Radwanska steady enough to account for Bencic

June 27th, 2015 | Ian Carnaby's Racing News

By Ian Carnaby

Last week’s advice concerning Wimbledon needs a second look following Sloane Stephens’ rather tame exit in the semi-finals at Eastbourne. She is an infuriating player because the shots are all there and not so long ago she was even giving Serena Williams a run for her money. But errors creep in and she does not appear to possess the mental strength to battle through indifferent spells. That will always prove fatal against a rival like Agnieszka Radwanska, who is as steady as they come, keeps the ball in play at all costs and is actually hitting the kind of form that could take her a long way at the All England Club.

In the meantime she should account for talented Swiss 18-year-old Belinda Bencic in the Eastbourne final, though it is worth noting that the bookmakers had Bencic a pretty warm favourite against Caroline Wozniacki, who was forced to retire when three-love down in the other semi. It looks an attractive final, not priced up by all that many firms, but Radwanska’s steadiness should see her through in a tight affair.

There is little more to add where events in SW19 are concerned. Djokovic and Murray are seeded to meet in the final and that is more than likely. When I can get value about Murray I play  –  that was true in the Australian and the French, even if it didn’t work out  –  but 11/8 Djokovic and 5/2 Murray to win outright is of no interest at all.

In the women’s event I cannot truly have Stephens after watching her carefully this week and the only convincing threat to Williams is Victoria Azarenka, a feisty individual who invariably gives her a game and is not fazed by the tiresome sighing and suffering on the other side of the net. One can only admire former champion Maria Sharapova’s intense commitment but she always appears to be working flat-out and eventually the errors at crucial times, allied to a moderate second serve, make her vulnerable. Azarenka at 12/1 each-way with Ladbrokes or Paddy Power is the only bet.