Serena Williams survived a major scare on Tuesday, edging past Victoria Azarenka in three tough sets to advance to her second consecutive Wimbledon semifinal. There she will meet her arch-rival Maria Sharapova who booked a place in the final four with a thrilling victory over Coco Vandeweghe.
In this battle between Wimbledon champions, who will emerge victorious? Read on below for a complete preview of this blockbuster matchup. While you’re at it, you can also check out the men’s side of the draw with our quarterfinal previews of Murray vs. Pospisil and Djokovic vs. Cilic.[sc:TennisArticles ]
Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova Betting Preview
Where: All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
When: Thursday, July 9, 9:30 AM ET
Line: Serena Williams (-550) vs. Maria Sharapova (+375) – view all Wimbledon Women’s Singles lines
Betting on Serena Williams
Top seed Serena Williams kept alive her hopes of a possible calendar Grand Slam with a nervy three-set victory over Victoria Azarenka. The five-time champion won a thrilling quarterfinal, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, in a match that lasted two hours and four minutes.
[sc:Other240banner ]The 20-time Grand Slam champion has now won an incredible 26 consecutive matches at the majors stretching back to the Wimbledon Championships last year. Williams will look to extend her amazing streak even further when she takes on Maria Sharapova in the semifinals this coming Thursday. This will be the 20th time that these two rivals will lock horns on a tennis court with Williams winning their last 16 encounters.
She edged past Sharapova in their last meeting in the Australian Open final earlier this year, winning in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (5). For Williams to extend her dominance against Sharapova, she needs to continue her excellent play on the service end. She converted 65% of her first serves against Azarenka with the American winning 39 of her 49 first serve points (80%).
She also needs to remain aggressive and attack the net with gusto against Sharapova. Williams won 10 of her 12 net points against Azarenka on Tuesday. Williams has won 71% (52/73) of her net points in this tournament thus far.
Williams is 10-0 in her last 10 matches.
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Betting on Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova stormed into the semifinals of Wimbledon with a heart-stopping 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2 victory over Coco Vandeweghe on Tuesday. It was a fantastic performance from Sharapova who needed two hours and 46 minutes to record the marathon victory.
Key to Sharapova’s triumph was her excellent return. The five-time Grand Slam champion won 48% (50/105) of her receiving points against the American with Sharapova converting six of her 11 break point opportunities.
Up next for Sharapova is a gargantuan showdown with the red-hot Serena Williams. The Russian has struggled mightily against Williams in her career, posting a woeful 2-17 record against the world No. 1. It has been 11 years since Sharapova last defeated Williams in a tennis match. Since then, Williams has managed to put up a 32-3 edge in sets won against Sharapova.
The odds might be stacked against Sharapova’s favor but she will take heart in the fact that she pushed Williams to the brink in their last meeting in the Australian Open. Even though she lost in straight sets to Williams in that final match last January, Sharapova pushed the second set of that contest into a tie-breaker.
Sharapova’s main edge against Williams heading into their matchup this year is that she has received the lighter draw in this tournament. High-seeded players such as Lucie Safarova and Ana Ivanovic were supposed to challenge Sharapova in her side of the bracket but they were surprisingly knocked out early in this year’s event. It’s incredible to know that Sharapova reached this year’s semifinal without facing a single player ranked in the WTA Top 30.
For Sharapova to pull off the massive upset against Williams, she needs to improve greatly on her service game. She put into play just 60% of her first serves against Vandeweghe with Sharapova winning just 73% (48/66) of those points. She also served a whopping 10 double-faults in that quarterfinal victory. That atrocious service performance simply won’t do against a world-class player like Williams.
Sharapova is 9-1 in her last 10 matches.
Williams (-550) prevails in three nail-biting sets.[sc:Other490banner ]
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