Elina Svitolina to take the beating in Kontaveit clash
Improving Estonian still has much to prove at high level
WTA Rome semi-finals
BT Sport 3, 11am & 4pm Saturday
It's no surprise to see Elina Svitolina priced at 1-2 to reach the final of Rome's Italian International tournament with a victory over Anett Kontaveit, but while the Ukrainian is likely to prevail it may not be long before the Estonian steps it up on clay and reaches her first big title-decider.
Svitolina, who was no bigger than 14-1 with the oddsmakers before the action started at the Foro Italico, has been producing some superb tennis in the Italian capital and she will most likely take plenty of stopping.
However, Kontaveit, an 80-1 shot whose best result came when taking the Den Bosch title on grass last summer, is a capable performer and thrashed Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 6-1 in the quarter-finals on Friday.
Wozniacki isn't always the most comfortable of performers on the slow red courts, however, and Kontaveit could find Svitolina a lot tougher to break down.
The favourite is 4-6 to successfully concede a start of 3.5 games to her opponent, but rather than take such odds it may be wiser to make do with the 1-2 about Svitolina progressing.
In the men's Masters Series event at the same venue, Rafael Nadal had to dig deep to reach the semis when fighting back from a set down to oust Fabio Fognini 4-6 6-1 6-2.
The King of Clay will meet either Novak Djokovic or Kei Nishikori in the last four on Saturday (Sky Sports Action 1.30pm & 7pm).
1pt 1-2 Betfred
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