Twenty-three time Grand Slam winner, Serena Williams took on Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the Round of 16 at the WTA Yarra Valley Classic. In their five previous meetings, the American emerged victoriously on all counts. In their sixth meeting, the 39-year-old glided through the match and won 6-1 6-4.
The match began with the Bulgarian serving and Serena showed no remorse, breaking her opponent’s serve in the opening game of the match. Williams consolidated the break and took a quick 2-0 lead in the first set. During the fifth game, the American handed her opponent the second break and took control of the opening set at 4-1.
After breaking Pironkova for the third time during the set, Serena took the opening set 6-1, in 27 minutes. The American’s serve did the trick, winning 77.8% on her second serve points as compared to her opponent’s 25%.
In the second set, Williams began serving and took a 1-0 lead. As the match progressed, Serena held serve with ease, whereas Tsvetana managed to scrape through. Both players were on serve until the tenth game of the second set when the American put the pressure on the Bulgarian and got the needed break to seal the set 6-4.
Similar to the first set, Pironkova’s serve let her down. On the other hand, Williams served brilliantly. Serena won 80% of her service points and her opponent won 58.1%.
After the match, Serena said, “It’s definitely nice to get another win. She’s definitely a great player. It wasn’t easy but it was great to come through. So far so good, I’m just happy to be here giving the circumstances, after what the whole world has been through in the past 12 months. It’s very special to be out here.”
With that win, Williams moves into the quarterfinal of the WTA 500 Melbourne 2021 and will face the winner of the match between Danielle Collins and Karolina Pliskova.