(1) Serena Williams vs (26) Elina Svitolina
Serena Williams’ quest for her sixth Australian Open title continues on Saturday where she faces the talented youngster Elina Svitolina in the third round.
Serena survived an early scare against Vera Zvonareva to prevail 7-5 6-0 in her second round encounter. Serena saved three set points in the opening set serving at 3-5 0-40 down in the opening set and came from 30-0 down when Zvonareva served for the set at 5-4.
Serena cannot afford another sluggish on Saturday as Svitolina is certainly good enough to take full advantage. I believe we will see a much better performance from Serena on Saturday.
Elina Svitolina has come through two extremely tight matches, impressively the Ukrainian came through both matches in straight sets.
Svitolina started her 2015 Australian Open campaign with a hard fought 6-3 7-5 victory over Yulia Putintseva. Yulia served for the second set but Elina raised her level to close it out in two. In the second round Elina just nudged past Nicole Gibbs 7-6 7-6 to set up a third round showdown with the world number one.
The only previous meeting between these two was a fed Cup match back in 2012, Serena comfortably prevailed 6-2 6-1. Much has changed since then, Elina is playing great tennis at the moment and will look to take it up to Serena.
Serena will be a weary of a potentially dangerous young opponent and should therefore be ready for a tough battle. I think Serena is ready to step it up on Saturday and will prove to be far too powerful for Elina. the Ukrainian loves to play from behind the baseline but that simply won’t work in this matchup.
Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Elina Svitolina in straight sets