Serena Williams continues her chase for a 24th grand slam title on Thursday, facing former Australian Open semi finalist Eugenie Bouchard for a place in the third round. Serena has been one match away, having lost in successive finals last year. She remains the favourite to win it all but her route to the final could well see her face former No.1’s back to back later on in the draw. Check out the Serena vs Bouchard H2H matches.
Bouchard’s breakthrough slam was this event back in 2014, where she made the semi finals in her first time in the main draw. She followed that up with a quarter final in 2015 but has really struggled to follow up the potential shown in that period of time. While comfortably back in the top 100, she’s a huge distance away from the heights of No.5 in 2014. She was handed one of the kinder draws in round one, easing past the perennially injured Shuai Peng in straight sets. The Canadian is in confident form right now having won the doubles title in Auckland alongside partner Sofia Kenin. “I’m really enjoying it on the court, and I feel like I have done some good improvements in the last couple months. I have been very solid in my matches last few tournaments.” she said.
Serena cruised past Tatjana Maria in her opener, dropping just two games in victory over the German. “It was nice to be back out there. Last time I was out there was a great moment, especially internally for me, it was even a better moment. I think it was a good match today.” she said. Although she only hit two aces, the trademark serve worked well for the former champion. She dropped just 5 points on serve and never felt any pressure from her opponent.
“She does everything well, and I really like that she doesn’t quit. You know, people write her off, and she doesn’t let that bother her.” Serena said of her opponent. They have met twice before, with Serena winning on both occasions. The most recent of them was the WTA Finals in 2014, where Bouchard was on the wrong side of a 6-1 6-1 drubbing. It would need a strong Serena performance to repeat that scoreline but in terms of advancing to the next one, it’s hard to see past the 7 time champion in Melbourne.
Prediction – Serena Williams in straight sets