By Lee Dover | Wimbledon
The semi-finals of the women’s side of Wimbledon 2012 are here and there is not an outside contender in sight.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber is the lowest ranked of the final-four, at eighth in the world, and is looking to put a spanner in the works of world number three Agnieszka Radwanska.
On the other side of the card, world number two Victoria Azarenka – the highest ranked woman left in Wimbledonafter the shock fourth-round exit of Maria Sharapova – finds herself up against Serena Williams.
The American may be the world number six but this ranking does not reflect the momentum which she is bringing into the semi-finals. Just ask last year’s Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
Williams is also the only woman left in the tournament who knows how it feels to win at the All England Club – she’s won it four times in fact – and is a tasty 11/10 with Paddy Power to go all the way this year.
Want a rallying cry to get behind the US ace? How about this from Williams when talking about today’s tie: “It’s going to be another match where I have absolutely nothing to lose. I can just go out there and enjoy myself and have fun.”
Tough words indeed, even Azarenka has admitted it, noting: “Obviously she’s a great fighter. She never gives up. You always see that – no matter what the score is, she will go for her shots. It’s going to be a tough match no matter what.”
If you think there will be a Goliath slaying by a courageous David – or Victoria in this case – then why not have a flutter on the 11/8 that Paddy Power is serving up for Azarenka to power past Williams.
Pole Radwanska hopes to vault German challenge
Meanwhile, despite her ranking of number three in the world, Radwanska finds her odds of Wimbledon victory stretched to 7/1.
The Pole is still chasing her first Grand Slam victory but after stopping the charge of super-Brit Heather Watson and digging deep to pick off Russian starlet Maria Kirilenko, there has to be some value in those odds.
Her opponent Kerber is playing mind games akin to Williams in the hope of gaining the decisive advantage ahead of her game with Radwanska though.
She said: “I will go out there and try my best. I have nothing to lose right now. I will just try to play good tennis and enjoy it. I know I need to play at my highest level to beat her.”
Any similarity with a four-time Wimbledon champion has to be a good sign, right?