After spoiling a potential clash between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic faces Serena Williams at the semifinals of the 2014 Italian tennis Open (Internazionali BNL d'Italia). This women’s singles clash is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT) and will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel and online on ESPN3 (free live stream).
As reported by WTA Tennis on May 16, today’s Williams vs. Ivanovic showdown is being dubbed “The Rematch”. And while a clash with “Masha” would have certainly had the star-power tennis fans love, on paper, this appears to be a better matchup.
The fact that the 11th-seeded Serb is coming off the first career win over the world’s No.1 isn’t as impressive as the fact that she accomplished this feat at a 2014 Grand Slam. One certainly doesn’t have to look too far back to find the last time these ladies met between the lines, as it came earlier this year Down Under.
After losing four straight decisions against the hard-hitting American – three at the U.S. Open – Ivanovic finally got on the board at the Australian Open’s Round of 16. The former world’s No. 1 bounced back nicely after dropping the opening set, and would go on to stun Williams to the tune of 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Another reason why today’s Italian Open semifinal is a must-see is because Ivanovic also comes in playing some of her best tennis. She not only handed Sharapova her first loss on clay this season, but also followed that effort by eliminating 13th seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals.
It’s going to be interesting to see how well Serena Williams injured leg holds up as she faces an opponent who feels very confident about her chances today. For what it’s worth, 2014 Italian Open tennis oddsmakers don’t believe any of the aforementioned factors will play a role in the outcome of this match.
The latest money lines have Williams as a -450 favorite to reach the tournament’s final with a win over +370 underdog. The OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 19½ games, and alternate betting lines go as follows: Serena Williams -5 [-112] vs. Ana Ivanovic +5 [-104].
Don’t miss what is sure to be a very exciting clash between two of the world’s best. Can Williams avenge her Aussie Open loss by overcoming Ivanovic’s much-improved play and an injured leg? Tune to Tennis Channel at 10:30 a.m. ET to see what happens, or simply click on the ESPN live stream link provided above to launch the Italian Open online tennis feed.