Serena Williams vs Lucie Safarova, Australian Open R2 Preview

Australian Open, ?? Second Round Match preview
(2) ?? Serena Williams vs ?? Lucie Safarova

Serena Williams continues her bid for a seventh Australian Open title on Thursday night when she comes up against Lucie Safarova in a dangerous second round match-up. It was only a year and a half ago that these two were playing in the final of Roland Garros, now they meet at the second round stage of a major (courtesy of Safarova’s ranking slip). Williams will be wary of Safarova but will head into this match with a lot of confidence having won all 9 previous matches between the pair.

Serena Williams faced a very tough opening round opponent on Tuesday, but came through quite comfortably with a 6-4 6-3 win over Belinda Bencic. The first set was a tight one but Serena raised her level towards the end before racing to a 5-0 lead in the second set. The world number 2 did have a slight dip in form towards the end of the match but it was not really an issue as it was still a convincing win. Williams is extremely motivated to add to her Grand Slam tally in Melbourne and surpass Steffi Graff in the record books.

Lucie Safarova came through an epic first round match at Melbourne Park. The Czech saved an incredible 9 match points on route to a 3-6 7-6 6-1 win over Yanina Wickmayer. Safarova saved 3 consecutive match points on two occasions: once serving to stay in the match and once at 3-6 in the second set tiebreak. This may have been the perfect type of win for Safarova before a meeting with Serena Williams. Safarova will enter her match with absolutely nothing to lose and can therefore swing freely, which is when she is most dangerous.

Serena holds a commanding 9-0 head-to-head record over Safarova, however the last two matches between the pair have gone the distance. Safarova pushed Williams to a third set on the hard courts of Beijing in 2014 and on the clay of Roland Garros in the 2015 final. Safarova’s recent form hasn’t been great, she needs to be at her very best to push Serena. I don’t think Safarova is there at the moment whilst Serena will be in a good position after a tough opening round win and should come through this match quite easily.

Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Lucie Safarova in 2 sets

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0 responses to “Serena Williams vs Lucie Safarova, Australian Open R2 Preview”

  1. At first, I was worried about Serena’s fitness level, since she was playing doubles with Venus. But, they ended up withdrawing from the doubles competition, because of Venus’s right elbow injury. That was a smart move from their end. After their withdrawal, I’m considering that Serena will be more well-rested than Safarova. Safarova is playing doubles with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Between her singles and doubles matches, Safarova hasn’t had a day off. But, Serena had an extra day of rest in between. Serena has averaged eight aces, four double faults, 30 winners, and 30 unforced errors. Even though Safarova has twice as many aces and five more winners, she coughed up seven double faults. In their last meeting, Safarova pushed Serena to three sets. But in that match, Serena was battling the flu. According to coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena is 100% healthy now and is more well-rested. So with that, I’m predicting Serena will win this match in two sets.

    • Serena has had success in the past when she plays singles and doubles, for example at Wimbledon last year when she won the sinlges title and also the doubles. But, yes it could be an advantage for her. I think they withdrew because Venus saw that she now has a very good draw and did not want to waste any of her energy in the double, don’t think it has anything to do with Serena. Yes, Serena should win this in 2, let’s see

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