Pliskova vs. Serena
|Date & Time||Sunday May 27, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Kristyna Pliskova meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis French Open.
Serena Williams has played just four matches this season and hasn’t played since the Miami Masters. Still recovering from her pregnancy and a near death experience, Serena has clearly taken her time back to tennis and isn’t rushing a return like some of her peers have done in the past. Because of such limited tennis played, expectations should be limited for Serena heading into this tournament. However, Serena has made the final in three of the last four French Opens, so nothing would surprise us from the former No. 1 in the world. Serena did struggle in Miami the last time we saw her, so please be cautious before betting any serious money. Serena isn’t Serena until she gets some matches under her belt. Serena has won 11 of her last 13 matches on clay.
Kristyna Pliskova is currently making a run in Nuremberg and has won eight of her last 10 matches on clay court at the time this article was posted. Pliskova is serving at a very high level and has played by far her best tennis on this surface. Pliskova was just 3-6 on hard court this season, so this recent success has to be great for her confidence. Pliskova also does have two wins over top-10 players this season, and while Serena isn’t currently a top-10 player, it’s not due to her play. Making runs in some of these smaller tournaments and competing against some big names should make Pliskova believe she has a shot to win this match. Pliskova has lost in the first round of a grand slam in four of her last seven appearances. Pliskova has won eight of her last 10 matches on clay court.
These two have never played on the tennis court.
There’s going to be value on Pliskova given the limited time Serena has played this season. Even for a legend like Serena, it’s not easy to miss months and then be thrown into the fire. However, Serena is a competitor and can still will her way to victory when needed. Pliskova isn’t a big game match player.
I like Serena to advance to the second round.