Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams 2018 French Open Tennis Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction
Serena vs. Sharapova
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TV: Tennis, NBC
Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams meet in the fourth round of the 2018 tennis French Open.
Maria Sharapova is coming off a straight sets win over Karolína Plíšková that took 15 games to decide. In the victory, Sharapova won 73 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Sharapova earned probably the biggest win since her return, and she did so by winning 67 percent of her total service points and breaking five times. It was the first time Sharapova showed a killer instinct and didn’t have so many hiccups with her second serve. If that’s a sign of things to come for Sharapova, it won’t be long before she’s back in the top-10 and competing for big titles once again. However, we need to see more consistent performances from her before jumping the gun just yet. Sharapova hopes to make her first grand slam quarterfinal since the 2016 Australian Open. Sharapova has won 10 of her last 12 matches on clay court.
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports
Serena Williams is coming off a straight sets win over Julia Goerges that took 19 games to decide. In the victory, Serena won 86 percent of her first serve points and 50 percent of her second serve points. Serena lost just five first serve points and won 73 percent of her total service points. Serena continues to chip away rust and seems to be sharper each time she takes the court. Of course, it also helps that Serena is playing doubles with her sister Venus, which gives her extra reps to get her feet wet and gain that comfortable feeling again. Serena hopes to make the quarterfinals of a grand slam for the 11th straight appearance. Serena has made at least the quarterfinals of the French Open in 10 of her last 13 appearances. Serena has won 14 of her last 15 matches on clay court.
These two have played 21 times and Serena has won 19 of those meetings. The most recent match was in the 2016 Australian Open, a match Serena won in straight sets. Serena has won 18 straight meetings against Sharapova and is 4-0 against her on clay. Sharapova’s last win over Serena came in the 2004 WTA Championships. Serena has also won each of the last 16 sets against Sharapova.
Sharapova is the sharper player and is coming off her best performance yet, but I’m not ready to say she’s back and somebody I’m looking to bet on. Before her third round match, Sharapova got nothing on her second serve and struggled to finish matches. Serena may still be rusty, but she’s improving her game each time she takes the court and should be extremely confident given her lopsided history over Sharapova. Rusty or not, you can’t ignore the glaring head to head numbers between these two players, as this simply isn’t a rivalry. Sharapova gets smoked every time she plays Serena.
If I can get Serena at a low price or even plus money, I’m taking it.