World No. 1 Serena Williams is still riding high from her second Grand Slam title of the season at the French Open, and 20th overall. With rumblings of her being able to complete the calendar Slam this season, all eyes will be on Williams as she steps out on the grass courts for the first time this season to take on Russia’s Margarita Gasparyan, whom she has never faced previously on the professional tour.
Situated in the same half of the draw as Maria Sharapova and her sister Venus Williams, Serena will attempt to win her third Grand Slam title of the season when she begins her fortnight at SW19. She overcame illness last month en route to the French Open title and was yet to step out on court for a match time on grass. However, she is completely aware that she is on the hunt for a calendar slam, something that has not been achieved in the Open Era.
“Personally, uhm, it doesn’t make it feel any different, which I think is a good thing ’cause I don’t feel any pressure to win all four. I’ve been saying that, but I really don’t feel that pressure. Maybe if I would happen to win here, then maybe I might start feeling it after that. Ultimately, I’m taking it one day at a time and I’m not thinking that far.”
Williams will come up against world No. 113 Margarita Gasparyan, who will be a remarkably large underdog against Williams as she attempts to usurp the dominant champion.
This marks the first time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Williams holding the undoubted advantage with the oddsmakers. While it is all too possible that Williams struggles a bit during the match, it would be utterly shocking to see her suffer a defeat this early in the tournament.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets