Vitalia Diatchenko vs. Maria Sharapova
|Date & Time||Tuesday July 3, 2018, 7:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Maria Sharapova and Vitalia Diatchenko meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis Wimbledon.
Maria Sharapova should be extremely well rested for this tournament, as she hasn’t played since making the quarterfinals of the French Open. It was one of the better showings for Sharapova since her leave of absence and her return has improved drastically. Sharapova still has issues putting opponents away and can struggle mightily with her second serve, but slowly but surely, Sharapova is starting to become her old self, which makes her an outside contender to start competing for grand slam titles. A fast start will be key for Sharapova and her confidence in this tournament. Sharapova hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2010 Australian Open. Sharapova has won eight of her last 10 matches on grass court.
Vitalia Diatchenko entry this tournament winning eight of her last 12 matches, and while many of those matches were qualification matches, any sort of success will help the 27-year-old in this match. Diatchenko has played very little on the main tour over the years and will be making her first grand slam appearance since the 2016 US Open. It’s been a struggle for the young Russian the last couple of years, but when she’s serving well and winning at least 60 percent of her total service points, she’s capable of turning some heads. Diatchenko has raw talent, it’s just a matter of putting everything together and finishing matches. Diatchenko hopes to make the second round of a grand slam for the third time in her career. Diatchenko has lost three straight matches on grass court.
These two have played once, which was in the 2015 French Open, a match Sharapova won in straight sets. The match took 16 games to be decided.
There’s a lot of players in the first round who simply don’t have main tour match experience, and Diatchenko is one of them. These players usually get eaten alive in grand slam play, as you need quality reps under your belt before being thrown into tournaments like this. Sharapova still has her struggles and needs to improve her serve, but this should be a routine match.
I’ll take Sharapova in straight sets.