Flavia Pennetta vs. Maria Sharapova
|Date & Time||Thursday October 29, 2015, 11:05 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Maria Sharapova and Flavia Pennetta play Thursday night in the WTA Championships.
Maria Sharapova has caught fire this tournament with victories over Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep. Sharapova has shown very little signs of rest since returning from injury and is clearly ready to remind folks that she’s still one of the best players in the world. Sharapova hit 22 winners in her victory over Halep and hasn’t let this slow court affect her game, as she works the middle of the court and is still driving the ball through her opponents. The one concern with Sharapova is that she’s raking the unforced errors up like crazy, something that could result in a loss if she isn’t careful. Sharapova has made at least the semifinals in five of her seven appearances at the WTA Tour Championships.
Flavia Pennetta has split her first two matches with a loss to Simona Halep and a victory over Agnieszka Radwanska. Pennetta continues to show that when she brings her high energy to a match, she can beat anybody any given day. Despite being broken multiple times in her match against Radwanska, Pennetta still managed to dig deep and win that match in straight sets. Pennetta is very tough to beat when she’s focused and dialed in, something you have to expect in this tournament considering she says she’s going to retire at the end of the year. Based on her last match, Pennetta is hitting her shots, limiting her unforced errors and playing with high emotion. Pennetta is dangerous if she brings that same energy in this match.
These two have played five times, and Pennetta has won three of those meetings. The most recent match was in this year’s Indian Wells Masters, a match Pennetta won in three sets. Pennetta has beaten Sharapova in their last three contests, and Sharapova’s last win over Pennetta came in the 2006 Wimbledon. This will be the fifth time these two meet on hard court.
I really like what I saw from Pennetta in her last match and she could very well win here if she brings that same intensity. However, Sharapova is on a roll right now is simply the better player when both are at the top of their game. Hard to bet against Sharapova here.