Serena Williams’ bid to win the US Open one last time continues after a round No. 1 win against Danka Kovinic. In many ways, Williams’ two-set win was a surprise due to the lack of WTA tennis she has played over the last year. Even when playing, Williams wasn’t in great form leading up to the 2022 US Open.
Now, the tennis legend plays No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday in the second round of the US Open. If Williams’ Cinderella end to her career is to continue, she must defeat one of the top players in the world.
Kontaveit reached the second round with a straight set win against unseeded Jaqueline Cristian. Like Williams, Kontaveit had few issues in the first round of the US Open. Ranked No. 2 in the world currently, 26-year-old Kontaveit will hope her youth and pace are able to overcome the experience of Williams.
According to reports, Kontaveit was rooting for Williams to win in round No. 1 to set up this second-round fixture. Kontaveit could be the player to eliminate Williams from her final US Open tournament before retiring.
These tennis stars have never met on the court. Can Williams keep her dream of one final Grand Slam trophy alive or will Kontaveit progress to the third round?
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Serena Williams vs Anett Kontaveit Betting Odds
Despite being the world No. 2 player, Kontaveit isn’t being backed by the bookies to win the US Open. The Estonian player is 40/1 to win the US Open this year. She has never progressed past the fourth round at the US Open, which is likely one reason bookies are not sold on Kontaveit winning the tournament.
The world No. 2 has never won a Grand Slam tournament. Her opponent on Wednesday, Williams, has won more Grand Slams than any other female player during the open era, 23. Williams is trying to win a 24th career Grand Slam, which would tie her with Margaret Court, who won a combined 24 major trophies in the amateur and open eras.
Bookies have Williams at odds of 40/1 to win the US Open. Whichever player wins on Wednesday, those odds are likely to be slashed considerably. However, Williams’ odds to win the US Open increased after the first round. She was originally 33/1 to win the US Open pre-tournament.
Kontaveit is the bookies’ favourite to defeat Williams at the best betting odds of 4/9. Williams goes into the match at the best betting odds of 7/4. Bookies are leaning toward a two-set match at the best betting odds of ½. A three-set match is priced at 6/4.
Bookies expect Kontaveit to win the first set at odds of ½ compared to Williams’ odds of 6/4. Both players showed good form in round No. 1 with straight set wins.
Serena Williams vs Anett Kontaveit H2H
Serena Williams and Anett Kontaveit have never played previously. Wednesday’s US open second round match will be the first-ever head-to-head meeting between the two tennis stars.
Williams will have the home crowd in New York City rooting her on. Kontaveit may be the bookies’ favourite to win the match and the better player at this stage of the two stars’ respective careers, but the excitement and passion of the fans could spur Williams to the win.
Kontaveit has a record of 24-13 this season with one event title won. She has earned over $870,000 in winnings. Kontaveit has reached three tournament finals this season winning one of those matches. Her lone title win came at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy in February. Kontaveit defeated then-No. 7 ranked Maria Sakkari 3-1.
Williams could benefit playing Kontaveit at a Grand Slam. Konvaveit did not play well at the Australian Open, French Open, or Wimbledon this season, making early exits in all three major tournaments.
Williams has a 2022 record of 2-3 heading into the match on Wednesday. She has played sparingly and spent recent months getting ready for the US Open, a tournament she last won in 2014. Williams showed nerves in the first round versus Kovinic. Although the match’s score indicates Williams delivered a strong performance, there were faults in the 40-year-old’s game.
Kontaveit is at an all-time high in her career. A loss to a retiring Williams would be a major step backwards for the Estonian.
Serena Williams vs Anett Kontaveit Prediction
The heart wants Serena Williams to win and continue toward the final of her last-ever professional tennis tournament. However, the brain says that Williams’ lack of top-level tennis and age will see her lose this match.
Williams is the underdog heading into the match. It isn’t just Williams’ lack of top-level tennis that makes her the underdog. She is 14 years older than Kontaveit and has lost a step over the last few years. While still capable against unseeded players such as Kovinic, Kontaveit is the current WTA world No. 2, behind Iga Swiatek.
If Williams is to have a chance at winning the match, she will need to start strongly. In round No. 1, Williams was slow out of the gate, but improved as the match wore on. Williams improved her serve as the match with Kovinic played out. She recorded nine aces and a first serve win percentage of 76%.
Kontaveit is known as an aggressive player. Williams will need to take the Estonian out of rhythm early in the match to prevent Kontaveit from getting comfortable. Williams’ best tennis can show up in fleeting moments. Once again, the fans will have a major impact on the match and could help Williams win points she wouldn’t otherwise gain. The fans could also prevent Kontaveit from getting comfortable on the court as every move Williams makes will be cheered.
In the first round, our betting tips prediction was for Kovinic to defeat Williams based on the latter’s lack of tennis over the last year. Now, we are backing Williams for the emotional win in New York City with the match going three sets. Our betting tips prediction is for Williams to win 2-1 at the best betting odds of 5/1.