Serena Williams vs. Simona Halep
|Date & Time||Sunday January 20, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Simona Halep meet in the fourth round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Dayana Yastremska that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Serena won 85 percent of her first serve points and 5- percent of her second serve points. Serena won 74 percent of her total service points and didn’t face a single break point. Serena has cruised in all six sets this tournament and has just 12 aces, so there’s still another level she can reach if needed. With wins in 12 of her last 13 sets when you include the Hopman Cup, it’s clear to say that Serena is in great form and should be considered the overwhelming favorite to win this title. Serena hopes to make a grand slam quarterfinal for the 13th time in her last 14 appearances. Serena also looks for her fourth straight quarterfinal at the Australian Open. Serena has won 10 of her last 12 matches on hard court.
Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Venus Williams that took 17 games to decide. In the victory, Halep won 67 percent of her first serve points and 63 percent of her second serve points. Halep won 65 percent of her total service points and produced five breaks on 10 break points. It was the cleanest match yet for Halep, especially when you factor in just the 12 unforced errors. Maybe it’s a sign that Halep is starting to return to form, as her first couple of matches took place with her fresh off of a back injury. Halep is moving well out there and starting to knock off the rust a little quicker than expected. Halep hopes to make her 12th career grand slam quarterfinal and her fourth at the Australian Open. Halep has split her last six matches on hard court.
These two have played 10 times and Serena has won eight of those matches. The most recent meeting was in the 2016 US Open, a match Serena won in three sets. Halep’s only wins over Serena came in Singapore in 2014 and a walkover in the 2015 Indian Wells. Six of the nine completed matches were decided in straight sets.
As good as Halep is, the head to head history proves that no matter how athletic she is and how impressive she is defensively, Serena can hit through her and take the racket out of her hands. Halep wins most of her matches defensively and getting the best of long rallies, but Serena counters that with her power and hitting winners that can’t be returned. You also have to question how much Halep has left in the tank considering she has only a few matches under her belt since September. Conditioning could be an issue as she works her way back.
Either way, Serena will get the best of Halep yet again.