with that spunk and fire which makes her a great entertainer. Full of promise and wouldn’t hesitate to get a bet down on her. Really want to see her progress and see her go up against the likes of Clijsters and Williams. WTA Brisbane 2012 International Tennis Betting Odds Serena Williams: 5/2 at Boylesports Kim Clijsters: 7/2 at SkyBet Sam Stosur: 11/2 at BetFred Andrea Petkovic: 7/1 at Boylesports Jelena Jankovic: 11/1 at VC Bet Francesca Schiavone: 14/1 at Bet365 Great news at BetFair if you want to get closer to the action for your live in play tennis bet. The online betting exchange is providing live streams from the WTA Brisbane International. So not only can you get some great tennis betting action done at BetFair, but you can also watch live action from there as well. You will need to be a customer with BetFair of course to get this, and there is a great sign up welcome bonus for new customers at the betting exchange. BetFair offer a risk free £25 bet, or up to £1000 in cashback over the first 30 days of your new BetFair account. Check out BetFair for more details.

WTA Tennis Grand Slam Betting Odds 2012 Preview

Kim Clijsters (Winner Australien Open 2011)
We have already taken a look at the ATP tennis betting options ahead of the 2012 Grand Slams. The Australian Open, the first major of the year, gets underway in mid January, so the top class tennis action will be back with us before we know what has hit us. We saw some fantastic WTA Grand Slam tennis action last year, with four different winners adding a great variety to the women’s game. After launching the season off with a win at the Australian Open, Kim Clijsters looked to have the season ahead all pretty wrapped up, with her dominance and class in the game. All that was ruined though with injury problems, which really kept her out of contention. Chinese star Li Na rattled off a win at the French Open, and young Czech star Petra Kvitova picked up the coveted Wimbledon title, while the season’s Grand Slam finale went to the unexpected success of Australian Sam Stosur. Notice some big names missing from the major honours last season? Well, the Williams sisters of course weren’t really around to make their impact as they fought their way back from injury, and then of course there is the enigma that is world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who seems to have a Grand Slam jinx over here. Unlike the men’s game, the WTA is pretty wide open. There is quite an equal standard of competitors inside the top five in the game, and the seasoned elite like Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters are really under pressure from such a strong youthful movement within the women’s game. It simply makes the Grand Slams on the women’s side far more entertaining than the men’s and stretching out the tennis betting odds because of the competitiveness. Here we take a look at the 2012 WTA Grand Slam tennis betting options. The market prices listed below are for the market of To Win A Grand Slam in 2012. Serena Williams: 4/5 at Victor Chandler to win a Grand Slam in 2012 A reasonable shout for the 13 time Grand Slam winner. Serena’s last title came back at Wimbledon in 2010 and missed three of the next five Slams as injury kept her out of the game. She started relaxing back into her power game towards the end of last season, and on her Grand Slam comeback at Wimbledon this year, she reached the fourth round, before stepping up her game further to reach the final of the US Open. She lost against Sam Stosur there in a surprise result, and the final will probably be best known for Williams’ outbursts towards the match umpire. Still has the power to win Grand Slams, and you can’t count her out. The women’s game has really pushed on while she was absent, and so there has been a degree of catching up for her to do. But the natural power in her game is there and would not be surprised to see her grab at least one. She has had the most success in her career at the Australian Open, so it’ll be interesting to see just how she comes out of the starting blocks in January. If she does get that win under her belt, then naturally the confidence will make her a big threat throughout the season for the rest of the Slams. Every chance of at least one. Petra Kvitova: 6/4 at Stan James The Czech star was a joy to watch on Tour last season, picking up six titles last year, including Wimbledon and the WTA Tour Championships in Istanbul. An incredible break through year and this young lady should only get better. She has a wonderful left handed serve and such deceptive power and natural ground strokes, she is arguably one of the most complete players on the WTA Tour. Her all round game is so solid. There were lapses in concentration which cost her last season, especially when her form dipped away after her Wimbledon success, but she bounced back with tremendous energy and proved that when she is on top of her game, there are few around who can touch her. Hopefully with another season of experience under her belt, she can become even stronger. She is a true champion and no-one can deny what she has achieved this year. What will be the big test for her is going on and breaking through to that second Grand Slam win. Her best chance is going to come against at Wimbledon on grass. Would totally back her to take another Grand Slam win. Has it all together and is right within her grasp of being one of the games’ greats. Already won out in the race to become world number two. Expect another step forward from her. Victoria Azarenka: 10/3 at VC Bet Ah, our Vika. We have followed the progress of the Belarusian on these pages for a couple of years now and thought it was going to all fall into place last season when we saw her at the quarter final stage of the French Open, and then in the semi’s of Wimbledon. The opportunity was thrown away at Wimbledon it has to be said, but the progress in her game was undeniable. Almost finished the season as number two in the world, and while she clearly has a few question marks over her big match sustainability in the latter stages of Grand Slams, if she would relax a little she can go all the way. Was in blistering form over the second half of the season and on the back of that would expect to her to push forward. Really had the WTA Tour Championship Finals in her hands but again, in the final when it matter most, didn’t get into the match at all against Petra Kvitova. Mental focus and concentration perhaps needs a little tweak, but has the serve to carry her through, perhaps not as much finesse as Clijsters and Kvitova, but a solid all round game. She just needs to get out of her head and she will win Grand Slams. Kim Clijsters: 7/2 at VC Bet Hopefully 2012 is going to be an injury free year for the Belgian star. After coming out of retirement and going on to win the US Open in 2009, and then took the title at Flushing Meadows against in 2010, along with the WTA Tour Finals, and then took the Australian Open at the start of this year, she looked on top of the world again. She has so much class does Clijsters and while her 2011 was ruined by injury, if she is fit, then she will win Grand Slams. It is as simple as that. Her favourite of course is the US Open, but would give her a great chance at the Australian Open, especially with the motivation of defending her title there. Definitely worth a punt at these odds for your WTA Tennis betting in 2012. Maria Sharapova: 5/2 at Stan James One of the best and most consistent players on the WTA last year, but came up empty handed and you wonder how much that has to effect her. Almost had Wimbledon in her grasp, but couldn’t handle the pressure exerted by Petra Kvitova. There is no-one better on the WTA when their backs are against the wall than Maria Sharapova. Personally think that she deserved a Grand Slam title last year, and we definitely saw the best of her. She should be competitive again in 2012, but if Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters are going to be back in full force, then she may have missed her window of opportunity in 2011. Still, great to watch and expect to see her in the latter stages of most Grand Slams. Sam Stosur: 7/2 at VC Bet The fact that she broke free and won the US Open in 2011 was a bit of surprise. She is one of those journeymen types, who are good players but you just never quite expect them to hit the heights of winning too many titles, let alone Grand Slams. Great clay court specialist and will therefore be a danger at the French Open. Really don’t see what more she has in her in terms of development though. Unlikely to take another Grand Slam. Caroline Wozniacki: 4/1 at VC Bet And so to the Great Dane. Will she break through. Was thoroughly disappointing in the Grand Slams last year and really can’t put my finger on why. There is no rhyme or reason for her bowing out to opposition which she would normally crush in a regular WTA tennis betting environments. The pressures of being a world number one and not having won a Grand Slam? The press like to throw that in her face, but that takes away from her superb consistency and ability. Think she ran out of steam a little bit and needs to be smarter with her tournament selections. Probably the hardest working player inside the top ten on the WTA, she just doesn’t let up. Needs to pace herself, and while critics are against her, especially as she lost at the US Open badly to Serena Williams in 2011, people are naturally writing her off. She is just too good to not win a Grand Slam and you have to keep up there high on the list of potential. If you think she is going to do it, then taking her at these great odds right now, is some pretty decent value, with another four shots at it in 2012. Vera Zvonareva: 5/1 at Stan James Just not going to happen for the Russian in 2012 I don’t think. After hitting the highs of her career in 2012, 2011 was a huge disappointment. She just couldn’t live up to her own standards, while the superb crop of youngster coming through caught her up and even surpassed her. She has spirit and a good game when it gets going, the mental approach and confidence in her game just went AWOL in 2011 and that is going to be a tough thing to get back. If she had taken either Wimbledon or the US Open final after getting to them in 2010, we would have seen a different Zvonareva last year. It didn’t happen and tough to see her bouncing back to claim her first Grand Slam title. Venus Williams: 6/1 at Victor Chandler Just don’t see it happen for the great past Grand Slam champion that is Venus Williams. She has already pulled out of Auckland at the start of the year, so is not going to be in great shape for the Australian Open. Struggling with her medical condition, a real battler, but afraid can only see her getting left further and further behind this season. It looks as if there is a long way back for her.

WTA Tennis Betting Open GDF Suez – Clijsters aiming for World Number One

Sports Betting
There is a great WTA tennis betting opportunity this week, as the Tour heads on to the Open GDF Suez in Paris, France. The now retired Elena Dementieva took the title last year, in a brilliant event, and as the popular Russian won’t be back to defend her title, then the door is open for a new winner. Looking at the early release of the players who have signed up for the 2011 event, it looks as if it is going to be a thrilling battle between some of the hottest up and coming stars on the WTA Tour. First and foremost though, the biggest name on the list of participants is that of Kim Clijsters, who picked up her first ever Australian Open title recently. The Belgian is just a sublime performer, and is arguably the best player in the world at the moment, despite the rankings saying that it is Caroline Wozniacki. Watching the performances and in particularly the mentality of the players in action, Clijsters is going to take some stopping. She is just too powerful, to tactically sound and too technically accurate to be pushed over easily. Fully deserving of another Grand Slam title, she will go as favourite in this popular Paris event, which starts on Monday. While at first glance, the field may not look as strong as the Grand Slam (and it is not), it really will be fascinating to watch the players involved shoot this one out. More top players could be joining in the fun from February 5th to 13th, as there are wildcard entrant spots open. Justine Henin was supposed to be there, but that was before she retired from the game after her exit from the Australian Open.

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.

2011 Australian Open Tennis Betting Women’s Final – Kim Clijsters v Li Na

Sports Betting

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

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Australian Open Tennis betting – Women’s day 8 preview

Sports Betting

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.

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Latest Outright Winner Prices

Kim Clijsters: 11/8 at Extrabet
Caroline Wozniacki: 4/1 at Bet365
Na Li: 11/2 at SkyBet
Vera Zvonareva: 8/1 at BetFred
Petra Kvitova: 12/1 at Extrabet