French Open Preview: Na Li vs. Victoria Azarenka Picks

French Open Preview: Na Li vs. Victoria Azarenka PicksTwo of the top three seeds that are still left standing on the women’s side of French Open betting action are going to square off on Wednesday, as No. 4 Victoria Azarenka and No. 6 Na Li.

Li finally took her spot on center stage in a Grand Slam event as a finalist at the Australian Open, but she has yet to find herself in this good of a spot to actually win a Grand Slam title. The Chinese standout turned pro in 1999, and she appeared in her first French Open in 2006. She had only been either a third rounder or a fourth rounder in this event before this year, and this is just the fifth Grand Slam event in which she has made it to the quarterfinals. Li didn’t have all that difficult of a path to reach the first weekend of this fortnight. She did have a three set epic battle in the first round against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, but she only had to deal with 13 extra games in two matches against Silvia Soler Espinosa and Sorana Cirstea in the second and third rounds. And then came the big time battle against Petra Kvitova. In a tremendous match against the No. 9 player in the tournament, Li made it through with flying colors, overcoming a bad first set to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Azarenka has made it to the quarterfinals of Grand Slam events three times in her career, and she has never made it to the semis. Yet somehow, she is the top dog left standing in an upset ridden ladies’ French Open bracket. The Belarus native has played a slew of tennis in this tournament, as she and partner Maria Kirilenko are still alive in the women’s doubles bracket, and they are going into the quarterfinals of that event this week as well. Of course, regardless of which side of the draw we are talking about, Azarenka has yet to drop a set in this tournament. In fact, in singles action, she has been absolutely dominating, accounting for four straight sets victories without needing to go to even a 10th game in any of these sets. This tournament is only getting better and better for Azarenka, and the only time in which she had to play six games in which she lost in this tournament was way back in the first round against Andrea Hlavackova.

Both of these players have a great chance of winning their first Grand Slam event, and the truth of the matter is that this is probably the hardest match that either one is going to have left along the way to the title. Azarenka is probably winning this match at least 60 percent of the time, but that being said, the French Open odds have to be on the side of Li +250 to win this match and to move on to the semifinals.

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.