Serena Williams looks to nudge closer to her best level again on Saturday when she takes on Julia Goerges in the third round. It is a rematch of their Wimbledon semi final from last year, where Serena won 6-2 6-4 in large part due to a dominant serving performances.
Serena had to work extremely hard to see of one of the top younger talents in the game – Kaja Juvan. She had to come from a set down to beat the Slovenian, eventually coming out on top 2-6 6-2 6-4. “It was definitely coming together as the match went on,” she said afterwards. “I’m just low on matches basically. I could feel it. But I’m getting there. Just have to, like I said, take every match as five matches, really learn from every single point.”
Goerges hasn’t had the toughest of opponents to get this far but was never troubled in either match, beating Elena Ruse and Varvara Flink to make it this far. It follows her great run in Birmingham, where she made the final before losing to Ashleigh Barty.
If there’s any common theme with Serena’s struggles since her post-pregnancy return, it is with players who will move Serena about and make her work hard. With Goerges style a similar vein, it will be more a battle of power and who serves best – something that Serena is nearly always going to have the advantage in. However, she is still more than vulnerable and a strong performance from the German could help her pull off the shock.
“I just have to remember that I’m best at closing matches, I’m good at it. I just have to keep the mind frame of where am I, what do I do mentally to close matches. I have to kind of just shut my eyes and get there. It’s just experience and match play. In the past two years I haven’t played a lot of matches. I’m just trying to kind of get that back.” Serena added. The manner of her love hold to close out the match, finished with an ace, definitely gave off vibes of old.
Prediction – Serena Williams in straight sets