Belinda Bencic vs. Serena Williams
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 1, 2019, 7:00 AM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Belinda Bencic meet in the round robin stages of the 2018 tennis Hopman Cup.
Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Maria Sakkari that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Serena won 78 percent of her first serve points and 45 percent of her second serve points. Serena won 65 percent of her total service points and saved four of her five break points. Serena can still be sharper with her serve overall, but it’s encouraging to see that she hit 13 aces in just her second match in about four months. If Serena is going to get so many free points with her serve this early, she has to be a strong favorite to win the Australian Open that’s rapidly approaching. Serena has split her last two matches on indoor hard court.
Belinda Bencic is coming off a straight sets win over Katie Boulter that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Bencic won 75 percent of her first serve points and 46 percent of her second serve points. Bencic won 64 percent of her total service points and saved three of her four break points. Bencic has to clean up the seven double faults if she’s going to have a chance in this match, but her victory was impressive overall and she’s rather fresh considering she played ITF and challenger tennis leading up to this tournament. Bencic has to be feeling good in her current form with so many recent matches under her belt. Bencic has won five of her last six matches on indoor hard court.
These two have played three times and Serena has won two of those matches. The most recent meeting was in the 2017 Australian Open, a match Serena won in straight sets. Bencic’s only win over Serena came in Toronto in 2015. Both of Serena’s victories were decided in straight sets.
There were no odds for this match at the time I posted this article, but I’d be looking at the over in this match. Bencic has a lot of recent matches under her belt and has the confidence of beating Serena. It’s also important to note that Serena is just now getting back into the swing of things and usually uses these tournaments to knock off the rust. The results aren’t the ultimate goal.
I’d still give the edge to Serena because of the errors Bencic makes in crucial points, but this is going to likely be a tight, long match.