Serena Williams vs. Ashleigh Barty 2018 French Open Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction
Barty vs. Serena
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TV: Tennis, NBC
Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty meet in the second round of the 2018 tennis French Open.
Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Kristýna Plíšková that took 23 games to decide. In the victory, Serena won 81 percent of her first serve points and 39 percent of her second serve points. Serena won 82 percent of her total service points despite struggling with her second serve, and she had just 25 unforced errors. It’s certainly not the best Serena we’ve ever seen and conditioning is going to be an issue moving forward, but it’s about as well as anybody could have expected. Remember, Serena was awful in her first four matches back and has been doing a lot of things off the court recently. Any progress is good progress for the former No. 1 player in the world. Serena hasn’t lost in the second round of a grand slam since the 2014 French Open. Serena has won 12 of her last 13 matches on clay court.
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Ashleigh Barty is coming off a straight sets win over Natalia Vikhlyantseva that took 16 games to decide. In the victory, Barty won 83 percent of her first serve points and 62 percent of her second serve points. Barty managed to win 73 percent of her total service points and had just 17 unforced errors. It was a solid performance from Barty, who came into this tournament dealing with a back issue that forced her to retire in the middle of the Internationaux de Strasbourg. Barty obviously has the ability to beat anybody when she’s feeling good, but her form this season has been hit or miss, and she can struggle big time with her serve when her confidence is low. We’ll see how Barty feels with a full match under her belt. Barty has won four of her last five matches on clay court.
These two played once, which was in the 2014 Australian Open, a match Serena won in straight sets. The match took 15 games to be decided.
I’m concerned about Serena’s conditioning, as it catches up to everyone who isn’t consistently playing. You have to get your feet under you before making a deep tournament run. Barty, however, has been dealing with a back injury and isn’t exactly playing consistent either. In grand slam play, I’ll give Serena the edge due to her ability to will herself to wins.
Serena can win despite not playing her best. I’m not sure it’s the same for Barty.