This could be the easiest Wimbledon title of Serena Williams’ career. She doesn’t have to face her sister in the final, and her route to the championship match was fairly easy. The defending champion had to face 16th-ranked Maria Sharapova and 9th-ranked Na Li in the fourth round and the quarterfinals respectively, but hasn’t faced any other tough opponents.
She disposed of unranked Petra Kvitkova in straight sets in the semifinals. Williams has been on her game and hasn’t lost a set al tournament. She even beat Sharapova and Li in straight sets. Now, she faces a ranked opponent for only the third time at this year’s tournament, 21st-ranked Vera Zvonareva.
The Russian has had a pretty good tournament herself, but hit some bumps in the road to the final. She needed three sets in her semifinal match against unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova. She did upset 8th-ranked Kim Clijsters to advance to the semis, but hasn’t looked as dominant as Williams.
Zvonareva and her doubles partner Elena Vesnina beat Serena and Venus in the doubles quarterfinals, but that won’t be an indication for the singles final. Serena has faced Zvonareva six times and has only lost once. The one loss came in a semifinal match in Cincinnati in 2006, when Serena was coming back from a six month hiatus.
Zvonareva will play in her first Grand Slam final, while has won 12 major titles. Serena is a three-time champion at Wimbledon, and should be able to add a fourth title to her collection Saturday.
Williams, the current No.1 of the world, has one of the best serves on the WTA tour, and she has been using it to dominate opponents at the All England Club. Serena has hit 80 aces, 50 more than Venus, who is second in the category. Zvonareva has only 23.
The American has only 12 double faults to Zvonareva’s 22. Serena has dominated off her first serve, winning 193 of 223 first serve points for an incredible 87% average. Zvonareva ranks seventh in the category at 77%.
Zvonareva has been strong on the return winning 98 points on the first serve return and 136 on second serve returns. However, Williams’ serves that hit up to 128mph might just be too much for the Russian.
Williams has done well on returns herself, scoring 83 first serve return points and 127 second return serve points. The American should be able to benefit from Zvonareva’s weaker serve and put pressure on her with her strong returns.
Zvonareva should be able to stay in baseline rallies with Williams, but the serves will make the difference here.
Williams goes into the match as the heavy favorite, and it would almost take a miracle – or an injury – for Serena not to come through. This is a tough one to bet on because of the high risk, but if you feel confident that everything will go smoothly for the three-time champion, go to 5Dimes for a -565 line.