Serena Williams vs. Tatjana Maria
|Date & Time||Monday January 14, 2019, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Tatjana Maria meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Australian Open.
Serena Williams won all three of her matches in the Hopman Cup, so she enters this tournament in rather good form and rust free. Serena is coming off a match in which she won 69 percent of her total service points and she has 27 aces in her last seven sets played. We all know what Serena brings to the table and how effective all areas of her game are, but it’s the free points with her serve that makes her most deadly. When Serena is able to crank out the power and get those aces, she’s at another level with her game and nearly unbeatable in the women’s game. Serena hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2012 French Open. Serena matches on hard court.
Tatjana Maria has lost five of her last eight matches, which includes an early exit in Sydney where her return didn’t work and she struggled with her second serve. Maria has lost eight of her last 11 sets when you include qualifying play, and she’s not going to see improved success until that second serve winning percentage improves. A match in Shenzhen, Maria won just nine of 31 second serve points, and that’s not going to cut it against a player like Serena. Maria has two career wins over top-10 players, both coming since 2015. Maria has lost in the first round of a grand slam six times since 2015. Maria has lost four of her last five matches on hard court.
There’s no match history between these two players.
I’ll say it again, the key to this match is the second serve of Maria, and she’s getting nothing on it in her last few showings. We know what Serena can do with weak serves, and she’s going to feast on Maria and hit a lot of winning returns in this contest. The German is in serious trouble in her opening Australian Open match.
Serena wins this match in straight sets.