Fixture: Serena Williams vs Tsvetana Pironkova
Date: 9 September 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: 12 pm EDT, 9.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Disney+ Hotstar VIP
Serena Williams vs Tsvetana Pironkova preview
Third seed Serena Williams looks to strengthen her bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open this year, as she takes on Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinal on Wednesday.
After a title-winning start to 2020 in Auckland, Williams couldn't quite maintain her level of play as she bowed out early from the Australian Open. Even upon the resumption of the tour last month, the American suffered shock defeats at the Western & Southern Open in New York and the Top Seed Open in Lexington.
But so far at the US Open, Williams has looked like her old self. After routine early-round wins where her firepower was too much for her opponents to handle, Williams overcame difficult match-ups against Sloane Stephens and Maria Sakkari with her trademark grit and determination.
Williams faces Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinal, who has no dearth of experience on the tour. The former Wimbledon semifinalist has been the story of the tournament so far, given that this is the first time in three years she has stepped on the court.
After taking a sabbatical to give birth in 2017, Pironkova has returned to competition at Flushing Meadows looking better than ever. She breezed past her early round opponents without much trouble, and comes into the quarterfinal on the back of a hard-fought win over Alize Cornet.
Serena Williams vs Tsvetana Pironkova head-to-head
The quarterfinal match marks the fifth meeting between the two experienced veterans on the tour; Serena Williams currently leads the head-to-head 4-0 over Tsvetana Pironkova.
Williams won their last two meetings, at the Western & Southern Open in 2015 and the China Open in 2014, without the loss of a set. But the American was made to work much harder in their two earlier meetings at Eastbourne in 2011 and the French Open in 2007, both of which she won after overturning a one-set deficit.
Serena Williams vs Tsvetana Pironkova prediction
Given their previous history on tour, Serena Williams comes into the match with a distinct edge over her opponent. However, Tsvetana Pironkova's inspiring comeback run will have given her a lot of confidence to stare down any opponent.
Williams has been in decent serving form this week, and her use of strong approach shots throughout the tournament has provided good results. But against Pironkova's big serve the American will have to find her footing quickly on the return - a shot she has struggled with lately.
Pironkova has always been very comfortable on quick courts, and the surface at Flushing Meadows this year has worked in her favor. If the Bulgarian can regularly take the ball on the rise and use her wide array of shots to throw Williams off-balance, she can give the 23-time Grand Slam champion a run for her money.
Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to win in three sets.