Diyas vs. Serena
|Date & Time||Wednesday March 7, 2018, 11:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Serena -275 / Diyas +235 -- Over/Under:
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Serena Williams and Zarina Diyas meet in the first round of the 2018 Indian Wells Masters.
Serena Williams has had issues in exhibition play, but this will be her first WTA match since winning the Australian Open and then taking a leave of absence due to her pregnancy. Serena had major issues with the birth of her child and admitted that she was bedridden and nearly died. We all know what Serena is capable of when in good form, but the time away from the sport and the fact she’s now approaching 37 years old makes you wonder just how effective she can be at this point. It’s going to take time for Serena to get her feet under her, and I advise anyone looking to bet on her to be patient. No matter how great Serena has been, do not expect her to hit the ground running, as there are sure to be hiccups moving forward. Serena has won 10 of her last 12 matches on hard court.
Zarina Diyas enters this match 3-3 on the main tour and would love nothing more than to get a big victory to kind of get her season going. Diyas is a 24-year-old who has had moments such as beating Andrea Petkovic a few years ago, but she’s struggles with consistency and has had far more success outside of the WTA level. Diyas is coming off a match against Lesia Tsurenko in which she couldn’t get her serve going and had nine double faults. No matter what shape you think Serena is in, Diyas can not play at that level if she expects to get the victory here and advance in this big tournament. Diyas has split her last eight matches on hard court.
These two have played twice, and Serena won both matches in straight sets. The most recent match was in the 2016 Miami Masters, a match that took 21 games to be decided. All three meetings will be played on hard court.
Like I said, you have to give Serena time before betting any serious money on her match wise or to win tournaments. It’s going to take time, and her exhibition play has shown that. However, in terms of picking a winner, you still have to give the edge to Serena. Diyas is coming off a match in which she struggled to even get her serve in play, and even Serena at 50 percent will eat that alive. You also rarely get Serena with odds this cheap.
Tread lightly, but I’ll still back Serena in this match.