Serena Williams will meet Agnieszka Radwanska in the final of Wimbledon 2012 on Saturday afternoon in SW19. Here is a run down of their road to the finals, as well as the current tennis odds on offer for Saturday's showdown.
It's been almost
two years since Serena Williams won a Grand Slam title and on Saturday afternoon
on Centre Court she will have the chance to secure her fifth Wimbledon title,
against a woman who'll be competing in her first ever Wimbledon final.
It feels like
it's been a long road back to the top for Serena, following a foot injury in
2010 which almost led to the American big-hitter losing her life.
She returned to
action in time for Wimbledon last year but
never quite seemed herself as she bowed out midway through the event.
A run through to
the final of the US open just a couple of months later seemed to suggest Serena
would be adding to her Grand Slam haul, but a shock defeat to Sam Stosur in the
final, meant it would be an even longer wait until the former world no.1 could
claim a possible 14th Slam.
disappointment in Melbourne and a disastrous
first round capitulation in Paris, Serena
arrived in London
wondering if she'd ever be able to recapture the glory days of old.
Wimbledon Campaign So Far
Serena has powered through this year's
women's draw like a steam train. There have been a couple of close things along
the way, but the 30-year-old hasn't ever looked in any real danger of dropping
Coming through the first two matches
against Strycova and Czink without the loss of a set, was just the start Serena
needed after the first round exit at Roland Garros. A third round encounter
with Zheng always looked like it could be a tough one and at 7-7 in the
deciding set, there were certainly a few worried faces in the Williams box.
Serena showed her metal to come through 9-7
and a similar battle with the in-form Shevedova in fourth round, again saw the
American come through in a tight deciding set.
A quarter-final against defending champion,
Petra Kvitova loomed and it was probably one of the matches of the tournament
as Serena came through in straight sets, with both women playing some
Next up was a semi-final with Australian
Open Champion, Victoria Azarenka. Again, it looked like it could be a tough
match for Williams, but her improving form saw her come through in straight
sets again and she takes her place in Saturday's final as the big favourite
with tennis bookmakers.
23-year-old Pole, Agnieszka Radwanska is appearing in her first Wimbledon final and her first ever Grand Slam final on
Saturday afternoon. Whilst many causal fans may not know a lot about her,
Radwanska actually arrived at SW19 as the no.3 seed and will be the higher
ranked of the two women going into the final.
Only rising to
real prominence over the last 12-months, Radwanska has not been beyond the
quarter final of any major event. However, she has won two high-profile titles
so far this year, in Dubai and Miami.
Wimbledon Campaign So Far
dropped just one set across the entire tournament and has looked supremely
confident in what has been her most successful Grand Slam run to date. She came
through the opening four rounds here for the loss of just 15 games, and broke
British hearts in a 6-0, 6-2 demolition of Heather Watson in the third round.
match so far came in the quarter-finals against Maria Kirilenko. The opening
two sets were shared before players were called off court, due to rain, poised
at 4-4 in the decider. Somewhat surprisingly, the players were asked to switch
to Centre Court
late into the evening on Tuesday and it was Radwanska who came out the fresher
and more confident of the two, eventually making it through 7-5.
against Angelique Kerber looked like it may cause a threat to Radwanska and the
in-form German was the favorite to win amongst some observers. Radwanska,
managed to control the majority of the points though, and book herself a place
in Saturday's final with a straight sets victory.
These two have
met on two previous occasions and the bad news for Radwanska is that she is yet
to take a set from the world no.6. On the positive side, it's been four years
now since their last meeting, which actually came on this very stage in 2008.
Williams was a
6-4, 6-0 winner in the SW19 quarter-finals that year and just a few months
earlier she had won their first match on the clay courts of Berlin.
take great heart from the way she has performed so far. Having lost just one
set and knowing how well she coped with the powerful play of the in-from Kerber
in the semis, Radwanska should not be coming into this one in any way fearful
of Serena Williams.
Having said that,
you do have to wonder if anybody is capable of stopping the powerful American
if she puts in the kind of performance she has done in the last couple of
Serena is the big
favorite with the tennis odds makers and there's no question she should win this match.
However, she hasn't won a Slam in two years and memories of final defeats in New York and first round exits in Paris are sure to be playing on her mind
ahead of this one.
If Radwanska can
effectively return the Williams serve and start to craft the points in the same
way she has done against all her other opponents then this match could be a lot
closer than many think.
I'm still going add a Serena victory to my tennis betting picks, but it could be in three tightly fought sets.
to win - 1/6 - Paddy Power
Serena William to
win 2-1 - 10/3 - BetVictor
Fist set tie-break - Yes - 13/2 - Ladbrokes