Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams
|Date & Time||Monday January 25, 2016, 10:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova meet in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Australian Open.
Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Margarita Gasparyan and has yet to drop a set this tournament. Serena has played 15 or less games in her last three matches and has had no more than 16 unforced errors during those matches as well. Serena is simply crushing the comp out of the gate, but her first serve percentage must improve as she faces better players. Serena has gotten 57 or less percent of her first serves in play in three of her four matches. Still, Serena has been eliminated in the quarterfinals of a grand slam just once since 2011, which was the 2013 Australian Open.
Maria Sharapova is coming off a straight sets win over Belinda Bencic and has dropped one set this tournament. Sharapova has played 50 games in her last two matches and has racked up 102 winners during those two matches. Sharapova has gotten at least 56 percent of her first serves in play in three of her four matches and is winning at least 79 percent of her first serve points. The downside for Sharapova this tournament have been the 17 double faults, something she must clean up if she’s going to have a shot here. Sharapova hasn’t been eliminated in the quarterfinals of a grand slam since the 2009 French Open.
These two have met 20 times, and Serena has won 18 of those meetings. Sharapova hasn't beaten Serena since the 2004 WTA Championships. The last six matches between Serena and Sharapova have gone straight sets.
This really isn’t a rivalry, as Serena has cleaned up Sharapova for over a decade and it really hasn’t even been competitive. I know the names make for big headlines, but there’s no reason not to back Serena in this match.