Serena Williams vs Ashleigh Barty, Melbourne WTA 500 2021: Preview. Head-to-Head and Prediction

Published 02/05/2021, 4:00 AM EST
Tennis – Yarra Valley Classic – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her quarter final match against Danielle Rose Collins of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott


More often than not, you would fancy the World Number 1 beating an opponent ranked 10 places lower. But if the opponent answers to the name of Serena Williams, you would think a hundred times over before hedging your bets.

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And on current form, World Number 1 Ashleigh Barty and the 11-ranked Serena will be seen as equals as they clash in the semi-finals of the ongoing Yarra Valley Classic, a WTA 500 event, in Melbourne on Saturday.

Serena Williams holds a 2-0 lead over Barty in head-to-head battles

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Determined to end her wait for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open this year, Serena rolled back the years with some vintage tennis on the way to reach the last-four at Melbourne.

After storming past Australian Daria Gavrilova and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova with straight-set wins, the 39-year-old dropped a set in her quarter-final clash against Danielle Rose Collins.

Serena summoned her wealth of experience and superior skill-sets to win the tie-breaker in the deciding set and progress to the last-four.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates winning match point in her singles match against Lyudmyla Kichenok of Ukraine during the Fed Cup tie between Australia and the Ukraine at the Canberra Tennis Centre on February 10, 2018 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

A crowd favorite at the event, Barty hasn’t taken long to shrug off the rust from a tennis season spent in absentia last year and has hit top form early in the Australian summer.

She scored a facile win over Romanian Ana Bogdan in the round-of-32 clash before battling past a tricky opponent in Czech star Marie Bouzkova to move into the quarters.

Barty survived two three-setters to reach semis of Melbourne WTA 500

After dropping a set in her fourth-round tie against the Czech, the Australian seemed to be struggling to put it past an opponent who was determined to stay in the battle. However, she eventually pulled away with a break of serve in the deciding set and closed out the match 6-0, 4-6, 6-3.

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Barty faced another tricky opponent in American Shelby Rogers in the quarters’ clash and found the going tough as her opponent took the tie to a deciding set. However, Barty seized the key moments in the final-set tie-break to come through and set up a semis date with the 39-year-old Serena.

The American currently holds a 2-0 lead over the home favorite in head-to-head battles. It will be a battle of power-hitters as both like to stay on the baseline and fire winners with trademark groundstrokes. So expect a thrilling tie as the two head out to the Margaret Court Arena on Saturday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

989 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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