Wimbledon ladies’ last 16: Wozniacki last top seed in bottom half
Only four of the top 12 players on the WTA Tour are left in the 2015 Wimbledon ladies’ singles, following defending champion and tournament second-favourite Petra Kvitova’s shock third round loss to Jelena Jankovic.
This has blown the bottom half of the grass Grand Slam draw wide open, with world number five Caroline Wozniacki (14/1 title chance with Coral) and 2012 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska (cut to 11/1) now predicted to play in the semis.
Wozniacki, a former flame of top golfer Rory McIlroy, will now wrangle with Venezuelan-born Garbine Muguruza, who represents Spain. Polish player Radwanska will not take her last 16 tie with Kvitova conqueror Jankovic lightly either.
French Open semi-finalist and 15th seed Timea Bacsinszky battles Romania’s Monica Niculescu, while the bottom half is completed with American number three Madison Keys clashing with qualifier Olga Govortsova.
Caroline Wozniacki v Garbine Muguruza
Denmark’s Wozniacki will be wary of Muguruza, because she is 2-1 down on past head-to-heads, including a loss in three sets last year’s Australian Open, but the seed is nonetheless a narrow odds-on 8/13 match favourite.
Muguruza, 5/4 to follow up eliminating Angelique Kerber with another big scalp, has a pesky habit of dropping the second set at SW19, having done so in rounds two and three. That makes Wozniacki 4/6 to take that one.
Two of the three previous meetings have gone the distance, so that suggests odds of 11/4 for a 2-1 Wozniacki win are well worth investing in.
Switzerland’s Bacsinszky has a bad record against the Romania of one win in five attempts. The most damaging defeat came at the 2011 Australian Open when Niculescu dropped just three games in a straight sets victory.
Based on this history alone, there’s little justification for Bacsinszky’s odds-on 1/4 status to win, but she did knock out 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki impressively in round three. The Swiss lady’s game has clearly come on over the last four years, but there’s a lot to like about the 3/1 price for Niculescu to send her home.
Olga Govortsova v Madison Keys
These two have met once before, in Keys’ native USA at the Miami Masters and she won in three sets. A repeat result is 11/4 and much better than the 21st seed’s odds-on 1/4 status as outright match favourite.
Govortsova (3/1 to confound Keys) got the better of Alize Cornet in round two and then beat Magdalena Rybarikova, Ekaterina Makaraova’s conqueror, to reach this stage, but should see her run ended here.
It’s one win in straight sets apiece between these two at Grand Slams, though Serbia’s Jankovic beat Radwanska at this point in the French Open way back in 2008. Four years later, the Pole prevailed a round earlier at the US Open.
Radwanska is odds-on at 4/9 to repeat that, and better at 6/5 for victory without dropping a set. Jankovic is battled-hardened, however, and buoyed by sending Kvitova crashing out of Wimbledon.
Odds of 7/4 for the Serb to upset Radwanska are certainly tempting, as is a 4/1 price for Jankovic to come through in three sets.
Coral’s top tip: We like Wozniacki winning 2-1 at 11/4.