Tonight, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova face off for the 22nd time in their careers. No doubt you already know that Serena hasn’t lost to Maria since 2004 and enjoys an impressive 19-2 record against the Russian.
The last time Serena played in Flushing Meadows, things got a little heated. Let’s not revisit that unfortunate episode, since I’m sure we’ll be hearing about it ad nauseum from the television commentators. Suffice it to say that Serena will be feeling even more determined to win the title this year.
I’ve always admired Sharapova’s steeliness. If it were me, I’d probably fake a cold and stay home rather than walk out for yet another beatdown in front of millions of viewers. (This resolve may have something to do with why she has five Slam titles and I don’t have any titles, of any sort.)
Serena hasn’t been invincible since her post-baby return to the tour. In fact, she hasn’t won a single title yet. On the other hand, Maria has had a rough year, and Serena does relish beating her.
Is there anyone picking Maria to win this opening-round match? I’m not. And the odds-makers aren’t, either. At least, I don’t think they are. One online betting site puts the odds at -310 for Serena and +250 for Sharapova. I don’t actually know what that means, but I’m sure it’s not in Maria’s favor. Can any gamblers out there explain it?
The more interesting questions about this match are 1) how many games Maria will manage to win, and 2) whether Serena goes on to take the title this year.
Wouldn’t it be fun if this were a betting site? Alas, that’s beyond my blogging skill set. But we can still vote in the polls below. And I’ll make this little wager with myself: If Maria wins more than six games tonight, I’ll eat something disgusting. Maybe a large raw tomato, including all the seeds and gelatinous goo. Blech.