Australian Open Preview – Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova

One of the biggest questions in tennis will be asked again. Can Maria Sharapova defeat Serena Williams? It’s the 23rd meeting between the best two in the world however the head to head is dominated by the world number one Serena Williams who hasn’t lost to Maria since 2004, over 11 years ago which just shows how ahead of everyone else on the tour Serena is.

Going into the Australian Open I would have said Maria had a good chance however Serena has looked pretty much unstoppable and her performance the other day against Kasatkina was stunning!

I think in a way their playing styles sometimes clash which favours Serena who has the weapons to control a match from an attacking or defensive position on the court. You’re not going to defeat Serena by standing inside baseline as she always get great depth on her shots and if you too close to the bounce you will send back a short ball allowing Serena up the court and then well it’s a game of pick the winner for Serena who rarely misses at the net. I’d like to see Maria switch it up a bit. Maybe play a little defensive however you don’t want to get stuck in a rhythm of being on the defensive against the best in the world.

Maybe throw a few slice shots into the match with low height and good depth on the ball like Roberta Vinci famously did in New York…

How the sliced backhand of Roberta Vinci helped cause the biggest upset in tennis history!

I just hope to see something a little different from Maria. Surely this head to head record will be playing on her mind going into the match which may put extra pressure on herself but going over 11 years without beating one opponent is tough so surely she may have been working on something different to try and defeat Serena?

Overall I cannot see anything less than s win for Serena. She has proven time and time again she is the best and I can’t see that changing on Tuesday!

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