Date: 12 February 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021
Round: Third round (Round of 32)
Venue: Melbourne, Australia
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: AUD $80,000,000
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | UK - Eurosport Player | India - Sony Six
Serena Williams vs Anastasia Potapova preview
Seven-time champion Serena Williams got one step closer to a record-equaling 24th Major as she defeated Nina Stojanovic in the second round of the 2021 Australian Open on Wednesday. The American legend will now face rising star Anastasia Potapova for a place in the last-16 on Friday.
Potapova overcame the challenge of Timea Babos in her second-round clash, winning 6-2, 6-4.
Serena Williams dropped just three games against Stojanovic, all of which were in the first set. Factoring in her first-round win over Laura Siegemund, Williams has dropped a mere five games so far, and looks well-poised to make yet another deep run at Melbourne Park.
The World No. 11 was at her destructive best against Stojanovic, hammering a whopping 27 winners past the Serb. Williams grew into the match as it progressed, showing everyone exactly why she cannot be written off even at 39.
She won 91% of her first serves in the second set, but more importantly, did not commit any unforced errors.
There appeared to be some physical concerns for Williams early on, as she was seen using a medicine ball on her right foot ahead of the match. But the American allayed those fears after the win, assuring everyone that her foot issue was not serious.
Anastasia Potapova meanwhile has been making steady strides on the tour over the past couple of years. The Russian has already had her best-ever Grand Slam result by making it to the third round at the Australian Open this year.
Potapova began her campaign by upsetting 24th seed Alison Riske in the opening round with a 6-2, 6-1 scoreline. The teenager then continued her fine form against Timea Babos to enter the last-32.
Serena Williams vs Anastasia Potapova head-to-head
Serena Williams leads Anastasia Potapova 1-0 in the head-to-head. The duo had squared off in the first round of the Australian Open last year, with the 23-time Major champion winning 6-3, 6-0.
Serena Williams vs Anastasia Potapova prediction
Anastasia Potapova has undoubtedly shown marked improvement in her performances lately, but will nevertheless face an uphill task against Serena Williams.
Williams will look to unleash her wide range of groundstrokes to prevent Potapova from taking control. Should Williams keep her errors to a minimum - as she has done so far - she shouldn’t have a problem dealing with the Russian’s game.
Potapova on her part should try to come to the net with more frequency than she usually does, as that could take time away from Williams. But that strategy is always fraught with a lot of ris
Prediction: Serena Williams to win in straight sets.