(1) Serena Williams vs Karolina Pliskova
Serena Williams will make her much anticipated return to court on Wednesday when she takes on Karolina Pliskova in the second round in Stanford. The eyes of the tennis world will be on Serena; eager to see how she will respond after her bizarre exit from the doubles at Wimbledon. Her opponent, Karolina Pliskova comes into the match on the back of a dominant 6-1 6-3 victory over Kimiko Date-Krumm in the opening round. Pliskova was far too powerful for her veteran opponent.
Pliskova will be an awkward opponent for Serena, especially in the opening few games. Like Serena, Pliskova isn’t interested in engaging in long rallies and possesses a strong serve, meaning it may take Serena a little longer to find her rhythm. I expect Karolina to be extremely competitive in at least one set and wouldn’t be surprised to see her take a set off the world number 1. Ultimately a determined Serena Williams should prove too strong for Pliskova.
Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Karolina Pliskova In straight sets
Varvara Lepchenko vs (2) Agnieszka Radwanska
2013 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska begins her U.S Open series campaign on Wednesday where she will face American Varvara Lepchenko in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. The Pole is coming off one of her worst loses in years, a 6-3 6-0 belting by Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round at Wimbledon. The Pole’s performance attracted a lot of criticism and rightfully so. Many are once again questioning Radwanska’s ability to ever win a Grand Slam title. Aga will be keen to start her U.S Open series on a positive note, hopefully showing a little bit more emotion on court.
Lepchenko progressed to the second round with a solid 6-4 6-3 victory over Caroline Garcia, avenging her second round loss to the Frenchwoman at Wimbledon. I don’t believe Lepchenko has the weapons to trouble Radwanska, who should come through this match in straight sets.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets
Other Match Predictions:
(8) Andrea Petkovic to defeat (Q) Naomi Osaka in straight sets
Monica Puig to defeat (Q) Sachia Vickery in straight sets