Serena Williams vs. Venus Williams
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 15, 2019, 5:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Venus Williams meet in the second round of the 2019 tennis Italian Open.
Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Rebecca Peterson that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Serena won 82 percent of her first serve points and 60 percent of her second serve points. Serena won 73 percent of her total service points and converted on four of her 10 break points. Serena looked good for somebody who hasn’t played in nearly two months, as she hit 10 aces and saved two of her three break points. As long as Serena is moving well out there and getting free points with her serve, she’s going to be fine. It’s when Serena isn’t hitting her spots consistently and has to work hard for points is when there’s reason to worry. Serena looks to win back-to-back matches for the first time since the Australian Open. Serena has won 10 of her last 12 matches on clay court.
Venus Williams is coming off a three sets win over Elise Mertens that took 34 games to decide. In the victory, Venus won 55 percent of her first serve points and 48 percent of her second serve points. Venus won 53 percent of her total service points and converted on seven of her 19 break points. Venus did everything she could to blow that match in the third set, which included being broken three times with the match on her racket. That’s pretty much a Venus match at this stage of her career, as the power serve is gone, so she has to work much harder to win points. Still, Venus finds ways to dig deep and the competitive fight is still there, so she’s certainly not going down easy regardless of the opponent. Venus hopes to win at least two matches for the seventh straight tournament. Venus has split her last four matches on clay court.
These two have played 30 times and Serena has won 18 of those matches, including five of the last seven. Venus won the most recent match last year in Indian Wells. They’ve played three times on clay and Serena won two of those matches, most recently in the 2013 Charleston Open. Six of the last eight matches between Serena and Venus have been decided in straight sets.
Venus has a chance to make this match interesting if she’s going to serve the way she did in her opening match, but I’m always worried about unforced errors. She had a ton of them despite her win, and a player like Serena will make her pay unlike her last opponent. Serena is just the cleaner player at this stage of their careers and that’s usually the difference between the two sisters. Venus has games where she beats herself and Serena closes the door by capitalizing on those sloppy points. There’s also some worry about Venus battling a right arm injury, which can’t be good either.
Serena beats Venus for the 19th time in her career.