Maria Sharapova vs. Wang Qiang
|Date & Time||Thursday July 13, 2017, 6:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Wang Qiang and Maria Sharapova meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis US Open.
Wang Qiang is coming off a first round exit in Montreal, but she should still be extremely confident given she recently won her first WTA title in the Jiangxi International Women's Tennis Open. The compassion obviously wasn’t the best in the world, but a title is a title and it’s something that should help the 26-year-old take her game to another level. Qiang dominated her first serve in the tournament, and if she can consistently get her first serve in play here, she should like her chances to make this match at the very least competitive. Qiang has lost in the first round of a grand slam in five of her last eight appearances. Qiang has won seven of her last nine matches on hard court.
Maria Sharapova is coming off a third round exit in Montreal and has only played those three matches since the Wimbledon. Sharapova will obviously be well rested for this tournament, but it’s hard to trust her to make a deep run given her inconsistent play and the lack of consistent reps. Sharapova was making serious progress leading up to the grass court season, but then she disappeared and you have to question if she’ll be able to regain that form with no warm up matches. The good news is Sharapova has never lost in the first round of the US Open. Sharapova has lost in the first round of a grand slam once since 2011. Sharapova has lost four of her last six matches on hard court.
There’s no previous matches between these two players.
Qiang is no pushover and will make this a match as long as she can get her first serve in play. Sharapova always scares the hell out of me, as I’m not sure which player is going to show up and she still has trouble finishing her opponents. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is a three set nail biter.
I’ll side with Sharapova, but I’ll also be looking at a three set option.