Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams
|Date & Time||Saturday January 31, 2015, 11:00 AM (EST)|
The Line: Serena Williams -250
Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams play Saturday night in the 2015 Australian Open Final.
Maria Sharapova has played some of her best tennis to get to this point, as she’s had less than 20 unforced errors in three of her last four matches. Sharapova has played just one three-set match in this tournament and has gotten 55 or higher percent of her first serves in play in five of her total six matches. The one downside with Maria Sharapova are the 11 double faults in her last two matches, a number she must clean up if she’s going to win her sixth career major. Other than those mistakes, Sharapova has really cruised through the tournament and seems to be focused in a way we haven’t seen in a while. This is Sharapova’s fourth final in the Australian Open, and she won the title in 2008.
Serena Williams is picking up steam at the right time, as she’s playing her best tennis of the tournament right now. Serena has 45 aces in her last three matches and has hit 31 or more winners in four of her last five matches. Serena’s power is clearly picking up, and it’s the reason why she’s won her last two matches in almost effortless fashion. Serena has also kept her unforced errors under 20 in her last two matches and has just nine double faults in her last three matches combined. Serena is playing her best tennis right now and is having very few mental breakdowns. Serena Williams has yet to lose an Australian Open Final, and she’s won the event five times. This will be Serena’s first Australian Open Final appearance since 2010.
These two have played 18 times and Serena has won 16 of those matches. Serena has beaten Sharapova in 15 straight matches, which includes a win in the 2014 Miami Masters and Brisbane. Sharapova’s only victories over Serena came back in 2004, and one of those wins came at Wimbledon.
Judging by their past history and the way both players are playing right now, you have to like Serena to continue her dominance over Sharapova. Serena is hungry for yet another major title and the overwhelming power she’s found lately will pay off in this match. Besides, Sharapova hasn’t even won a set against Serena in their last four matches. Sure, the price may be a little steep but it’s worth it.