Konta vs. Serena
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 24, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Konta +176 / Serena -201 -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Johanna Konta meet in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Australian Open.
Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Barbora Strycova that took 22 games to decide. In the victory, Serena won 63 percent of her first serve points and 45 percent of her second serve points. Serena is coming off her sloppiest match yet, as she racked up 46 unforced errors and wasn’t consistent with her serve at all. Those subpar performances in Serena standards seem to be a trend later in grand slam tournaments and have left the door open for potential upsets. The good news for Serena is that she’s won 12 of her last 13 sets and has given herself a combined 22 break chances in her last two matches. Serena has a chance to make her 10th straight grand slam semifinal. Serena has won 10 of her last 12 matches on hard court.
Johanna Konta is coming off a straight sets win over Ekaterina Makarova that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Konta won 80 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Konta has played no more than 18 games in each of her last three matches and the confidence seems to be building for the 25-year-old. Konta has just 50 combined unforced errors in her last three matches and is winning no less than 76 percent of her first serve points this tournament. It’s now about taking those next steps in grand slam play for the rising superstar, as she’s made back-to-back Australian Open quarterfinals. Konta has 11 career victories over top-10 players, eight of which have come since the start of last season. Konta hopes to make her second career grand slam semifinal. Konta has won nine straight matches on hard court.
This will be the first time these two meet on the tennis court.
Konta is slicing and dicing her opponents and that’s with an above-average draw, as her last three wins came against top-50 players, including a former No. 1 in Caroline Wozniacki. Konta is more than capable of winning this match and I wouldn’t talk you out of it if you decided to back her given her momentum. However, Serena plays her best against opponents she respects, and although this will be the first meeting, she’s well aware of Konta’s accomplishments as of late.
I have to back the experience and take Serena in this match.