01/20/2015 11:03 AM
Vinci has been and still is, an all time great doubles player, winning the slam set with Sara Errani, but her singles ranking has tumbled and she is coming off her first losing season since 2007 and whilst you write off these veteran Italian ladies at your peril, it is easy to make a case for her best single yeras to be behind her and with a 32nd birthday next month, for her focus to be even more on doubles in the next couple of years and perhaps shortly, almost exclusively so.This have never really been her event and in 13 visits, she has failed to qualify four times , never made it beyond R3 and only won seven matches.
Makarova was a late developer, but has been at her best over the last couple of years and at 26 yo, has perhaps still not peaked, she reached a career high ranking of #10 earlier this year and with a lot of points to defend in Melbourne and loving the courts and vibe in Australia, we can expect her to go deep again this year. We could argue that she has perhaps been a little unlucky with the draw, beating some very big name players including Serena Williams and only losing to the cream of the crop, Kim Clijsters (wniner) in R4 in 2011, to Sharapova at the quarters in both 2012 ( when Masha was runner up) and 2013 and to last years winner Li Na in the round of 16. Vinci is not in that league and the Russian should find a way to win this.
We did not see a huge amount from Makarova after her run to the semi finals at the US Open, where she lost to Serena Williams (eventual winner), which came on the back of a run to the last 8 at Wimbledon and Ekaterina was 14-4 in slams last year. She has a big left handed slice serve and a terrific backhand and will often run around forehands on the ad side. in terms of singles, these two are heading in opposite directions and there should only be one winner.
Vinci does lead 2-1 on hardcourts and has a win over Makarova on the surface at the end of 2014, but that was when the Russian was tiring after a long season and Vinci was looking to salvage something from hers.
1.25 units Ekaterina Makarova -4 games 1.90 Pinnacle Sports......alternative is 2-0 sets which is 2.07 with Pinnacle and 2-0 elsewhere.