Serena Williams has been dominating the WTA winning the previous three Grand Slams, can she complete a Golden Season Slam on home soil? Find out what players are her biggest threats.
Serena Williams is determined to be the first player since Stefi Graff to win a season Golden Slam. The World No. 1 has already won 4 straight Slam titles twice but has never been able to win all of them in the same season.
The Undeniable Favorite
Serena Williams is playing some of her best tennis at the age of 33 and what is more impressive is her ability to play the best tennis when it matters. Since her loss to Stosur in US Open 2011 final, the American won 30 of last 32 finals (lost both to Azarenka).
Serena’s biggest weapon is clearly her serve, on Hard Court she’s averaging 0.87 aces per game (0.95 if we consider only the last two tournaments) and 80.9% service hold (the WTA average is 63.6%). Like was said she has a tremendous ability to bring her best tennis when it matters and the serve is clearly what makes the most damage in the biggest games.
Former Grand Slam Champion Problems
Victoria Azarenka (+799) is the only player who has been able to put some fight against Serena in recent years, the played three times this year and all those matches were only decided in a third set, however Azarenka seems to be having some mental problems when facing Serena and struggles when is close from winning the match. Adding to this, the two time Australian Open champion had to retire from Cincinnati due to a thigh injury. Vika said she would be ready for the tournament but she needs rhythm to play her best tennis and this injury didn’t help on her preparation.
Maria Sharapova (+1205) has also been affected with physical problems and was forced to withdraw from Toronto and Cincinnati with a leg injury. Maria doesn’t play since Wimbledon and she’ll be wishing for a good draw in order to get some rhythm in first rounds. Sharapova hasn’t been able to find a way to defeat Serena since 2004 losing 17 straight matches and without a proper preparation just can’t see her defeating Serena.
Petra Kvitova (+1983) has always struggled in USA and her career numbers show that with 62.04% win in North-America against 72.35% in Europe and 72.34% in Asia. Petra’s asthma gets worse when she plays in US and adding to that she recently revealed she has also been struggling with mononucleosis. In Toronto, Cincinnati her inability to keep a consistent level was clear, very erratic, and her usual breathing problems. The best career result for Petra in US Open is 4th round (2009 and 2012) and this year we should see her go out early once again.
After reaching Wimbledon final, Garbine Muguruza (+2983) had a tough return to Hard Court with two early losses in Toronto and Cincinnati. Garbine also had a poor preparation on grass losing 2 of her 3 matches but after that raised her level to reach her first Grand Slam final. Muguruza has a very powerful game and her strong mindset allows her to play her best in the big stages.
Simona Halep (+1438) said her favorite surface is Hard Court and her results this season clearly support her words. Simona has an outstanding 32 – 4 record this year on Hard Court and gave a very good fight to Serena recently in Cincinnati losing 3 – 6 6 – 7. The biggest problem with Halep is her inability to keep a consistent high level, she has periods where clearly struggles to maintain her game intensity and allows her opponents to get easy games. If Simona can be more solid mentally, she has good chances to go deep on this event after early losses in last two majors.
The 18 years old, Belinda Bencic (+1922), played her best tennis ever, defeating some of the best names of the game to claim Toronto title. The hardest thing for young promising players is live up to the expectations and perform their best tennis against the top players and Bencic did exactly that which gives her a massive confidence in her game. Belinda already showed she can do well against the top players and has clear quality to go far on this tournament, however her biggest problem should be the first rounds against lower level players where she will be the big favorite and might struggle with that new status.
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Despite the low price, bet on Serena at -110.01 is the only move to make on this competition. Her level has been just too good for any other player and her determination on majors just makes her even harder to face.
Muguruza and Halep are two players who can do good runs while Bencic can also do well if she manage to survive the first two rounds against lower level opponents.
On the other side, Azarenka, Sharapova and Kvitova are all struggling with some physical problems and will have many problems to present their best tennis.