A Serena Williams Swan Song?
US Open 2022: Serena Williams wins her first round match, moves on to face No. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday in what could be her wave goodbye to tennis.
Serena Williams' impact on tennis cannot be overstated. The 40-year-old sporting and cultural icon is the winner of an astounding 23 Grand Slam singles titles (ranking second most in history). She's also the highest-earning female athlete of all time.
On Monday, Williams began her final U.S. Open appearance by defeating Danka Kovinic in a dominant fashion. Williams is now 21-0 in first-round U.S. Open matches.
However, the competition gets much tougher in Round 2. Williams will face the overall No. 2 seed, Anett Kontveit from Estonia, on Wednesday (note: the starting time is yet undetermined).
Will this match in the second round be the swan song of Williams' illustrious career?
The Williams-Kontveit match is certain to be the most widely-watched tennis event of the year. According to Spreads.ca, Williams is a sizable underdog at 2.65. A 1.00 wager on Kontveit returns 1.68.
Predictions (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
Typically, we'd fade the public sentiment and seize the added value on the unpopular pick, which is clearly going to be Kontveit in this match.
However, the 26-year-old hasn’t been tearing it up of late. She’s won just four of her seven summer hard court matches, losing previously to No. 59 Anastasia Potapova, No. 21 Jil Teichmann, and No. 44 Zhang Shuai. No doubt, a Williams win would be a major upset, but there's also not quite enough value to bet it given the vast disparity in world rankings (#2 vs. #605).
Instead, we like Williams to give her favoured opponent a tough match and extend the game count OVER 20.5. Spreads.ca lists the O/U on games and we'll go with OVER 20.5 in anticipation this could extend into a third set and perhaps even turn into an epic finale for Williams who deserves to go out to the roar of the crowd.