Defending champion Serena Williams overcame adversity and a rain delay in her third round match-up against Caroline Garcia to set up a third-time clash with fellow American Coco Vandeweghe. Williams holds a 2-0 record in the head-to-head series against Vandeweghe.
World No. 1 Serena Williams needed to fight hard for every point against France’s Caroline Garcia, in a contest that was highly competitive from the first frame. Williams won the opening set 6-4 after stealing a break late in the set. While the second set seemed destined for a tiebreaker, with both competitors staying on serve through the first nine games, Garcia shocked the crowd in attendance by winning four straight points to steal the set 6-4.
“She’s obviously a really good player,” Williams said after the match. “She plays well. Granted, she played great, but I really gave myself a tremendous amount of trouble out there too – I made so many unforced errors, I hit so short, it really isn’t the same player – I really just have to do better.”
The third set featured high tension from both players, as they remained competitive early on before a rain delay halted the action for a considerable period of time. Once the players returned to court, Williams broke and held her remaining serves to close out the set 6-4. She hit an uncharacteristic number of errors throughout the match – 41 errors in total.
“I had 40-something errors – it’s not the way to play professional tennis. Maybe amateur. On the professional tour you have to do a little better than that. Hopefully I can do better in the next matches.”
The American has won the tournament on six previous occasions – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2013.
American qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe took part in a late-night thriller on Stadium court, where she surprised the late sleepers by rallying to upset Australia’s Sam Stosur 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. The win sets up a third meeting with the world No. 1.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Williams leading the series 2-0. If the top seed plays at her usual standards, then she will certainly secure a straight sets victory.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets