Vesnina vs. Venus
|Date & Time||Wednesday May 16, 2018, 11:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Venus Williams and Elena Vesnina meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Rome Masters.
Venus Williams is just 7-5 on the season and lost her only clay match to Anett Kontaveit in the Madrid Masters. Venus had five double faults in the loss, won just 38 percent of her return points and was broken four times. While she’s been incredible the last couple of years and has had a few runs in Indian Wells and Miami, this may be a time to question if the age thing is becoming a factor. After all, Venus will be 38 years old in mid-June. Then again, it could be Venus being Venus, as she does have issues with unforced errors and being sloppy at times. Let’s see how Venus does in the Rome Masters before judging, a tournament she’s made at least the quarterfinals eight times in her career. Venus has won six of her last nine matches on clay court.
Elena Vesnina is coming off a straight sets win over Laura Siegemund that took 21 games to decide. In the victory, Vesnina won 64 percent of her first serve points and 39 percent of her second serve points. Vesnina got 75 percent of her first serves in play and managed to break her opponent six times. The problem is Vesnina struggled with her serve as well, and it’s tough to beat quality players when trading break points the whole match. Vesnina obviously has to play a much cleaner match if she hops to make the third round of a Premier 5 Tournament for the fourth time since 2014. Vesnina has 12 career victories over top-10 players, and one of them has come this year in Dubai. Vesnina has won five of her last eight matches on clay court.
These two have played six times and Vesnina has won four of those matches. The most recent match was in the 2017 Indian Wells Masters, a match she won in three sets. has won the last two meetings against Venus, and her last loss came in Auckland of 2015. This will be the first meeting on clay.
Vesnina has a clear edge in the head to head and Venus isn’t playing great tennis at the moment. This is a match Vesnina is more than capable of winning. However, Venus does have a clear rest advantage considering she didn’t have to play in the first round, and she still has the return skills to take advantage of Vesnina’s subpar serve. Also, veteran players find ways to rise in big tournaments.
I’ll give the edge to Venus in this match. It’s not like Vesnina is blowing the doors off the competition right now.