And then there were 4 - Ladies semi final day at Roland Garros
After 124 matches over 11 days we have reached the semi final stage of the second Grand Slam Tennis tournament of the 2015 season.
Top half of the draw sees world number 1 Serena Williams (1/6) playing the surprise semi finalist in 23rd seeded Timea Bacsinszky (4/1). The pair have only met twice on the WTA tour with Serena winning both encounters one of which was on the red clay, albeit back in 2010 winning 7-6 6-1. The other match being earlier this year when Serena won 7-5 6-3 in the quarter finals of the Indian Wells tournament.
Whilst it's a stretch to suggest on all known evidence that Bacsinszky can turn over the American there are potential angles to play when we look at the tournament so far. Serena is playing at far from her top level of form in my opinion, and crucially has started very slowly in many of her matches, indeed she has lost the opening set here in 3 of her 5 games so far. There are all sorts of angles we can use here in the minor markets if we believe this trend is going to continue. Backing Bacsinszky to win the opening set (3/1) looks appealing to me, as does the special for Serena to lose the opening set but to come back and win the match (5/1). For those who like a quick return of their money, Bacsinszky to lead 2-0 after the opening 2 games of the match which is priced at 9/2 has some appeal.
Ultimally I feel this is just a step too far for Bacsinszky, but I expect her to come out of the blocks and give it a real go in the opening set - after that it may well be a differnet story, but by that time there will have been plenty of oppertunity to take advantage of some of the above markets.
The other semi final pits 7th seeded Ana Ivanovic (Evens) against 13th seeded Lucie Safarova (4/5). There is plenty of past form to go on between these two players with Safarova holding a slight advantage in the H2H leading 5-3, although they split their only 2 meetings on the red clay (both here at Roland Garros). It's a tough match to call as the prices suggest, but if forced to pick I would side with Ivanovic at the prices.
Again some of the minor markets might be the place to start looking for some value bets, with all but one of their encouters being over in straight sets the quote for under 22.5 games in the match (5/6) looks appealing, this bet would have been successful on 6 of the 8 occasions they have played. The match to last only 2 sets (8/13) looks a solid bet as well from where I'm sitting.
On what promises to be a beautiful day in Paris on Thursday lets hope the matches live up to their billing - you can follow all the action right here at William Hill with our full range of In Play betting available from the scheduled start ime of 2pm BST