Serena Williams vs. Vitalia Diatchenko
|Date & Time||Monday May 27, 2019, 10:30 AM (EDT)|
Roland Garros Stadium
The Line: Serena -809 / Diatchenko +616 -- Over/Under:
Serena Williams and Vitalia Diatchenko meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis French Open.
Serena Williams has played just four matches since the Australian Open and has withdrawn from each of her last three tournaments due to knee pain. It’s going to be interesting to see which version of Serena we get here, as we know what she’s capable of when healthy, but the lack of reps and lingering injuries make it hard to call. As long as the knee holds up, Serena is more than capable of playing her way into shape and making a run in this tournament. Serena could also be forced to leave early once again, which would raise questions if we’re seeing the beginning of the end of a tennis legend. Serena hasn’t lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2012 French Open. Serena has won four of her last six matches on clay court.
Vitalia Diatchenko enters this tournament losing three of her last four matches, but she’s been on a tear in ITF play, so she has some recent success that can’t be overlooked. Diatchenko has had recent issues with her serve and had 13 double faults in her last match, so there’s certainly concerns heading into this contest. Still, Diatchenko will be able to calm her nerves just a bit knowing there’s no pressure on her to advance given her opponent. Diatchenko hopes to make it out of the first round in a grand slam for the fourth time in her career. Diatchenko has lost three of her last four matches on clay court.
Serena won the only previous meeting in the 2015 US Open, a match that was decided in eight games before a second set retirement.
Serena obviously has concerns entering this tournament and it’s why she’s not a top-three favorite to win it. However, as long as the knee holds up, this is a match Serena wins in straight sets. Diatchenko has been a mess in main tour play recently and has gotten nothing on her serve. Even Serena at 60 or 75 percent beats Diatchenko in straight sets and crushes those weak serves, overpowering the lesser player.
Give me Serena in straight sets.