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WTA Finals Red Group: Sharapova plays Pennetta in final fixture

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | October 28, 2015

WTA Finals Red Group, matchday three

  • Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
  • Romania’s Halep faces Radwanska of Poland at 07:00 GMT
  • Sharapova prepares for Pennetta thereafter at 11:30 GMT

Who will advance to semis in Singapore?

Maria Sharapova can secure her spot in the WTA Finals semis by beating US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, while top seeded woman Simona Halep will join her in the knockout phase of this end of season event in Singapore if she can defeat Agnieszka Radwanska.

The Red Group is reflecting the rankings so far, but Russian star Sharapova and current top Romanian sporting export Halep should not expect plain sailing against elite opposition.

Maria Sharapova v Flavia Pennetta

Indian Wells Tennis

Believe it or not, 2004 WTA Finals winner Sharapova is 3-2 down on Italian player Pennetta when it comes to past head-to-heads, with all of those defeats coming on the hard surface that is used for this tournament.

That would seemingly make Flushing Meadows Grand Slam victor Pennetta an awesome 11/4 price with Coral to slay Sharapova again, but the Russian has two wins out of two in Singapore so far.

In four of the five meetings between these two, the lady that taken the opening set has gone on to win the match. As in the outright betting on their latest battle (2/7), Sharapova is odds-on to get her nose in front (4/11), but there’s a tempting wager at 2/1 for Pennetta to pinch a lead.

A turnaround could be on the cards, because as good as Pennetta has been on hard surfaces this season, she didn’t have to tackle Sharapova en route to that shock US Open triumph. The Russian edging a three-set contest is also worth a bet at 11/4.

Simona Halep v Agnieszka Radwanska

Belgium Tennis Brussels Open

In six previous hard court head-to-heads, it’s three wins apiece between these two, but Halep has a WTA Finals victory in straight sets from last year over the Pole on her side. That’s enough to make the Romanian racket star odds-on at 4/7 for victory again and 6/4 by the same margin.

Radwanska, an 11/8 match outsider here, props up this pool in last place, so it’s win or bust for the 2014 semi-finalist. With just a single set to her name during the Red Group, she is staring down the barrel of defeat.

Handy Halep is expected to make a big splash in WTA world number one Serena Williams’ absence, and should show a response here to Sharapova besting her last time out.

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Coral’s top tip: Take that 6/4 price on Halep handling Radwanska in straight sets.