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Cincinnati 2020: Serena Williams vs Arantxa Rus preview, head-to-head & prediction | Western & Southern Open

Serena Williams faces Arantxa Rus in her first match in New York
Serena Williams faces Arantxa Rus in her first match in New York
Mihir Gawade
ANALYST
Modified 24 Aug 2020, 09:58 IST
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Match details

Match: Serena Williams vs Arantxa Rus

Date: 24 August 2020

Tournament: Western & Southern Open 2020

Round: Round of 32

Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA

Category: WTA Premier 5

Surface: Outdoor hardcourt

Prize money: $1,950,079

Match timing: 1 pm EDT, 10.30 pm IST

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Serena Williams vs Arantxa Rus preview

Serena Williams comes to New York on the back of two tight wins and a defeat (to fellow American Shelby Rogers) at the Top Seed Open in Lexington. She would now look to launch her US Open series campaign at the Western & Southern Open in New York, against Dutch player Arantxa Rus.

Serena Williams made her comeback to competitive tennis after the COVID-19 break in Kentucky, which was only her third tournament of the year. Turning 39 at the end of September, Williams would know that time running out on her dream of winning a record 24th Grand Slam singles title; she would be desperately hoping to get the job done two weeks later at the US Open.

Right now, however, the American is bidding to win her second title of the year - after the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Serena's opponent in the second round is World No. 72 Arantxa Rus. The Dutchwoman has only won one out of her three matches since returning to the tour, most recently losing to World No. 174 Magdalena Frech in Prague. 

Arantxa Rus
Arantxa Rus

However, Rus did find some form in her opening round match at the Western & Southern Open, where she beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-2, 6-3.

Serena Williams vs Arantxa Rus head-to-head

Serena Williams and Arantxa Rus have just met once before, with Serena leading the head-to-head 1-0. The 23-time Slam champion beat Rus convincingly in the first round of Wimbledon 2018, with the scoreline 7-5, 6-3.

The Dutchwoman doesn't make too many main draw appearances in Grand Slams, and this is her first appearance in the main draw of a WTA Premier tournament since 2013.

Serena Williams vs Arantxa Rus prediction

Serena Williams should have a fairly easy win over Arantxa Rus
Serena Williams should have a fairly easy win over Arantxa Rus

Despite not particularly impressing in any of her three matches at Lexington, Serena Williams starts her match against Arantxa Rus as the clear favorite.

The former World No. 1 had to come back from a set's deficit in both her wins at Lexington, against Bernarda Pera and her sister Venus. But Williams isn't expected to go through the same troubles against Rus, who doesn't have too many significant weapons to hurt the tennis legend.

That said, it must be noted that Rus does have a history of causing upsets. Most memorably, she had ousted fifth seed Samantha Stosur in the second round of Wimbledon 2012.

Prediction: Serena Williams to win in straight sets.

Published 24 Aug 2020, 09:58 IST
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