Makarova vs. Serena
|Date & Time||Monday August 29, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Ekaterina Makarova meet in the first round of the 2016 US Open.
Serena Williams hasn’t played since losing to Elina Svitolina in the round of 16 during the olympics and there’s been concerns with her health heading into the US Open. Serena has been able to push through matches and win despite not playing great tennis by her standards. It’s also important to note that Serena has just 10 singles matches under her belt since the French Open, so she should be rather rested. A healthy Serena is the favorite to win it all; if not, well, it’s anyone's tournament. Serena hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2012 French Open. Serena has won 12 of her last 16 matches on hard court.
Ekaterina Makarova heads into the tournament in shaky form after splitting her last eight matches overall. Makarova isn’t your typical first round opponent given that she was a top-10 player and is still ranked 30th in the world. However, Makarova hasn’t been playing her best tennis this season and hasn’t looked sharp since making the fourth round of this year's Wimbledon. Still, Makarova has three victories over top-10 players this season and hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2013 French Open. If Makarova can get off to a strong start and build some confidence, she has a shot to upset. Makarova has split her last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played five times and Serena has won four of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2014 US Open, a match Serena won in 16 games. Makarova’s only win over Serena came in the 2012 Australian Open.
The US Open is the one tournament Serena plays her heart out and wants to win in the worst way with it being the biggest on her home soil. A motivated Serena should be able to handle a shaky Makarova, especially given the H2H.
Give me Serena in straight sets.