Venus Williams vs. Elise Mertens
|Date & Time||Monday May 13, 2019, 8:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: Venus +180 / Mertens -205 -- Over/Under:
Venus Williams and Elise Mertens meet in the first round of the 2019 tennis Italian Open.
Venus Williams will play her first match since the fourth round of the Miami Open, so she has about six weeks of rest. Venus was playing well before her absence, winning nine of her last 12 matches and doing a solid job with her second serve. Even in her loss to Simona Halep, Venus was getting 61 percent of her first serves in play and had her chances to make that match a little interesting. Even at nearly 39 years old, Venus is capable of pushing anybody you put in front of her, it’s all about controlling the unforced errors. Venus hasn’t lost her opening match of a tournament since last years French Open. Venus has lost three of her last four matches on clay court.
Elise Mertens lost her first match in Madrid and enters this contest losing seven of her last 11 matches. Mertens is coming off a performance in which she won 43 percent of her total service points and was broken eight times. Mertens has lost each of her last four sets and has been broken a combined 13 times during that span. Needless to say, Mertens has seen better days and has some improving to do if she’s going to make a run in this tournament. Mertens has lost the opening match of a tournament four times in her last seven tries. Mertens has lost four of her last six matches on clay court.
These two have played twice and Venus has won both matches in straight sets. The matches took place in the 2017 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon.
I guess Mertens should be favored when you consider she’s the better, younger player at this stage of their careers and she wins if she’s playing capable to her level. With that said, Mertens has been absolutely horrible these past couple of weeks and shouldn’t be this big of a favorite. Yes, Venus has had a ton of time off and can be very sloppy, but she was playing solid tennis heading into her break. If Venus can pick up anywhere close to where she left off and Mertens continues this downfall, this is a toss-up.
So, based on value, Venus and the plus money is worth a shot.