World number one Ash Barty will have a contest on her hands when she takes on 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in the 2021 WTA Yarra Valley Classic semifinal on Saturday, February 6, with the match likely to begin at around 2:30 pm local time (4 am BST). Get the live streaming options of this Ash Barty v Serena Williams match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Ash Barty v Serena Williams Head to Head
There have been two previous outings between these two legends of the women’s game, and Williams has both of them. The first came at the Australian Open of 2014, a first round match which saw Serena take the contest in straight sets before getting pushed to a three-setter in the second round of the 2018 French Open.
Barty Overcomes Stutter against Rogers
The kind of form Shelby Rogers is in, one expected her quarterfinal with Barty to go the distance, but the Aussie had the last laugh in the third set, a match tie-breaker in which she looked almost invincible.
An early break of serve for Barty in the first set was negated by Rogers just as the Aussie looked to serve for the set in the ninth game. However, three games later, as Rogers look to do the same to stay in the match, the world number one broke again to take a 1-0 lead.
The second set started out as a cagey affair but very soon turned out to be one-way traffic in favour of Rogers. A break in the fifth and the seventh game meant she was soon serving for the set at 5-2. She held out to love to take it into a decider.
Unfortunately for the 60th-ranked Rogers, however, Barty was tuned in well to the proceedings, and not belong had taken a 6-1 lead. The American tried to fight back but only managed to add three more points to her kitty as the Aussie pouched the match 10-4.
This follows wins over Ana Bogdan and Marie Bouzkova, with Barty having yet to look at her best but still winning matches the manner she did against Rogers.
Serena Needs Three Sets against Collins
Coming in from back to back straight-set wins, Serena has looked far leaner and fitter and the manner in which she started her quarterfinal against Danielle Collins it looked like she meant business again.
Serena raced off to two early breaks and a 4-0 lead and while she dropped her serve once after that, another break in the eighth game left Collins wondering what could she have done differently. She found some of the answers, as a much-improved serving helped keep her in the contest, in frustrating Serena who then dropped serve in the seventh game of the second set.
While Collins had her problems with her serve, she held on to level the match and take it to a match tie-breaker – a change in the rules following the cancelled day’s play on Thursday.
Serena’s experience, however, ensured she made it count when the pressure mounted. She ran through Collins to take an 8-3 lead and even a late fightback didn’t stop Serena from claiming the spot in the semifinal.
Earlier in the tournament, Serena had had no trouble getting past Daria Gavrilova and Tsvetana Pironkova.
Barty v Serena Prediction and Tip
This could get to be a close contest as you would expect when two of the best players in the world go head to head with Serena holding a slight edge. Tipping a three-setter here.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 6/4 (bet365)