Roland Garros, R2 Preview
?? (17) Ashleigh Barty vs. ?? Serena Williams
The pick of the second round clashes at Roland Garros sees the 17th seeded Ashleigh Barty take on 3-time former champion Serena Williams. This is a match where we will learn a lot about Serena’s current level. Serena made her much anticipated return to Grand Slam action on Tuesday where she claimed a tight 2 set win over Kristyna Pliskova. The 23-time Grand Slam champion will face a tough test against Barty, the Aussie has a complete game and is ready to claim a big scalp.
There were question marks surrounding the fitness of Ash Barty heading into Paris after the Aussie retired injured in her semi-final match in Strasbourg the week before Roland Garros. However, The 17th seed showed no sign of any injury in a comfortable 6-3 6-1 demolition of Natalia Vikhlyantseva in the opening round. It was a very clean and consistent performance by Barty, the serve of Barty was not broken throughout the match as she made light work of her Russian opponent.
All eyes were on Serena Williams as she returned to Roland Garros on Tuesday, it was a successful return for Serena as she claimed a hard-fought 7-6 6-4 victory over Kristyna Pliskova. It was a match with little margin, there were no breaks of serve in the opening set and both players squandered leads in the second. Ultimately Serena was too strong from the baseline and she was more composed under pressure. What stood out was the high level of intensity that Serena brought to the court and maintained throughout the match, clearly she is on a mission in Paris.
The only previous match between the pair took place at the Australian Open in 2014. It was a David vs. Goliath battle on that occasion and Serena won easily 6-2 6-1. Fast forward 4 and a half years and a lot has changed, Barty is one of the most improved players on tour and is now a star in her own right, is she ready to take down the champ?