Serena Williams plays just her second match back on Saturday afternoon, facing off against the 29th seed Kiki Bertens. While obviously not at her best just yet in returning against Zarina Diyas, the former No.1 was a level above what she had displayed in her previous forays onto court this year. That included a disastrous doubles performance against two of Bertens’ compatriots, where she and Venus Williams lost 6-2 6-3 in a Fed Cup dead rubber last month.
Check out the Serena vs Bertens Head to Head
She won that match in straight sets, beating the Kazakh 7-5 6-3. She had to come from a break down in the second, doing so in emphatic fashion by winning the last 5 games of the match. “It definitely wasn’t easy,” she said post-match. “We always have a couple tight sets. It was good. I’m a little rusty, but it doesn’t matter. I’m just out here on this journey and doing the best I can.”
Bertens comes into the match on a three match losing streak, the most recent of those a disappointing 6-3 6-0 to Qiang Wang. The Dutchwoman generally thrives more on clay with a 7-14 record on hard courts not being a lot to shout about for a player inside the top 30 of the world rankings. Bertens has only played Serena once, losing at the US Open in straight sets.
With sister Venus Williams a potential third round opponent, the motivation to win this one will be as high as ever. Venus plays Sorana Cirstea earlier on in the day on Stadium 1.
Prediction – Serena Williams in straight sets