Serena Williams was at her battling best in her narrow win over sister Venus Williams on Thursday. She will now be looking to book her place in the semifinal of the WTA Top Seed Open, as she takes on surprise quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers.
The second-round clash in Lexington was the 31st between the Williams sisters, and it certainly did not disappoint. Each set had its own twists and turns, with Venus looking in top form after her incredible win against Victoria Azarenka in the first round.
Serena Williams, in what is almost expected of her nowadays, rallied from a one-set deficit to win the the match 3-6 6-3 6-4. She struck 14 aces and broke Venus' serve as many as five times, winning 50 return points throughout the match.
Her opponent in the quarterfinal, World No. 116 Shelby Rogers, is by no means an amateur on the tour herself. Rogers comes into the match on the back of an impressive straight-sets win over Leylah Fernandez.
Serena Williams vs Shelby Rogers head-to-head
The quarterfinal in Lexington is set to be the first meeting between Serena Williams and Shelby Rogers. But their level of experience in big matches and their rankings history are vastly different.
Serena Williams has struggled with her serve in Lexington, relative to the very high standards she has set for herself. She has been broken as many six times in two matches, but has had success in overturning breaks at crucial moments.
Rogers, however, has only been broken three times in the tournament. She didn't get her serve broken even once in her second-round clash with Fernandez, nor did she serve a single double fault.
With concerns about fatigue and a lack of match-sharpness hampering Williams so far, a quick start and good serving from Rogers may be enough to seriously challenge her.
Serena Williams vs Shelby Rogers prediction
Despite having to overcome a one-set deficit in both her matches in Lexington so far, Serena comes into the match against Shelby Rogers as the favorite.
To cause an upset, Rogers will not only have to start quick, and possibly win the first set, but she will also have to serve well and look to finish points quickly at the net. She can't let her formidable opponent take control of the rallies from the back of the court, because that will spell a quick doom for her.
Prediction: Serena Williams to win in three sets.
Tournament: Top Seed Open 2020
Venue: Lexington, USA
Category: WTA International
Prize money: $225,500
Match timing: 12.30 pm EDT, 10 pm ISTPublished 14 Aug 2020, 13:46 IST