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WTA Sony Open Betting: Sharapova set to extend winning streak

Sharapova acknowledges the crowd after making quick work of Bouchard

"The Russian world number two is a strong favourite to make short work of Vesnina, despite history suggesting it might be closer than expected with the two sharing a win apiece."

The third round at the Sony Open is drawing to a close, and as we start to reach the business end of the tournament, Maria Sharapova has no plans to leave the party early ahead of her clash with Elena Vesnina.

There were plenty of shocks on Saturday, with a number of top seeds dropping out. Amongst the biggest casualties were Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams, which could give confidence to the underdogs heading into Sunday.

Following on from her success at Indian Wells, third seed Sharapova dropped just two games in her quick-fire win over wildcard entrant Eugenie Bouchard. The Russian world number two is a strong favourite to make short work of Vesnina, despite history suggesting it might be closer than expected with the two sharing a win apiece. However, considering Sharapova's recent form it is difficult to look past another win and that is reflected in her favourable odds.

The same can be said of sixth seed Angelique Kerber, who despite dropping a set against Francesca Schiavone in the second round is a firm favourite to prevail when she faces Sorana Cirstea.

The Romanian world number 27 will be hoping to fare better than she did in Indian Wells, where her tournament was ended by a third round defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska. Unfortunately, her hard-hitting German opponent is unlikely to be any less accommodating and could be too much for her.

In contrast, there is plenty of value to be had elsewhere in Sunday's games where lucky loser Lauren Davis will hope to enjoy another memorable win. The American youngster received a welcome call after Victoria Azarenka withdrew through injury, and ensured she made the most of her chance with a nail-biting three set win over Madison Keys.

Alize Cornet had a similarly tough battle in the second round against Laura Robson, and will be expected to advance at the expense of her inexperienced opponent. However, Davis is riding the wave of success and with no pressure on her there could be some twists in this one.

Both Ana Ivanovic and Maria Kirilenko had little trouble in advancing past the second round, doing so in straight sets. However, they face tougher times ahead with Ivanovic taking on former Miami champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Kirilenko facing Klara Zakopalova. 

Ivanovic has the head-to-head advantage over her Russian opponent, winning seven of 10 meetings, including four of five on the hard surface. Meanwhile Kirilenko will hope to build on her semi-final appearance in Indian Wells and move past world number 22 Zakopalova.

Expect both ladies to make it through, with Kirilenko setting up a meeting with Sharapova, while Ivanovic will await the winner of Sara Errani and Simona Halep's clash. The latter has come through two testing three-setters, while Errani dispatched of Daniela Hantuchova dropping just four games. Back the Italian to seal a straight sets win @ 1.6.

There is a double-bill of 'Clash of the Seeds' on Sunday, with Jelena Jankovic taking on Nadia Petrova and Roberta Vinci facing Carla Suarez Navarro. 

For those who can't help but back the underdog, back the lower seeds for a double triumph. Jankovic appears to have the edge over her Russian opponent, winning their last four matches, all of which have come on the hard surface albeit coming some time ago. History also favours Navarro, who has won all three previous clashes with Vinci.
Recommended Bets
Sharapova to beat Vesnina 2-0 @ 1.241/4
Ivanovic to beat Kuznetsova @ 1.824/5
Cornet v Davis to go three sets @ 2.526/4
Kirilenko to beat Zakopalova @ 1.374/11
Navarro to beat Vinci @ 2.447/5

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24 March 2013



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