French Open women’s quarter-finals: Serena and Bertens to come through battles
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 1, 2016
2016 French Open
- Women’s Singles Quarter-finals
- Thursday, June 2nd
- Matches scheduled: From 14:00 BST
- Roland Garros, Paris
- Live on ITV4 and Eurosport
Serena Williams v Yulia Punitseva
Reigning French Open women’s singles champion Serena Williams is now a commanding 4/6 favourite with Coral to retain her title at Roland Garros, and faces Kazakhstan’s Yulia Punitseva in the last eight.
With all-time Grand Slam great Serena winning both their previous head-to-heads in straight sets, Williams is an overwhelming odds-on 1/10 to take her match and better at 1/3 to replicate a 2-0 scoreline.
Serena has steamrollered her way through the Paris opposition, but opponent Punitseva has also reached this point without dropping a set, eliminating Laura Robson and seeds Andrea Petkovic and Carla Suarez Navarro on the way.
As a sizeable 6/1 outsider to dethrone Williams, though, Punitseva only thinks she can win, while Serena knows it. The tiebreak betting is the most appealing thing about this encounter; with odds of 7/2 saying there shall be one in the match, 7/1 for the first set to go the distance.
Perhaps the most incredible bet is a fantastic 14/1 price for Serena to win the opener 7-6, with Punitseva managing to force tiebreaks in both those career meetings.
Kiki Bertens v Timea Bacsinszky
The French Open has proved a real Grand Slam breakthrough for Bertens, who like Punitseva has reached her maiden quarter-final. A hat-trick of top 30 WTA seeds, including Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber, have fallen by the wayside in the Dutchwoman’s wake.
Bearing that in mind, odds of 11/8 for Bertens to beat Timea Bacsinszky are very tempting indeed. Punters must not read too much into their only previous meeting, as the Swiss star won by forfeit when a set down.
Bertens had to retire injured then, but is in fine fettle now. Bacsinszky’s route to the quarters has taken her past Eugenie Bouchard and Venus Williams, but these are not the scalps they once were.
If anything, then, Bacsinszky could be a false favourite, and is only rated odds-on 4/7 to make the semis because of her top 10 ranking with this Roland Garros game on her favoured surface.
Although yet to drop a set, Bacsinszky will be vulnerable to battling Bertens and her brilliant form. Taking the 7/2 on offer for the Dutchwoman to delight again in three sets (and win 2-1) is splendid value.
Coral’s top tip: Given how previous first sets against Punitseva have panned out, that 7/2 price on a tiebreak featuring in Serena Williams’ quarter-final clash is well worth a wager.