Serena Williams vs Yaroslava Shvedova Preview – 2016 US Open

Serena Williams, who had no trouble in her third-round match at the 2016 US Open on Saturday, is looking very good to make the quarters.

Serena Williams, the top seed at the 2016 US Open, is safely into the fourth round at Flushing Meadows. The Wimbledon champion from a couple of months ago defeated Johanna Larsson in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 in the third round on Saturday. It’s getting to the point in the Grand Slam where there are only strong players remaining, however Williams has drawn a fairly-inexperienced opponent in round four.

Williams will next face Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazahkstan, a player who continues to enjoy a good summer. Shvedova was in the Wimbledon quarters earlier this season, the 2016 tournament marking the first event where she negotiated her way that far at the All England Club. Her current ranking for singles is 52nd, however a big part of that references some poor showings from early in 2016 and late in 2015.

For examples Shvedova missed the 2015 US Open, she lost in the 2nd round in Melbourne Park, and she lost at the French Open this year in the first round. The Kazahkstani has a career-high ranking of World No. 25 butΒ her level of play appears to be a little higher than that, as opposed to what her really-existing ranking is.

It’s a tricky match for an aging Williams, however the American is 4-0 against her upcoming opponent. Within those matches, Williams went 8-1 in sets played. Furthermore, their head-to-head series includes a match at the most-relevant venue. Williams beat Shvedova in 2013 at the US Open in straight sets 6-3, 6-1.

Looking ahead in the draw, the fourth round promises to be the last match in New York this season against a peripheral contender for the World No. 1. Shvedova is currently one of the last favorites in the tournament, priced at 250/1 in outrights (SportingBet). Surviving her, one combination that Williams may face is Simona Halep in the quarters, Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals, and then Angelique Kerber in the final.

Sunday will be an off-day for the top half of the draw, but Shvedova and Williams will meet on Monday. Fans looking for a potentially great match on the 4th should be advised of the Caroline Wozniacki/Madison Keys match scheduled for 2nd in Arthur Ashe Stadium. That match, along with the Kerber/Petra Kvitova match, are the important upcoming ones on the bottom half of the draw.

Shane Lambert