Serena Williams will be looking for a much improved performance in her third round clash at the US Open, where she takes on Karolina Muchova for a spot in the last 16. The Czech is having a strong 2019 and continues to rise up the rankings.
Muchova burst onto the scene with her run to the Wimbledon quarter finals, where she beat Karolina Pliskova to get there. The Czech is much like many of the other Czech players – a clean, powerful striker of the ball and a strong server to boot. She comes into the tournament just outside the top 40 but is only going one way if her form is anything to go by this year. She is in the third round here after navigating tricky clashes with Elena Rybakina and Su Wei Hsieh. The latter was decided in a final set tiebreak after Muchova earlier blew three straight match points on return.
Serena was below par early on and had to come from a set down to beat Caty Mcnally 5-7 6-3 6-1. “I think it’s great because I want to be able to win matches where I’m not playing my best, play players who are playing great, be able to come through, I need to be tested, I guess.” she said afterwards. It’s a theory that does hold some weight with Serena having had some tough matches when she finally met top players at slams following a week of cruising through the earlier rounds. However, it does have to be of some concern that she dropped a set to someone of McNally’s inexperience. 26 of her 28 unforced errors came across the first two sets, including 15 in the opener.
Muchova should in theory play into the hands of Serena who will be happy to face another power hitter, even if she can offer a bit of variety from time to time. Anastasija Sevastova will be looking to carry on her usual strong form at the US Open and is a potential fourth round opponent for Serena.
Prediction – Serena Williams in straight sets