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US Open 2019: Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova, Preview and Prediction

202   //    26 Aug 2019, 12:57 IST

Serena Williams has not lost to Maria Sharapova since the 2004 WTA Championship finals.
Serena Williams has not lost to Maria Sharapova since the 2004 WTA Championship finals.

Arthur Ashe Stadium is set for some mouthwatering tennis action on the opening day of the 2019 US Open. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic headline the men's singles action, while Ashleigh Barty and Zarina Diyas will be the first women's match on the legendary court. However, all eyes will be on the much-anticipated encounter between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova.

It makes little sense to talk about the capabilities of these two women at this point. Both Serena and Sharapova have won almost every title there is to be won in the sport. They are also a part of the very exclusive club of players to have completed a Career Slam.

They also share a rivalry that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon, a match that catapulted Sharapova into overnight fame. The Russian defeated Serena later in the same year at the WTA Finals as well, but has failed to register a win against her more fancied opponent since. In fact, the last time that Sharapova managed to take a set off Serena was in 2013 on the hardcourts of Miami.

A look at the duo's recent form does not paint a rosy picture for Sharapova either. The Russian has played sporadically ever since her return to court and has struggled with recurring injuries.

Serena, on the other hand, has found some form coming into the tournament this year. She made back-to-back finals, at Wimbledon and the Rogers Cup, and will be eager to go all the way and lift the trophy in Flushing Meadows.

While both these players are capable of taking the racquet out of their opponent's hands on their day, Serena's form and confidence should give her the edge in this contest. Tne Russian will need to pull something extraordinary out of her hat to even have a chance of surviving the Serena onslaught.

Prediction: Serena Williams to win in straight sets.