Heather Watson vs. Venus Williams
|Date & Time||Wednesday August 1, 2018, 2:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Venus Williams and Heather Watson meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis Stanford Classic.
Venus Williams hasn’t played since her third round exit in the Wimbledon, so she should be very fresh entering this tournament. Of course, Venus has had her struggles this year, as she enters this tournament losing six of her last nine matches and struggling mightily with her serve and unforced errors. The good news for Venus is that she’s played her best this season on hard court and the surface allows her to control the points with more consistency. However, it’s going to take a match or two before gaining confidence in Venus, as the 38-year-old has looked awful for much of the year if we’re being honest. I need to see how Venus shows up here before saying she’s back to being herself. Venus has won seven of her last nine matches on hard court.
Heather Watson is coming off a three sets win over Claire Liu that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Watson won 64 percent of her first serve points and 44 percent of her second serve points. Watson struggled with her serve, but she won 45 percent of her return points and ended up producing six breaks. Watson has to be much better with her serve and clean up the six double faults if she hopes to advance any further in this tournament. It’s not going to be easy to beat this level of competition when getting barely 50 percent of your first serves in play. Regardless, Watson entered this tournament losing her last four matches, so a win is a win for the 26-year-old. Watson has lost three of her last four matches on hard court.
These two have played once in Beijing back in 2014, a match Venus won in straight sets. The match took 16 games to be decided.
Venus has been awful this year to say the least, but she’s well rested, has played her best on hard court and is always a tougher out when playing on American soil. Watson also had nothing on her serve, so Venus will have plenty of chances to blast the return and get free points.
Venus should win this match rather easily. If she doesn’t, well, there are some lingering issues.