Serena Williams is not taking anything for granted in her last 16 clash with Marion Bartoli but believes she is a genuine contender for the Wimbledon title.
The four-times champion is a huge 2/9 favourite to win against the Frenchwomen after an impressive run so far at SW19.
Williams was imperious in her last round victory against Maria Kirilenko, winning 6-3, 6-2 and only facing one break point in the 90 minute match.
“It’s the best I’ve played since I came back,” said Williams.
“So it’s good. I was a little more consistent and I played my game more.
“I wasn’t as tight and nervous and uptight. I was able to relax more.”
Things weren’t quite so smooth for No.9 seed Bartoli. The temperamental player asked for her dad to leave the court during her 5-7, 6-4, 9-7 victory over Flavia Pennetta which took over three hours.
Her last 16 clash against Williams shouldn’t last as long though.
Williams has beaten Bartoli without so much as dropping a set in their previous two meetings and is quite rightly the overwhelming favourite in this match on her preferred surface.
Backing the American to win in straight sets at 8/13 looks to be well worth a bet.
And what does Williams make of her chances to go on and win the title?
“I wouldn’t be against me,” she said.