Forget the ‘Serena Slam’, Serena Williams has the chance to achieve a calendar Grand Slam for the first time in her career if taking the US Open.
Victorious in Queens for the last three years in succession, she’ll take some stopping, but what kind of form is she in ahead of the final major of the year?
And what about her closest pursuers in the world rankings, the rest of the current top ten?
Fell to her first hard court defeat of the year against Belinda Bencic in Toronto two tournaments back, with just 50% of first serves in. Has beaten Simona Halep to win in Cincinnati since, but her service was again inconsistent under pressure.
A losing finalist in three sets at both Toronto and Cincinnati, Halep is in superb nick on the hard stuff with a 31/4 campaign. Five finals and three wins across the season are a testament to her consistency on the macadam.
There have to be big doubts over the Russian’s fitness after she pulled out of Cincinnati with a leg injury, having failed to play competitively since Wimbledon.
Three straight first-round eliminations on the post All England Club segment of the hard-court jag should be taken with a pinch of salt, given two came at the hands of Victoria Azarenka and Bencic.
Another to have seen little competitive action post Wimbledon, the tall Czech has also endured two first-round exits in hard court tournaments since. Came back from a set down to bounce Madison Keys at New Haven most recently however.
Played in her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros earlier this term, but has failed to best anyone inside the world top 27 since the semi-finals in Paris.
The woman beaten by Safarova in the French Open last four has had on otherwise forgettable season. A 12/8 campaign on the hard stuff is well down on last year’s 41/14 exploits.
Continued to surf the form of her breakthrough 2014 into this term and has already gone semi-final deep six times. The last of those incursions came at Stamford earlier this month.
Has emerged as a force to be reckoned with at the majors this year, going out to eventual finalists in all three so far. May have lost her last two hard court first rounds but took Serena Williams the distance in the Australian Open quarters.
Prior to the clay court segment CSN put up an intriguing bit for form when finding only Serena too good on the Miami hard courts. An expectation of similar in Queens looks a punt, however, as she’s lost her last five first-round matches.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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