Women’s Australian Open, R4 Preview for Sunday: Serena Williams v Margarita Gasparyan

Serena

Serena Williams is into the second week of the Australian Open for the 12th time in her career. By contrast, her fourth round opponent, Margarita Gasparyan is contending not only her first fourth round at the Australian Open, but also her first fourth round at any Grand Slam. Previously, Gasparyan had never won a Grand Slam main draw match before this week in Melbourne. This will be Serena’s second Russian opponent in a row having dismantled the game of 18-year-old, Daria Kasatkina in the third round. Serena won, 6-1 6-1 in just 44 minutes. It was her most flawless display for quite some time and she rose to the potential challenge against a player that had defeated her sister, Venus just two weeks ago in the first round of Auckland.

Gasparyan took the seeded place of Sara Errani in the draw, ousting the number 17 seed in a three set opener, 1-6 7-5 6-1. The 21-year-old backed that up with victories over Kurumi Nara (6-4 6-4) and Yulia Putintseva (6-3 6-4). Gasparyan led with a double break in both sets against Putintseva, starting on song with a myriad of winners, before encountering some resistance from her opponent. It was a pretty tasty encounter with Poots being Poots… the handslap at the end was amusing.

Head-to-head record: In their only previous match-up, Serena defeated Gasparyan in the first round of Wimbledon last year, overcoming a fast start from the Russian player in the first set to win in straight sets, 6-4 6-1.

Analysis: Gasparyan had already broken new ground in reaching the second round and unlocked a lot of progress levels this week. While she comes up against a very sharp and obviously experienced, Serena, she has some weapons that can at least give the world number one a competitive match. Serena stumbled mid-tournament in the Slams last year (one of the main reasons I gave Kasatkina a set in the last round) but has looked so focussed and energised this week. I’m still wondering if there will be a lull at all in her level because right now, it’s looking rather ominous. I would fancy this to be a competitive match, a tight two setter.

Prediction: S.Williams d. Gasparyan in 2 sets

Photo in this post by mootennis.com

7 thoughts on “Women’s Australian Open, R4 Preview for Sunday: Serena Williams v Margarita Gasparyan

  1. After winning against Camila Giorgi in two extremely close sets, Serena hasn’t dropped more than three games in her second and third round matches. She has looked extremely focused, calm and composed, strong, and solid from start to finish. Her aces- double fault ratio is 22-5 and her winners-unforced errors difference is +26 (72 winners-46 unforced errors). But, Gasparyan, having already dropped a set in the first round, served 13 aces and she already coughed up eight double faults. Her winners-unforced errors difference at this point is -11 (87 winners, 98 unforced errors). Serena is aware of her opponent in this round, as these two played against each other in Wimbledon last year. Serena overcame a strong start from Gasparyan in the first set before she won the match and eventually the title. Gasparyan will probably give a good fight against Serena in the first set. But, Serena will most likely win this match in two sets. I would say the scoreline will be 6-3 6-0.

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  2. Gasparyan was injured at Wimbledon last year which is why their match was so one sided. I think the Russian will push her in one set and the other(s, if Margarita can win a set) will be all Serena

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    • Serena already said that Gasparyan has a great serve and forehand down the line. Gasparyan can also mix up the ball very well. To me, that is an indication that Serena is very much aware of Gasparyan’s game, especially with her one-handed backhand. But, each player has opposites in their ratios of aces to double faults and winners to unforced errors so far. Serena has 22 aces, 5 double faults, 72 winners, and 46 winners and she hasn’t dropped a set in the tournament yet. On the other hand though, Gasparyan has 13 aces, 5 double faults, 87 winners, and 98 unforced errors and she already dropped a set in her opening match. Considering these match statistics, that’s why my prediction is Serena in two sets.

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