Pavlyuchenkova vs. Venus
|Date & Time||Monday January 23, 2017, 9:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Venus Williams and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova meet in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Australian Open.
Venus Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Mona Barthel that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Venus won 73 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Venus has shown zero signs of her elbow injury, as she has yet to drop a set this tournament and has lost just a combined nine games in her last two matches. Venus is serving with confidence and is moving well out there for a 36-year-old. The one concern for Venus is that she did have 33 unforced errors in her last match, something that has cost her matches the last couple of years. Venus hopes to make her second grand slam semifinal since the 2011 season. Venus has won six of her last eight matches on hard court.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is coming off a straight sets win over Svetlana Kuznetsova that took 18 games to decide. In the victory, Pavlyuchenkova won 81 percent of her first serve points and 38 percent of her second serve points. Pavlyuchenkova could be considered the cinderella of the tournament, as she’s beaten back-to-back top-15 players and is in her fourth career grand slam quarterfinal. Pavlyuchenkova has dropped just one set this tournament and is fresh off a match in which she had 21 winners and was dominant with her first serve. If she does that here, Pavlyuchenkova has a chance for the upset. Pavlyuchenkova has five wins over top-10 players since the 2015 season. Pavlyuchenkova hopes to make her first grand slam semifinal appearance. Pavlyuchenkova has won six of her last seven matches on hard court.
These two have played five times in the past and Venus has won three of those meetings. The most recent match came in the 2014 Canadian Masters, a match Venus won in three sets. Pavlyuchenkova’s last win over Venus came in the 2009 Beijing Open. This will be the sixth meeting on hard court.
I’m always hesitant to back Venus given it’s usually a matter of time before she has a match filled with errors and it costs her the victory. However, Venus has looked sharp and the confidence is building by the minute. Pavlyuchenkova has had a very solid ride and is no pushover given her history against top players. However, Pavlyuchenkova has been awful with her second serve in her last two matches, something Venus will eat up. That’s the difference in this match for me.
Give me Venus to make the semifinals.