Serena Williams vs. Kurumi Nara
|Date & Time||Thursday May 30, 2019, 7:30 AM (EDT)|
Roland Garros Stadium
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Kurumi Nara meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis French Open.
Serena Williams is coming off a three sets win over Vitalia Diatchenko that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Serena won 76 percent of her first serve points and 46 percent of her second serve points. Serena won 64 percent of her total service points and converted on five of her 11 break points. Serena started off extremely slow, but she then won 12 of the final 13 games to close the match and finish in just over an hour and a half. Serena will have to clean up the 24 unforced errors and do better with her second serve, but she looked sharp in the final two sets. The slow start likely had to do with a lack of reps, as her opening match was just her second performance since Miami. Serena hasn’t been bounced before the third round of a grand slam since the 2014 French Open. Serena has won two of her last three matches on clay court.
Kurumi Nara is coming off a three sets win over Dalila Jakupovic that took 33 games to decide. In the victory, Nara won 57 percent of her first serve points and 47 percent of her second serve points. Nara won 54 percent of her total service points and converted on eight of her 16 break points. Nara got 75 percent of her first serves in play, but she must do a much better job of taking advantage of that if she’s going to win this match. There’s no reason to give your opponent 21 break points when you’re consistently getting the first serve in play. Regardless, Nara is in the second round of a grand slam for the first time since the 2017 US Open and is playing with house money entering this match. Nara has a chance to make the third round of a grand slam for the fourth time in her career. Nara has won five of her last six matches on clay court.
This will be the first official meeting between these two players.
Serena now has some games under her belt and that should knock off some of the rust of not playing matches these last few months. Nara is an experienced player, but her last match leaves little confidence heading into this one, as she got nothing on her serve despite getting the first serve in play. Nara is also too patient and conservative with her game, something a player like Serena can demolish. If Nara isn’t willing to be aggressive and take chances, she has no chance here.
I’ll take Serena in straight sets.