Cincinnati Masters Preview

Williams Woe Serena Williams was a surprise semi-final loser in the WTA’s Canadian Masters, losing to the precociously-talented Belinda Bencic 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in that last four encounter. Bencic is priced at a very tempting 41.00 for this event, although her tough first-round draw against the 11th seed Angelique Kerber counts against her. Instead, Williams is the one to watch, and her pre-tournament price of 2.25 represents good value for a player who will be determined to go all the way on home soil. The Romanian Simona Halep looked in good form last week, and fired her way into the final with consummate ease. That encounter with Bencic went into a third and final set, but Halep would eventually retire with a leg injury. That could well count against her with the quick turnaround here, and so she cannot be backed with any confidence. With Maria Sharapova undergoing problems with her serve and Petra Kvitova lacking form, it is perhaps Victoria Azarenka who represents the biggest danger to Williams’ title hopes. She has done so well to recover from a career-threatening injury, and despite an early exit in Canada she looks somewhere back to her best form. Her price of 9.00 is certainly tempting enough. By: Craig Simpkin]]>