Elina Svitolina vs. Serena Williams, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, SF match preview
🇺🇦 (5) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇺🇸 (8) Serena Williams

A blockbuster semi-final encounter at Flushing Meadows sees the 5th seeded Elina Svitolina come up against 23-time major winner Serena Williams. Svitolina enters this clash full of confidence, the Ukrainian is playing the best tennis of her career right now and will be eager to reach her first Grand Slam final. Svitolina has beaten Williams before but will be coming up against a formidable opponent on Thursday evening, Williams is on a mission and is approaching her best level. Can Svitolina pull off the upset victory?

Elina Svitolina is through to back-to-back Grand Slam semi-finals thanks to some fantastic victories. Svitolina also enters this semi-final clash on the back of some stunning performances. The 5th seed played scintillating tennis to defeat Madison Keys and Johanna Konta in straight sets to advance to the final 4. The consistency and movement of Svitolina overwhelmed Keys and Konta, a pair of big hitters, Svitolina will be hoping to execute a similar game against Williams Svitolina has moved through the entire draw without dropping a set having defeated Whitney Osuigwe, Venus Williams and Dayana Yastremska in straight sets during the first week of the event.

Serena Williams is once again on the verge of capturing that elusive 24th Grand Slam title. Williams is yet to win a major since returning from giving birth despite reaching the later stages on numerous occasions. Williams is seemingly desperate to make this the tournament she goes all the way, the 8th seed enters the semi-final stage on the back of her most dominant performance of the tournament where she thrashed China’s Wang Qiang 6-1 6-0 in a near-flawless display of power hitting. Williams has dramatically improved her level since she played some scratchy tennis in a 3-set win over Caty McNally in the second round, straight set wins over Karolina Muchova and Petra Martic preceded Williams’ domination of Wang.

Williams holds a 4-1 head-to-head record over Svitolina. It was Svitolina who won the most recent match between the pair, a 6-4 6-3 victory at the Rio Olympics on a hard court. Much has changed since their last meeting, both are in totally different places right now so it will be interesting to see how this matchup unfolds.

I’m going to go for the upset here and side with Svitolina. It feels like this is Svitolina’s time to breakthrough and claim her first career major title. Svitolina is playing amazing tennis at the moment, her movement and defensive skills are the best on tour and that could spell trouble for Williams. Williams has consistently struggled at this stage of Grand Slams since her return from giving birth, specifically against top level counter-punchers, Svitolina falls into this category. If Svitolina’s serve holds up, she has a great chance at winning this match. Svitolina’s first serve has improved dramatically, if she lands enough first serves and gets involved in enough rallies on the Williams serve she should find a way a fight through this one.

Prediction: Elina Svitolina to defeat Serena Williams in 3 sets

Serena Williams vs. Qiang Wang, US Open QF Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, QF match preview
🇺🇸 (8) Serena Williams vs. 🇨🇳 (18) Qiang Wang

Serena Williams continues her quest for an elusive 24th Grand Slam title on Monday night when she takes on China’s Wang Qiang at the quarter-final stage of the 2019 US Open. The pair bring hugely contrasting experience into this match, Williams will be competing in her 52nd Grand Slam singles quarter-final whilst Wang will be making her first ever appearance at this stage of a major.

Serena Williams is seemingly getting stronger and stronger as the tournament rolls on in New York. Williams started her campaign with a 6-1 6-1 drubbing of Maria Sharapova before being forced to fight from a set down to beat Caty McNally. The 23-time major winners struggle against McNally was seemingly a wakeup call. Williams has produced two improved performances to secure a spot in the final 8 with straight set wins over Karolina Muchova and Petra Martic. Williams has consistently come across unfamiliar opponents in New York, her match with Wang will be a fourth consecutive first-time matchup for Williams, a rarity given her experience.

Qiang Wang is on the verge of cracking the WTA top 10 for the first time having reached her first major quarter-final. Wang has had a good few weeks in New York having arrived at Flushing Meadows fresh from a semi-final showing in the Bronx. Wang is yet to drop a set this tournament, Wang cruised through the first week with wins over Caroline Dolehide, Alison Van Uytvanck and Fiona Ferro. Wang made her biggest move in the fourth round where she upset the 2nd seeded Ash Barty with a 6-2 6-4 win. Wang was amazingly clutch in her win over Barty, the Chinese number 1 saved all 9 break points she faced against the Aussie to claim the biggest win of her career.

This will be the first career meeting between Serena Williams an Wang Qiang.

Obviously it is Serena Williams who rightfully heads into this match as a strong favourite. The record of Williams speaks for itself but Wang will be no pushover, Wang is playing the best tennis of her career and has nothing to lose heading into this match. Wang absorbs pace very well, she likes playing against big hitters so it will be interesting to see how she matches up against Williams. I think this will be much closer than expected, Wang can match Williams from the baseline, tempted to pick Wang but the experience of Williams and her superior serve will likely win out in the end.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Qiang Wang in 3 sets

Serena Williams vs. Catty McNally, US Open R2 Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, R2 match preview
🇺🇸 (8) Serena Williams vs. 🇺🇸 (wc) Catty McNally

Serena Williams continues her quest for Grand Slam title number 24 when she takes on Catty McNally at the second round stage of the 2019 US Open on Wednesday. Williams made a huge statement in an opening round demolition of Maria Sharapova and is widely considered the favourite to lift the trophy at Flushing Meadows.

Serena Williams extended her winning streak of Maria Sharapova to an incredible 19 matches with a comprehensive 6-1 6-1 victory over the Russian on Monday evening. Williams looked extremely sharp, she moved well, served well, hit with authority from the baseline and is seemingly on a mission in New York. Williams is probably playing her nest tennis since giving birth at the moment, it will be interesting to see if she can sustain that level over the next two weeks, something she has struggled to do over the last few years.

Catty McNally will be playing in the biggest match of her young career when she takes to the court against Serena Williams. The 17-year-old wild card advanced to the second round in New York with a 6-4 6-1 win over Timea Bacsinszky, her first ever win in the main draw of a Grand Slam. McNally is a player on the rise, it will be interesting to see how her game matches up against the best.

This will be the first career meeting between Williams and McNally, a huge mismatch on paper, a 23-time Grand Slam champion against a player that has only won 1 main draw match at a Grand Slam. Williams was in ominous form in her opening round win over Sharapova and I expect her to show no mercy here. This should be a very comfortable win for Williams over a very inexperienced opponent.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Caty McNally in 2 sets

Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova, US Open R1 Preview

🇺🇸🗽🍎 US OPEN, R1 match preview
🇺🇸 (8) Serena Williams vs. 🇷🇺 Maria Sharapova

The pick of the opening round match-ups at the 2019 US Open sees the two biggest names in women’s tennis renew hostilities as Serena Williams comes up against Maria Sharapova. This will be the 22nd career meeting between the pair, their first ever meeting at the US Open. Williams holds a 19-2 head-to-head record over Sharapova and has won the last 18 matches between the pair in what is arguably the most talked about match-up in women’s tennis over the last few decades. Will Williams continue her dominance over Sharapova in New York?

Serena Williams is still desperately searching for a 24th major title, her first since returning from giving birth. Williams has been close on several occasions over the last few years having reached the final in 3 of her last 5 Grand Slam appearances. Williams was infamously beaten by Naomi Osaka in last year’s controversial US Open final, can the 37-year-old go one step further in 2019? Recent form suggests Williams will yet again feature late in the tournament, Williams arrives in New York fresh from a runner-up showing at the Rogers Cup which was ultimately derailed by a back injury, Williams reached the Wimbledon final just a few months ago.

The last time Serena Williams played Maria Sharapova was at the quarter-final stage of the 2016 Australian Open, Maria Sharapova would fail a doping test shortly after that match. Sharapova has never threatened at a major Since her return from the subsequent doping ban. Sharapova is currently languishing just inside the top 100 of the rankings and has really struggled for the majority of the 2019 season with ongoing injury problems continuing to make life tough for the Russian. Most recently Sharapova broke a lengthy winless spell with a straight set win over Alison Riske in Cincinnati before receiving a reality check as she was smashed by Ash Barty in the next round. It will be fascinating to see how Sharapova regroups and performs against her greatest ever rival.

Williams has absolutely dominated Sharapova, everyone knows that. Williams has won an unprecedented 18 matches in a row against Sharapova, 12 of the last 13 of those matches were straight set victories.

There is little to suggest that Sharapova will be able to stop her losing streak against Williams in New York. Williams has generally been much closer to her best than Sharapova has been to her best. Serena’s serve is still strong, she still has the power and her movement is still good. Sharapova’s serve is a mess and she is certainly not as strong as she once was. Nevertheless, I feel like this will be closer than expected, Williams will be rusty, Williams will be nervous, Sharapova has nothing to lose and a point to prove. I can’t pick Sharapova but it’s not impossible.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Maria Sharapova in 3 sets

Serena Williams vs. Sofia Kenin, Roland Garros R3 Preview

🇫🇷🥖💶 Roland Garros, R3 Preview
🇺🇸 (10) Serena Williams vs. 🇺🇸 Sofia Kenin

Serena Williams continues her Roland Garros campaign on Saturday with a third round clash against Sofia Kenin. Williams made a nervy start to the tournament but produced an improved performance in the second round, there still room for huge improvement. The 23-time Grand Slam champion will probably face her first real test of the tournament against Kenin, an opponent that has troubled some of the best players in the world in recent times. Can Kenin upset Williams to claim the biggest win of her career?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams was the great unknown heading into Roland Garros 2019. As a 23-time Grand Slam champion the 33-year-old can never be dismissed heading into a major. However, Serena arrived in Paris having not won back-to-back matches since the Australian Open thanks to ongoing injury concerns. The 10th seed has broken that streak in Paris, starting with a less than convincing 2-6 6-1 6-0 win over Vitalia Diatchenko in the first round before a more respectable 6-3 6-2 triumph over Kurumi Nara.

Sofia Kenin only had to defeat the world number 164 in order to reach the third round in Paris for the first time. Kenin started her Roland Garros with a messy 6-3 5-7 6-2 win over the 164th ranked Giulia Gatto-Monticone before receiving a walkover in the second round thanks to Bianca Andreescu’s withdrawal from the tournament. Kenin has never made it past the third round of a Grand Slam before and will need to produce her very best tennis here if she is to giver herself a chance to break new ground in Paris,

This will be the first career meeting between Williams and Kenin.

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Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams, Rome R2 Preview

#IBI19 Rome R2 Preview
🇺🇸 (10) Serena Williams vs. 🇺🇸 (WC) Venus Williams

Serena Williams and Venus Williams will go head-to-head for the 31st time when they do battle at the second round stage of the Internazionali bnl d’Italia, Rome. Serena had dominated this match-up in recent times having won 9 of the last 11 meetings between the pair, however this will be their first meeting on clay in over 6 years and their first on red clay in over 14 years, so it will be interesting to see how the match pans out.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Internazionali BNL d'Italia WTA Premier 5 tennis tournament

Serena Williams made her much anticipated return to action with a fairly comfortable straight set win over Rebecca Peterson in Rome. Williams had not played since a 3 set opening round win over Rebecca Peterson in Miami. The tennis gods drew the pair together again in Rome and this time Williams was far too strong, winning 6-4 6-2. Importantly, the Williams serve was strong, she served 10 aces and won 82% of her first service points.

Venus Williams was also in action for the first time since Miami on Monday in Rome. Venus was made to work extremely hard to claim a gruelling upset victory over Elise Mertens in over 3 hours of play. Williams squandered 8 match points and saw a 5-1 third set lead evaporate before finally clinching a 7-5 3-6 7-6 victory over the Belgian, one of the biggest wins for Venus in recent times.

Serena holds an 18-12 head-to-head record over Venus. Serena thrashed Venus 6-1 6-2 at the US Open last year in their most recent match. Interestingly their second round meeting in Rome will be their first match-up on red clay since Roland Garros in 2002, so this will be a rare sight in one of the tour’s most prominent match-ups.

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Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka, Indian Wells R2 Preview

🇺🇸🌵 BNPPO19, Indian Wells – R2 Preview
🇺🇸 (10) Serena Williams vs. 🇧🇾 Victoria Azarenka

A blockbuster showdown from the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night sees Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka go head-to-head for the first time in 2 years. This will be the first meeting between Williams and Azarenka since both became mothers, a special occasion between two great rivals of the modern era.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in action during the first round at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament

Williams has had a typically limited schedule in 2019. The 23-time Grand Slam champion has only played the one tour level event in 2019 where she reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open. Serena’s Australian Open campaign ended unceremoniously when she squandered a 5-1 lead in the deciding set against Karolina Pliskova, it will be interesting to see what type of level Williams can produce here given she has not played a competitive match for well over a month.

Azarenka has had a much busier schedule than Williams but has generally struggled to find her top level. The recent signs have been better for the two-time former Indian Wells champion, Azarenka arrived in the Californian desert fresh from a quarter-final showing in Acapulco and started her BNP Paribas Open campaign in style. Azarenka breezed through her opening round clash in Indian Wells, a commanding 6-2 6-3 victory over Vera Lapko to set up a showdown with Williams.

Williams holds a 17-4 head-to-head record over Azarenka, however their rivalry has been much, much more competitive than those numbers suggest. Azarenka frequently pushed Williams to her limits but often fell short in 3 sets. 4 of Serena’s last 5 wins over Azarenka required a third set. The most recent match between the pair took place in the 2016 Indian Wells final, Azarenka won that match 6-4 6-4.

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Serena Williams vs. Eugenie Bouchard, Australian Open R1 Preview

Australian Open, R2 Preview
🇺🇸 (16) Serena Williams vs. 🇨🇦 Eugenie Bouchard

One of the most exciting second round clashes from Melbourne Park on Thursday sees Serena Williams take on Eugenie Bouchard. Williams and Bouchard are two of the biggest names in women’s tennis so there will be a lot of interest surrounding this match-up. However, Bouchard will need to produce her best tennis to make this match competitive and ensure it lives up to the hype.

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada in action during her first-round match at the 2019 Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams made an impressive start to her Australian Open campaign. The 7-time former champion cruised through her opening round match against Germany’s Tatjana Maria, the American claimed a dominant 6-0 6-2 victory in just 50 minutes. Serena won 85% of her service points, did not face a break point and hit 22 winners to just 11 unforced errors in what was a very tidy start to the tournament.

Eugenie Bouchard also cruised through her opening round match at Melbourne Park. The former semi-finalist smashed China’s Peng Shuai 6-2 6-1 in 60 minutes to book a showdown with Williams in what will be their first meeting at a Grand Slam event. Bouchard’s numbers were impressive in her first round win, Bouchard hit 15 winners to 13 unforced errors and is seemingly starting to somewhat resemble the player that reached the final 4 at this tournament in 2014.

Williams has won both of the previous matches between the pair. Williams beat Bouchard in 3 sets in Cincinnati in 2013, their most recent match ended in a dominant 6-1 6-1 win for Williams at the WTA finals Singapore in 2014.

Can Bouchard claim her first career win over Williams in Melbourne?

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Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka, US OPEN Final Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: Final Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams vs. 🇯🇵 (20) Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams is now 1 win away from claiming a record breaking 24th Grand Slam title. Standing in the American’s way is Japan’s Naomi Osaka who will be competing in her very first Grand Slam final. This is a battle of the generations. An all-time great against a future star, an exciting match-up between a pair of explosive hitters. Will Serena claim a 7th US Open title? Or is this the moment Osaka shakes up the sport and becomes the first Japanese women to win a Grand Slam title?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her third-round match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams enters Saturday’s final in supreme form. Williams cruised past Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0, winning 12 of the last 13 games to book her spot in a 9th US Open final Williams has only dropped 1 set on route to the final and has generally looked very sharp throughout the event. Williams has come up against several powerful opponents this tournament, great preparation for taking on Osaka, granted Osaka is a class above Serena’s previous victims.

S. Williams route to the final:

R1 def. Magda Linette 6-4 6-0
R2 def. Carina Witthoeft 6-2 6-2
R3 def. Venus Williams 6-1 6-2
R4 def. Kaia Kanepi 6-0 4-6 6-3
QF def. Karolina Pliskova 6-4 6-3
SF def. Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-0

N. Osaka route to the final:

R1 def. Laura Siegemund 6-3 6-2
R2 def. Julia Glushko 6-2 6-0
R3 def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0 6-0
R4 def. Aryna Sabalenka 6-3 2-6 6-4
QF def. Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-1
SF def. Madison Keys 6-2 6-4

Naomi Osaka of Japan in action during the fourth round at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Naomi Osaka has reminded the tennis world that her best is as good as it gets over the last few weeks at Flushing Meadows. Osaka produced her most impressive performance of the tournament at the semi-final stage as she fended off all 13 break points faced to claim a 6-2 6-4 win over Madison Keys. Osaka was incredibly clutch under pressure in her semi-final win and has generally stormed through her matches this event. Clearly, Serena will be Osaka’s greatest test, but there is reason for Osaka to be very confident heading into this match.

The only previous meeting between the pair ended in a commanding 6-3 6-2 win for Osaka earlier this year in the opening round at the Miami Open. Osaka entered that match on a high having just won the title at Indian Wells whilst Serena had only just returned to the tour after giving birth. The circumstances are very different heading into Saturday’s final.

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Serena Williams vs. Anastasija Sevastova, US Open SF Preview

🇺🇸🗽 US OPEN: SF #1 Preview
🇺🇸 (17) Serena Williams vs. 🇱🇻 (19) Anastasija Sevastova

Thursday’s first semi-final sees a 6-time former US Open champion take on a first time Grand Slam semi-finalist. On paper, this is a big mismatch as Serena Williams and Anastasija Sevastova go head-to-head for the fist time. Williams is 2 wins away from creating more history as she seeks a record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title whilst Sevastova is playing to reach a maiden Grand Slam final. Sevastova will be no pushover, the Latvian is in career best form and has an awkward game that can trouble anyone, can Sevastova pull off a big upset?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her quarter-final match at the 2018 US Open Grand Slam tennis tournament

Serena Williams has had her doubters over the last month, myself included. But, she is again set to prove everyone wrong as she looms as a strong favourite heading into the semi-final stage of the tournament at Flushing Meadows. Williams rolled through the first week with commanding straight set wins over Magda Linette (6-4 6-0), Carina Witthoeft (6-2 6-2) and Venus Williams (6-1 6-2). Serena dropped her only set of the tournament thus far in a topsy-turvy 6-0 4-6 6-3 win over Kaia Kanepi, Williams rebounded strongly with a 6-4 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova to book her spot in the final 4. Serena looked particularly sharp in her win over Pliskova after a slow start.

After a pair of quarter-final appearances in New York over the last few seasons, Sevastova had gone one step further in 2018 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. Sevastova started her run to the final 4 with wins over Donna Vekic (6-2 2-6 6-3) and Claire Liu (6-3 6-1). The 19th seed enters the semi-final stage in great form having beaten 3 quality opponents in a row. Wins over Ekaterina Makarova (4-6 6-1 6-2), Elina Svitolina (6-3 1-6 6-0) and Sloane Stephens (6-2 6-3). Sevastova’s commanding win over the defending champion was particularly impressive, an even better performance will be required to get the better of Serena Williams.

This will be the first career meeting between Williams and Sevastova. This is a match-up that features a fascinating contrast in styles. Serena has the explosive power but Sevastova has the delicate touch. Serena has struggled in these types of match-ups in the past, on the big stage too, think loses to Alize Cornet at Wimbledon and Roberta Vinci at the US Open. Will history repeat itself?

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